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Author Topic: can anyone describe spector's music?  (Read 6322 times)
punkinhead
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« on: February 08, 2006, 10:00:36 AM »

I try to play him for my friends but they say it's all jumbled together and sounds messy...i cant come back with a rebutle...need some help
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richardsnow
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2006, 10:09:41 AM »

Tell them to F**k off Grin

Seriously though, I guess it does sound jumbled up to someone who's not used to that sound, Especially when most music to day uses very little Echo and reverb. It's all very back to basics at the moment.  Check out macca's latest album, dry as a bone.

I think people who can't listen to Spector perhaps don't like to feel out of control, When you listen to Spector you just have to turn it  up and let it bowl you over.
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Mitchell
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2006, 11:38:12 AM »

Does "Wall of sound" work?  Wink I guess you could go with dense, powerful, layered, emotionally-charged...
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2006, 11:45:29 AM »

It's a veritable, sonic wall of sound.
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al
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2006, 11:47:16 AM »

Does "Wall of sound" work?  Wink I guess you could go with dense, powerful, layered, emotionally-charged...

Exactly...

You can't listen to Spectors stuff without using the phrase 'Wall Of Sound' - it just was. A huge tidal wave of instruments and singers hurtling towards you with no intent than to create aural excitement in the listener!
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Andreas
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2006, 11:55:22 AM »

they say it's all jumbled together and sounds messy
I think that's a great description. Smiley
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donald
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2006, 01:01:02 PM »

In addition to the above descriptions I would add that It was the most powerful, dynamic, and exciting sound of it's day. The artists and musicians all crowded into a small studio with every meter in the studio pegging the red line, with the best engineering and production available for the recording of pop music available at the time.

It has to be appreciated , in part, in its context.  That kind of  production is not as impressive today with every trick in the book available to Joe Schmoe in his digital home studio.  Although I'm not sure one could duplicate the Wrecking Crew and the work of Jack Nitzsche, the writers, the artists, or Phil Spector.
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Jason
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2006, 01:01:35 PM »

If you can't understand Spector's music from the music itself, you're a fucking moron. Tell that to your friends.
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Mitchell
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2006, 05:04:40 PM »

That kind of  production is not as impressive today with every trick in the book available to Joe Schmoe in his digital home studio.

No amount of trickery can make up for the sheer talent, vision, and execution of Phil Spector et al. at Gold Star Studios in the 60s. We should be so lucky.
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Chance
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2006, 05:44:22 PM »

Vast.
Sweeping.
Passionate.
Yearning.
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Chris D.
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« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2006, 05:45:25 PM »

Vast.
Sweeping.
Passionate.
Yearning.

There you go.
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I. Spaceman
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« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2006, 07:31:06 PM »

OPPRESSIVE!
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Chris D.
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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2006, 07:36:16 PM »

Even better.

Oppresive, transgressive, regressive, transcendent.
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cabinessence
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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2006, 07:44:02 PM »

ZIPPA-DEE-DOO-DA-DOO-RON-RON
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Ron
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« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2006, 10:22:21 PM »

"Thick"

If they complain about it sounding sloppy, just tell them it's natural.  Little nuances in the music just color it up more.  There's a good side to everything and maybe every song shouldn't be recorded like his... but his are very stylized.  Just like a country record might always have a fiddle on it, a Phil Spector record is always going to sound thick and hit you in the bones when you listen to it.  It's almost an entire genre it's so different than other styles of production.  It's like saying you don't like rock music because of the drums.  Well, that's what helps make it rock.  Phil's music sounds thick because that's the whole definition of what it is. 

Ultimately, just get new friends.  Yours aren't hip enough. 
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Daniel S.
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« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2006, 10:43:22 PM »

For me, the Spector songs are hard to hear if I'm sitting too close to the speakers. And turning up the volume doesn't help. If I stand near the doorway, then the sound becomes crystal clear. The Wall Of Sound fills up the entire room and I get the full effect. Anybody else notice this? Maybe the acoustics weren't right when you played the songs to your friends.

