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Spectropop V#0330

  • From: The Spectropop Group
  • Date: 10/10/99

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       Volume #0330                        October 11, 1999   
               Exploring Uncharted Patterns of Sound          
    Subject:     Obscure GG releases
    Received:    10/10/99 8:36 pm
    From:        Sheila Burgel,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Hello everyone! For the new issue of "Cha Cha Charming" 
    I'm looking to dedicate a section to obscure girl group 
    records- where I review the records, give some background 
    information, state it's availability on a CD reissue, show
    photos etc, etc.
    But the major problem with doing an article like this is 
    finding the background information and photos!! So I've 
    come to all of you at Spectropop with a plea for help! 
    I've listed the artists and records that will be featured 
    in this article. If any of you have background info 
    (artist & label)/ photos/ anything (!!) please could you 
    email me!
    Thanks very much,
    Sheila B.
    p.s. For the girl group fans, ALL of the records below are
    The Knick Knacks: Without you (Columbia)
    Marie Applebee: Down by the sea (End of Summer)  (Jubilee)
    Bonnie and the Denims: Time Will Tell (LLP)
    Vicki Hill: Give him Up (Congress)
    The Cannon Sisters: I'm sorry I went (Valiant)
    Loretta: My heart tells me to believe (Valiant)
    Lornettes: Down the block and up to heaven (Gallio)
    Joy and the Sorrows: On and On (MGM)
    Lollipops: Gee whiz (Smash)
    Marie Antoinette: He's my dream boy (Providence)
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Re: Diane Renay
    Received:    10/07/99 12:58 am
    From:        Diane renay, CEIIxxxxxcom
    Dear John:
    Thank you for putting all those photos on display. In 
    1996 People Magazine contacted me and I agreed to allow 
    them to do this article for the "Where Are They Now" 
    segment of that issue.
    The photos were taken during various performances around 
    the country, during the time when "NAVY BLUE" was at the 
    top of the charts.
    The Supremes and I did a three day show for Dick Clark at
    Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey. I shared a 
    dressing room with the girls, and it was very close 
    The picture of the Rolling Stones and me was taken at a 
    party after the last performance of a show held at the 
    "Teen Fair" in Texas. This was the Stones' first time 
    performing in the US. I even rode in a limousine to greet 
    them at the airport when they first arrived in the US to 
    do this show and start their promotional tour of the US.
    Bobby Rydell and I appeared together for one week at a huge
    park in New York. Peter and Gordon were also in the show. 
    We all stayed in the same hotel right outside of the park.
    It was lots of fun!
    The pictures of Jan & Dean as well as Johnny Tillotson 
    were also taken at the same Dick Clark show at Steel Pier 
    in Atlantic City.
    The picture I took with Tony Bennett was taken in Las 
    Vegas at Caesar's Palace in 1966. I was vacationing there 
    with my parents and was taken backstage to be introduced 
    to him.
    Sincerely: Diane Renay <[:>)
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     What's going on over there?
    Received:    10/10/99 8:36 pm
    From:        Pekka Johansson,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Hi everyone on the list,
    I've been on the Spectropop list for a few weeks now, and 
    I really appreciate the discussions. For me as a Swede 
    it's fun also to see the remarks on Hep Stars - in my view
    they really don't qualify as a great pop group of the 60's.
    OK, there are three exceptions, all written by Benny: "
    Sunny Girl", "Wedding" and "Consolation". The rest is 
    mainly bad covers of even worse songs... 
    I realize that the gg collection "Girls will be girls" on 
    Sequel has been released in the US recently. GO AND GET IT
    ! Much better than the two "Where the girls are" volumes 
    on Ace. "Did you ever love a guy" by a obscure group 
    called The Emeralds is worth the price of the CD itself. 
    Now to the real point of this mail. Between October 14 and
    November 29 I'll be travelling around the States, visiting 
    what I consider to be places of musical importance, ie 
    Chicago, Detroit, NY, Memphis, New Orleans, LA, SF and so 
    on. I will be travelling on a Greyhound pass, and will 
    therefore be able to go almost anywhere. If you, dear 
    people on the list, knows about any happenings (concerts, 
    fairs, dancing) related to early 60's pop, especially girl
    groups, I would be extremely glad if you could mail me on 
    the address above. 
    Take care,
    Pekka Johansson, Stockholm, Sweden 
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     How loud?  Pretty loud.
    Received:    10/10/99 8:36 pm
    From:        Carol Kaye,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Hi Tobias.
