http://www.spectropop.com __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ S P E C T R O P O P __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________________________________________________________ Volume #0378 January 27, 2000 __________________________________________________________ The get-with-it sound for everyone who cares Subject: it's all marketing? Received: 01/27/00 12:25 am From: Nat Kone To: Spectropop! Joseph Scott wrote: >As in every other decade, the way to market records >to young people was to tell them what they wanted to hear. >Young people generally wanted to hear about something >vaguely like a "counterculture" and all that good stuff. > >The funny thing is if you try to actually rationally apply >those "street cred etc." criteria retroactively to '60s >acts, it just doesn't work. > > Why do many people consider Donovan more hip than Mel >Torme? Because he's YOUNGER. That's IT. There's this >perceived distinction between (1) the vocal groups who >were marketed in the '60s to older people and (2) the >vocal groups who were marketed in the '60s to younger >people -- that's what it comes down to... In the last few years, my collecting has been almost entirely focussed on all the stuff I ignored as a young rock n roll fan. A lot of it has to do with just being sick of hearing the original versions of lots of songs. So I'd rather hear the Hollyridge Strings do the Beatles than hear the Beatles do themselves. But at the same time, I can't ignore the fact that though I may be sick of a lot of "classic rock", there were great tunes and that's why I can enjoy all these "versions" I'm now marinating in. Somewhere in all this looking back, I have managed to eliminate my "rock credibility" test and so now I can listen to Andy Williams singing "God Only Knows" and love it because he has a beautiful voice, it's a nice arrangement and it's a great song. What's not to like? But that doesn't mean that "rock credibility" - or "counterculture" - has no meaning or that it's all marketing. I quite enjoy Mel Torme's interpretation of "Sunshine Superman" (and "Happy Together" and even "Take a Letter Maria") and there's no doubt he was a true hipster but the first thing you have to say is that it is Donovan's song. I'm not going to try and assign utter "purity" to Donovan's intentions but when he wrote and recorded "SS", he wasn't thinking the same thing Mel was when he later covered it. No matter how cynical I can try to be, it's still hard to argue against the idea that there's more "authenticity" in Donovan's record (one of the first LP's that never left my turntable btw) than in Mel's cover version. And if as a teenager, I loved Donovan's record and laughed at Mel's, it wasn't simply a matter of falling for the marketing. Authenticity and intentions do matter. And sometimes they're perceptible. I take your point and of course I agree that marketing foisted a lot of inauthentic - and just plain "bad" - stuff on me as a teenager. And that the "counterculture test" had me ignoring a lot of great stuff. I take your point, in spite of the fact that the Mel/Donovan example is a bad one. Like I said, virtually ALL I listen to these days is stuff I ignored - or laughed at - as a teenager. And though "irony" and "camp" play a role in my enjoyment on occasion, that's not always the case. A lot of folks made beautiful music in spite of suspect intentions. Which is how I think of a lot of the sunshine pop I'm finding. But the difference between the Association and the Lettermen is about way more than marketing or perceived credibility. Sometimes a musician looks at the music he's been playing, then looks at the music that seems to be selling and in trying to create a hybrid, comes up with The Byrds. Or the same process happens and you get the Living Voices doing "Positively Fourth Street and other message folk songs." Nat --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: Re: unison versus harmony Received: 01/27/00 12:25 am From: Ron Sauer To: Spectropop! Nat Kone writes: >I don't know if the KS4 lasted into the sixties and made >hippy records - I haven't seen any. The Kirby Stone 4 made a great duet record in the last sixties with the Tokens. They listed thenselves as "The US Double Quartet" and the song was "Life is Groovy" on BT Puppy records. Does anyone know if that one has made it to CD? My copy is very scratchy. Ron --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: Very true Received: 01/27/00 12:25 am From: Carol Kaye To: Spectropop! >>>>>Young people always want to perceive their music as very distinct from their parents'. (Whether it really is or not is completely irrelevant to that.) E.g. in the late '50s Elvis didn't put a sticker on his records saying "Your parents will enjoy this too because my pianist Dudley Brooks used to be Benny Goodman's pianist<<<< You should have seen the ages of the studio musicians who played on all the rock and roll hit records we put out in the 60s LA recording scene. And the fact that a great deal of them were fine jazz musicians, and