I'm curious, do the Spector songs sound good on headphones?

I don't own a pair. Afraid I'll lose my hearing.
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I. Spaceman
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« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2006, 10:45:15 PM »

They actually sound best heard out of a tiny transistor radio, an old car radio or a little kiddie record player. Which makes sense, since those were the formats he was mixing for primarily.
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sugarandspice
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« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2006, 11:27:48 PM »

i dig all things must pass, but if im drunk,  be my baby and then he kissed me are god
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richardsnow
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« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2006, 01:37:46 AM »

Actually if I'm honest, Phil's 58-65 stuff could do with decent remastering.
As great as the BAck To mono box set is, the sound is a little muddy.  Just Once In My life sounds very thin on that set, all way have to turn it up and whack on some bass.
The best sound I've heard from Spector is on the original PHILLES 45's. Unfortunatly ,being a brit, most of my Spector singles are on LONDON records but I have Philles singles of pretty much all the major hits, and they sound top notch, especially BABY I LOVE YOU.
One Complaint, "Lovin Feelin" on PHILLES seems to be cut off centre, i.e. the stylus moves left and right when playing, which of cause causes a fluctuation in pitch  Roll Eyes
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Andreas
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« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2006, 01:48:49 AM »

Actually if I'm honest, Phil's 58-65 stuff could do with decent remastering.
I agree. There was some compression and boost of the upper midrange going on when they remastered this set. I am not sure, but maybe some noise reduction as well. The mixes have more potential than the box offers. See the Hitsville USA Motown box set for some great mono sound on CD of 1960s single mixes.

Ian,

yes the mixes were done with cheap radio in mind. But the 1960s singles were often cut ("mastered") very hot, which gives them their unique sound. If one uses the master mixes, they would have at least some dynamic range, which could be appreciated on a good system.
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richardsnow
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« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2006, 06:32:34 AM »

the Hitsville USA Motown box set for some great mono sound on CD of 1960s single mixes.



Yeh, the Hitsville USA box set cooks.  I play some of those CD's on my PA system at gigs and the bass end if fantastic and beautifully crisp on the upper mids.  Uptight- By Stevie W is particularly fab but the whole set is a fine example of how to remaster old 45 MONO masters.
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donald
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« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2006, 10:38:10 AM »

I don't own the Hitsville box but have heard it several times.  I thought about purchasing it recently through a very good deal at BMG.

Question;  That was released several years ago.  Does it really stand up as a well done CD remaster of oldies?  Or should I wait for an upgrade of the material to come out?

I agree about the original intent for the recordings to be played on a cheap record player or car radio.  I first heard the Spector groups on little pocket radios or in the car.  They sounded great, better than most other records.  They were meant to take advantage of the reproduction equipment available to most kids at the time. 

My copy of Back to Mono sounds better than anything else I play on the aging CD boom box in my garage.   I'm never quite satisfied with the equalization in the car or on my big component system in the house.  I keep messing around with the mid range in particular.
I think more sophisticated systems call for adjusting out the mid range base to get a clearer sound.  With that spector stuff you really dont want to take out too much midrange....that appears to be a big piece of the "wall".
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jazzfascist
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« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2006, 10:57:49 AM »

I've read that Motown also mixed their records, according to what would sound good on a car radio, probably an old industry trick used by many companies and producers.

Søren

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Jeff Mason
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« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2006, 11:18:09 AM »

*cough* brianwilson *cough*
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Chance
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« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2006, 11:31:37 AM »

Quote from: jazzfascist
probably an old industry trick used by many companies and producers.
Yeah, I remember Grace Slick or Marty Balin or somebody saying the Airplane's records (singles?) were very much mixed with AM car radio in mind, and I know Lennon and/or McCartney would play their current acetates through tinny little speakers to gauge the "AM effect."
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