Saturday, January 3, 2009

WE GOT OUR BACKS TO MONO AND WE’RE UP AGAINST THE WALL


Yesterday’s playlist for me was even more eclectic than usual. I started out with the Chambers Brothers, “Time Has Come Today” in a video I saw on somebody’s blog (and unfortunately didn’t bookmark it, and now can’t remember which of you it was, so can’t credit you, sorry!!) Anyway, from there I bounced around the later 60s, a little Iron Butterfly (In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida) a little Deep Purple (Hush) and little Scott McKenzie (If you’re goin’ to San-Fran-cisco… After that, a big leap pover to Berlioz, and then some Canadian talent – Cape Breton’s finest, Jimmy Rankin. I ended the day listening to the oldies station on my dish, and was lucky to catch a string (unintentional, I’m sure) of 60s Wall of Sound hits, produced by Phil Spector.

Phil has fallen on hard times of late, but back in the 60s he was the Boy Genius of the music industry. His signature sound was really something to behold – still is. The Wall of Sound (WOS) was a little something he whipped up using huge conglomeration of multiple musicians, unorthodox combinations of instruments, a whole swack of tracks and an echo machine. The resultant music hit you like a wall…well, of sound. And while he denounced stereo in favor of mono, after he got through with it, it sounded like a tsunami of sound that enveloped the listening in pop splendor that stereo just can’t touch. The studio musicians became famously known as The Wrecking Crew. Here, from Wikipedia:

In the 1960s, Spector usually worked at the Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles because of its exceptional echo chambers, essential to the Wall of Sound technique. Microphones in the recording studio captured the sound, which was then transmitted to an echo chamber—a basement room outfitted with speakers and microphones. The signal from the studio would be played through the speakers and would reverberate around the room, being picked up by the microphones. The echo-laden sound was then channeled back to the control room, where it was transferred to tape. The natural reverberation and echo from the hard walls of the room gave his productions their distinctive quality and resulted in a rich and complex sound when played on AM radio, with an impressive depth rarely heard in mono recordings.

WOS number came in two basic speeds: slow and mellow and here-we-go. Here’s one of each. I purposely picked selections from YouTube that don’t have live footage or other distracting videos. Not this time. So turn up your speakers, and listen to that fullness of sound, that great big wall of it, and remind yourself how lucky you are that you born at the right time...

Ike and Tina Turner “River Deep, Mountain High”



The Righteous Brothers “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”




Videos by YT memeber tinturnerfan84, vwestlife
Album cover at http://rateyourmusic.com

3 comments:

gel said...

Hi- I shot over here from your poetry blog because I love music,too! In fact, I used to have a blog with a music title. Lots of these bring back memories. Some I listened to, but I didn't have a record player until late teens. Others my husband and I dance to. We LOVE to dance especially to music WAY before our time: jitterbug, ballroom, and also "in dancing" like salsa, W. Coast Swing.... "Fun, Fun, Fun" blog! Must sleep. Took a break from ;painting through the night.

gel said...

ok- i didn't leave yet- quick look at your top faves there's 3 that I love:

"Will you Still Love Me Tomorrow"
"Rag Doll"
"Monday, Monday"
do you dance?

Deborah Godin said...

Thanks for all your nice comments! Oh, yes, I dance regularly in my house - you ought to see me do the vacuum cleaner boogie (well, maybe not). I'm pretty good at all the old stuff except the Mashed Potatoes. Took a Salsa Aerobics class once, but only succeeded in proving how hopelessly WASP I am. Just could switch from my 60s moves to the Latin beat.