    >How much of that famous Wall Of Sound could you, as a 
    >musician sitting in the recording room, hear? You 
    >obviously all had to focus on your individual parts. I 
    >read somewhere that Brian sometimes added echo, reverb, 
    >compression and such things while you guys were playing. 
    >Did Spector do that too, or was all that stuff added after
    >the session musicians had left the building? I guess what 
    >I'm asking is how much the producers did themselves 
    >without interacting with the musicians.
    At first, when we recorded for Phil, we didn't wear 
    earphones, which was the style of the day. There were very
    few baffles set up either (temporary walls padded to 
    isolate sounds), and of course we kept the volumes down 
    low on our amps. 
    The problem back then was the leakage of the drums, so 
    naturally, there were always baffles around the drummer, 
    and he muted his drums too (putting masking tape also 
    across the cymbals, blankets inside the bass drum, 
    hankerchiefs rolled up and taped on tom-toms, usually 
    their wallet -- no they weren't 'fat' then -- on the snare
    drums, this was all for *sound*, not for real quieting of 
    drums, the set of drums recorded better that way). 
    Percussionists were usually next to the drums off to one 
    But Phil *always* played back his takes on, first, little 
    tiny speakers, the size of car-speakers. He wanted to make
    sure his records played well on the radio for people in 
    their cars, and then he'd BLAST the booth with his 
    playbacks as loud as he could with volume and echo.....
    we'd all have ringing ears from listening to his takes in 
    the booth, whew.
    Then as we recorded for Phil more and more, he got the 
    idea to have us all wear earphones, as he started to put 
    more and more baffles up to isolate the guitars and 
    keyboards as well. Mac Rabbenec would sometimes play the 
    organ kind of loud (he'd get his own baffle), and the 
    acoustic keyboards wouldn't stand a chance then, so they 
    were isolated as well as the percussionists and drums even
    more. And the individual guitar players as well, as you see
    in pictures on my website.
    Hal Blaine and Earl Palmer, the drummers Phil used, 
    graduated to making their own paddings to put on their 
    drums, and the bass drum all of a sudden shrunk, and they 
    had special paddings for those heads too, and they still 
    taped their cymbals.
    And we were using earphones then, and yes, there were many
    problems. At first, they couldn't be individually adjusted 
    ("I can't hear myself", "I can't hear the guitars" "can't 
    hear the bass" etc.), there was no echo put on at first. 
    Then when the individual adjustments on earphones came in 
    within a week or so, Phil was quick to put some echo in 
    the earphones. 
    There was so much echo in the earphones on the "You've 
    Lost That Lovin' Feeling" date, that no-one was playing 
    well together. Hence my story of bearing down on the 
    acoustic Epiphone Emperor guitar (Phil loved that box), 
    and grinding away with rhythmic 8th-notes trying to 
    congeal the rhythm together....
    It seemed to work, and Phil heard me playing hard, and put
    a double-time echo on me only, which made my rhythm come 
    out to 16th notes, very subtle but it's there and we sort 
    of settled in for a nice groove (think Ray Pohlman the 
    bassist and Earl Palmer the drummer both asked Phil for 
    "less echo" too, so they could play better together) and 
    then the real take happened for the Righteous Bros., who 
    were there singing but probably were added on later for 
    the real vocal -- it cost 2x the am't to track in those 
    days and Phil also watched the money meter.
    Anyway, that date I do remember, because I remember the 
    problems of the rhythm section, and we all knew this song 
    was going to be a biggie hit, the tune was tremendously 
    good, and the Righteous Bros. were knocking our blocks off
    with the way they were singing.....we never heard white 
    singers sing like that before.
    So by that year, yes, Phil was using echo in our earphones
    practically all the time, but to varying degrees as to how 
    much we would complain about it...if there's too much echo
    in our phones, the beat is not well-defined, and we 
    couldn't groove then, plus it would throw us off a little 
    So he kept the echo volume down quite a bit in our 
    earphones upon request, depended upon could we stand it or
    not. But you sure heard it in the booth. Phil loved echo 
    which we understood, it was his trademark sound.
    >Also (and this was discussed about six months ago but 
    >I've lost that digest), how *loud* were these sessions, 
    >particularly with Spector? Obviously, his music sounds the
    >best if you crank your stereo up to 11, and what you get is
    >an enormous, almost angry, wall of noise. Were his sessions
    >louder (decibel-wise) than other producers'?