the rest mostly big-band musicians, hardly a rocker on those recordings. And around the younger newer bunch of producers (who we quickly surmised didn't know much about producing actually but they had the confidence and the money to hire us), we had to keep saying to each other in our group "shhhh.... don't tell anyone we play jazz"....in spite of themselves, we got them hits anyway. But the business started out with very WISE EXPERIENCED older producers like Bumps Blackwell (Sam Cooke recordings, listen to the great hip background vocalists....all bigband top great studio singers, never rockers or soul groups), who is more or less unheralded...he is one of the biggest pioneers of the 60s recorded pop, rock and soul hit sounds...he was smart to use all-experience finest studio musicians, and the rest followed suite. Some of the record co's in the mid 60s tried to record with their own artists' road groups, thinking they could save the studio musicians' fees (we were charging double-scale to most of them by that time), and not have to pay into our benefits, pension funds, etc. through our Musicians' Union. They wanted to "save money". Well, that lasted a few short weeks, they humbly begged us to come back to work for them, after wasting not only precious expensive studio time, but getting a terrible product to boot. They didn't try that again until way later in the 70s when the groups like Toto (I taught David Hungate btw, the bassist), some were able to play their own music well. It's got something to do with marketing alright. Do you think the Beach Boys would have sold as well if the public knew (back then) who really played on their recordings? Or all the cute-guy surf groups? Or Sonny & Cher who created their own hippie images? You should have seen the conventional clothing we all wore, the butch haircuts, and I looked like a prim school-teacher (and still do), etc. Or Motown for that matter either? The 40% that was cut out here in the 60s, from 1962 on (they had their 2 floors of offices out here since then). Or the Monkees who bravely held press conferences denying that "anyone was cutting their hit tracks" while we were in the next-door studio at RCA cutting their tracks? The younger generation would NOT have bought "their" records if they knew that people as old as "their" parents were not only performing on "their" favorite records but were coming up with the MUSICAL IDEAS for them too (except for Brian Wilson, he was the only one, outside of Frank Zappa who had the great ideas, yet many of our guitarists, Hal Blaine on drums, others did contribute some ideas too on Brian's stuff too). YES OF COURSE, it was a sham, a sham that worked...those records were hot sellers. No-one wanted the public to know the "truth" including US!!!! We not only made fabulous monies, but it was the respect, the golden era of recording insuring us good-paying work, and we never had to take the lower-paying jobs to go on the road and leave our families either. >>>As in every other decade, the way to market records to young people was to tell them what they wanted to hear. Young people generally wanted to hear about something vaguely like a "counterculture" and all that good stuff. (These things never change.) Magazines such as Rolling Stone played into this. The rock groups played into this. Basically everybody played into this. As a result, the big <<<< EXACTLY!! Milli-Vanilli was ONLY the tip of the iceberg then, and even now I know many fine musicians who have to sign contracts not to "tell" that they played on such and such a recording, doing their studio work, it continues on. >>>>Who smoked more pot, Zappa or Simon? Gee, THAT can't be what makes music good, can it, whether the artists have an ingenuous, serious commitment to drugs? :-) Who hung out with Coltrane, Thiele or Joplin? Oh wait, never mind. :-)<< << They sure wouldn't have gotten far with our coffee-crowd, it was coffee that cut the 60s hit records, we could cut an album in 6 hours.....in the 70s, with the cocaine/ pot-musicians, it took months. I worked a lot for Thiele for commercials (and a few albums too), never saw him on drugs at all, but he sure had his coffee too. Did a lot for the Association, some for Simon and Garfunkle (some real boring dates I'll tell you, you see my picture on the S&G album, bored up to my eyebrows), they were "slow" but we would knock out hit tracks in seconds it seemed. Why? NO DRUGS, we were not interested in drugs, nor booze, you never get anything done with that crap - however glamorous it looks to the lay-public, most of whom used drugs because they "thought their favorite hit-makers did"....boy did they get fooled - it's a business guys! An image-making business, not a hobby! The Byrds had their studio musicians too do their things too, altho' evidently Roger did play some elec. 12-string on his stuff, yet he had the very conventional Dennis Budimer do some of that too.....Dennis always brought his lunch to work, still is a stick-in-the-mud but a helluva great great jazz guitarist too....he made