    YOU BET! He was the loudest! No-one even came close. Brian
    Wilson yes, sometimes he would add echo when we'd record, 
    but usually not - he'd put it on later. But at least Brian
    kept the play-back levels decently "normal", never really 
    loud and he never did what Phil did: 
    play it back on a "car-speaker" at all, that was a 
    criteria of Phil's, that his hits sounded great on 
    car-speaker-sized speakers on the radio.
    With Brian, usually no, he didn't have us work recording "
    with echo" and as to the amount of Phil's recordings 
    actually "recorded with echo", common sense said he didn't
    too much (you'd have to ask Larry Levine, he'd have the 
    correct answers on this) always add echo *later*, 
    that was the custom.
    It's a bear to record with echo, as you can't take it off 
    later, so I'm assuming he played everything back "with 
    echo", but kept adding it on and/or taking it off 
    temporarily in the booth. 
    Phil loved the sound of the Gold Star echo, which I 
    understand speaking to other recording engineers was sort 
    of a "dirty-sounding echo", I don't know, just repeating 
    what they said...
    I have the utmost respect and admiration for the genius of
    Dave Gold who masterminded the system there at Gold Star, 
    everyone in Hollywood did and does also...he's a great guy
    btw, so is Stan Ross, his partner and first engineer for 
    Phil for awhile.
    The Gold Star echo ran right through the women's rest room
    -- if I took a break and they were playing it back, they'd 
    ask me not to flush the toilet....
    Producers were sort of "alone" in the booth, trying all 
    sorts of things, especially Phil and Brian. We'd hear all 
    kinds of wild things in our earphones as they'd try this 
    or that to the music. Really had nothing to do with us, 
    but we usually heard all the experimentation. 
    Sometimes the studio musicians would sit and wait 10-20 
    min. at a time and instead of listening to all what they 
    were doing in the booth, we'd take our earphones off and 
    kibbitz in the room during that time, always waiting for 
    them to get done with experimenting and we'd go on then. 
    Your time is not your own, but sometimes there was time to
    take a quick hike to the bathroom, but usually you waited 
    right there in the studio throughout any experimenatation 
    with sounds Phil would do.
    So to answer your question, yes, Phil would normally 
    record with echo in our phones, but the am't varied with 
    how much we'd complain. And I suspect it wasn't the same 
    echo, maybe it was, but I doubt it - he probably added it 
    on again later when mastering. 
    Or maybe cut with some slight echo and add more on later, 
    that makes sense too. Phil loved echo, no doubt about it.
    Brian worked a different way. Phil was a showman, he'd 
    always love to have an audience in the booth -- he'd get 
    off on everyone being awed at his producing, including us 
    studio musicians....we had a great admiration for him and 
    he knew it, he respected us too, altho' he'd sometimes 
    playfully pick on someone, sometimes a little too hard.
     Brian would sometimes have his wife and sister-in-law in 
    the booth, but that's it. He loved to work alone with 
    Chuck Britz at his side to assist if he needed it, 
    sometimes, but he loved to toy around with everything 
    There were a few moments of that, then we'd go for a take,
    then change the music, then he'd toy around with sounds, or
    come out in the studio and play a differnent feel he wanted
    us to try, things like that.
    Phil had some music charts (arrangements or chord charts 
    are called "charts"), and this got more complex as the 
    years rolled by, written arrangements. 
    We'd add to these charts mainly our ideas and he'd yea or 
    nay them, or a few times would give us his ideas of how 
    the parts should be interpreted. 
    Brian wanted only his ideas, but sometimes would listen to
    others, especially Hal Blaine who got to play what he 
    wanted to play. Sometimes the guitar players too, but 
    Brian was more in charge speaking as a composer/arranger 
    there. Phil depended upon arranger Jack Nitzsche and input
    from the musicians a lot more altho' he had some definite 
    good musical ideas sometimes too. 
    As did Sonny Bono a little later, altho' Sonny got some 
    great arrangements from Harold Batiste, whose ideas were 
    revolutionary.....he's a totally underated arranger, his 
    ideas saved many a plain tune that Sonny and Cher wanted 
    to do. But we still "donated" our lines and licks within 
    the parameters of Harold's terrific arrangements. 
    I don't remember Sonny recording with echo however. And 
    FYI, I've always thought that Sonny was a totally 
    underrated producer too, he was great in the booth, almost
    as great as Phil and Brian. Hope this answers your 
    Carol Kaye 
    PS. I do explain all this about Phil's use of echo on one 
    of the video segments showing each week at this Experience
    Music website.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     PS. from CK
    Received:    10/10/99 8:36 pm
    From:        Carol Kaye,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    About the Phil Spector sessions, I only mentioned Jack 
    Nitzsche, but I think someone mentioned that Perry Botkin 
    also did some arranging for Phil....I worked a lot for 
    Perry at Gold Star for various projects, but my memory is 
    kind of stuck on Jack being Phil's arranger. 
    So excuse me if I didn't mention Perry, he's one of my 
    favorite people too, we have lunch together from time to 
    Best, Carol Kaye
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Re: Rare Phil
    Received:    10/10/99 8:36 pm
    From:        Pacific Ocean Bluto,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Wow, Francesc, thanks for the info! 
    >takes 38-39
    >takes 1-8 Entire session
    Interesting. So Spector spent 39 (or more) takes on YLTLF 
    but needed only *eight* for a satisfactory version of RDMH! 
    Speaking of many takes, Carol Kaye, did you play on "
    California Girls"? I have a *take 44* (yes, 44!) on tape. 
    Do you know if that was the final one or if Brian 
    continued with even more takes?
    On another, but sort of related note, I bought a Walker 
    Brothers compilation today titled "After The Lights Go Out". 
    All great Spector-ish stuff of course, although Scott 
    Walker's theatrical voice gets on my nerves after too many
    songs in a row. It's too goth :) 
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Re: I Can Hear Music & Rare Phil
    Received:    10/10/99 8:36 pm
    From:        Billy G. Spradlin,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    >Billy G wrote:
    >>why wasn't "I Can Hear Music" on the box?
    >Because the only issued recording by the Ronettes was not
    >produced by Phil Spector, but Jeff Barry and the ABKCO
    >recordings are only Phil Spector productions. I have never
    >heard whether Phil produced a version of I Can Her Music,
    >but probably not.
    Thanks for clearing that up. I have the song on tape and I
    have noticed that the production wasn't as "dense" sounding
    as Phil's other great productions for the Ronettes. Even 
    the Beach Boys 1969 cover (produced by Carl Wilson) sounds
    fuller than Jeff Barry's production. It makes me wonder how
    successful the record would have been if Phil had produced 
    it with a bigger production and a more upbeat tempo.
    >take 1
    >take 2- vocal take stereo
    >take 2- vocal take mono
    Is this the same song that "The Girls" released on Capitol 
    in 65-66, 
    produced by Steve Douglas?
    Billy G. Spradlin
    29 Rim Road
    Kilgore, Texas 75662
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Re: Rare Phil
    Received:    10/10/99 8:36 pm
    From:        chuck,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Hello Francesc
    This is just too wonderful what you have.  
    What an amazing post on an amazing list.
    Easy listening in the Big Easy
    Francesc Sole, wrote:
    > To:          Spectropop,
    > Tobias asked for the availability of Phil bootlegs. A
    > couple of years ago I was lucky enough to find some
    > wonderful rare tapes of Phil working in the studio, called
    > "The Spector Anthology". 
    > This stuff ranks up right there with the incredible
    > Beatles or Beach Boys Unsurpassed Masters series 
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     "Snowbug" (new High Llamas album)
    Received:    10/10/99 8:36 pm
    From:        Pacific Ocean Bluto,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    I listened to a promo of the new High Llamas album 
    "Snowbug" today, and it's fantastic! Those of you who were 
    turned off by the bleeping and blooping on "Cold & Bouncy", 
    will *love* "Snowbug". It's a return to The Song, which 
    wasn't always there on "C&B". I never understood what Sean
    O'Hagan meant with all the Brazilian influences because I 
    couldn't hear them - it's almost like he started citing 
    Brazilian stuff for the sake of people stop comparing the 
    Llamas to the Beach Boys! - but "Snowbug" is the album 
    that finally delivers those comparisons. It is definitely 
    a High Llamas record - a cross between "Hawaii" and "Santa
    Barbara" maybe, but sounding quite a lot like Milton 
    Nascimento's "Courage" (thank you, Larry :)). I don't 
    think it should in any way be compared to the Beach Boys, 
    but if it has to, it's to "Friends" and not "Pet Sounds". 
    But "Snowbug" couldn't have been recorded in another year 
    than 1998. The arrangements are of course just as lovely 
    as always, with strings, harpsichords, steel drums, flutes
    and much more!
    Sorry for those of you who read this post on several lists.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

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