more money than Tommy Tedesco doing studo work. >>>>Why do many people consider Donovan more hip than Mel Torme? Because he's YOUNGER. That's IT. (Note that Torme's cover of "Sunshine Superman," which is excellent, has been marketed on CD as camp,<<<< Well, now you're talking about vocal style phrasings too... Mel is jazz, always has been no matter if he's singing "Satisfaction" or "It Could Happen To You". I played bass on his hot-selling commercial albums in the 60s, early 70s...we kidded about those when I did a symphony show with him around 1986 in Denver...he told me that his "Games People Play" I played bass on (wall-to-wall notes too, I was trying to wake up a dragging sleepy drummer, we laughed about that too, he knew) was his biggest money-making recording of all time. It's just a matter of styles between Donovon and Mel Torme, depending upon the style of music you like here. Great post Joseph Scott! You got the essence of what the 60s era was all about. Now maybe in time, the public will catch on, so I don't have to keep suing someone for slander who can't believe I played on stuff (playing "messiah games") for my credits. Carol Kaye http://www.carolkaye.com/ --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: Vocal Jazz and Siesta Received: 01/25/00 3:38 am From: Keith D'Arcy To: Spectropop! A quick response (I'm at work...) Siesta's comps often feature "studio" groups that don't really exist per se. Mike Alway, who in the 80's ran the absolutely fabulous, utterly excessive and gorgeous El Records label through Cherry Red is a big fan of soft pop as is his arranger/collaborator Louis Philippe, and the two of them put together these wildly named, fictional pop groups. I love him for these sorts of ideas. El was populated by the most exquisite non-groups. There is a series of mock children's records on Siesta that's put out two fairly well done comps of soft pop covers (Love Generation, Margo Guryan, Eternity's Children). The first two volumes are: "Algebra Spaghetti" and "Instantaneous Ice Cream." Goofy, fun and totally disposable, like the best pop music. There's a brilliant vocal jazz/soft pop reissue out right now by a Phillipino girl group (five sisters, aged 13 to 19) called the Third Wave. It's on Crippled Dick Hot Wax, which usually reissues Italian and German cult film soundtracks. Stunning covers of "Cantaloupe Island" and "Eleanor Rigby" and some great Wendy & Bonnie-esque originals. Over, KD --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Subject: The Liquid Room 1/22/00 Received: 01/25/00 3:38 am From: Ponak, David The Liquid Room airs every Saturday Morning (Friday night) from 3-6 on 90.7 FM KPFK. (98.7 in Santa Barbara County). Also check out my show The Nice Age at http://www.spikeradio.com. The time has changed. I'm now on Sunday afternoons from 3-6 PM, PST. The Liquid Room-1/22/99: 1.The Committee-California My Way Happy Together-The Best Of White Whale Records (Varese Sarabande) 2.Ryuichi Sakamato-Aishiteiru Aishiteinai Smoochy (Milan) 3.Spanky & Our Gang-Without Rhyme Or Reason The Best Of (Mercury) 4.The Beastie Boys (with Miho Hatori)-20 Questions The Sounds Of Science (Grand Royal/Capitol) 5.The Jungle Bros.-Freakin' You V.I.P. (V2) 6.Luke Vibert & BJ Cole-Fly Hawaii Stop The Panic (Astralwerks) 7.Nelson Riddle-Lolita Ya Ya Lolita s/t (Rykodisc) 8.Kraftwerk-Radioactivity The Mix (Elektra) 9.The United States Of America-I Won't Leave My Wooden Wife For You, Sugar The United States Of America (Sony Special Products) 10.Mellow-Instant Love (Andy Votel Remix) Single (East/West UK) 11.Lee Hazlewood-Ten Or 11 Towns Ago 13 (SLR) (GREAT LP! CD Reissue in stores 1/31) 12.Space Ponch-Tati Suite The World Shopping With Space Ponch (Transonic/Flavour-Japan) 13.Colourbox-Baby I Love You So Colourbox (4AD-UK) 14.The Third Wave-Cantaloupe Island Here And Now (Crippled Dick-Germany) 15.Jim O'Rourke-The Workplace Halfway To A Threeway (Drag City) 16.Watermelon-Moon Shaker (Silver Apples Remix) Out Of Body Sessions (File-Japan) 17.Esquivel-Brazil See It In Sound (BMG/7n) 18.Velma-55'291 Cyclique (Emperor Norton) 19.The Bee Gees-Every Christian Lion Hearted Man Will Tell You Bee Gees 1st (Polydor) 20.The Thievery Corporation-Lebanese Blonde (French Version) single (4AD-Germany) 21.Jack Jones-Blue Green Grey And Gone Jack Jones Sings Michel Legrand (RCA) 22.Draco-V-A-C-A-N-T Enter The Draco (Slabco) 23.Peter Yarrow & John Simon-The Wabe You Are What You Eat Soundtrack (Sony Special Products) 24.Air-Bathroom Girl The Virgin Suicides Soundtrack (Astralwerks) 25.Sagittarius-Song To The Magic Frog (Will YOu Ever Know) Present Tense (Sundazed) 26.U-ziq-The Fear Royal Astronomy (Astralwerks) 27.Prof. Takeo Yamashita-Theme From Giant Robot Mission 1 (Nippon Crown) 28.Arling & Cameron-W.E.E.K.E.N.D. Music For Imaginary Films (Emperor Norton) 29.Takako Minekawa-Tiger Fun9 (Emperor Norton) 30.Piero Umiliani-Mah Na Mah Na (Karmexperience Mix) Mah Na Mah Na-The Complete Remix Project (Right Tempo) 31.Group Of Gods-Moon Hotel Group Of Gods (File-Japan) 32.The Mike Theordore Orchestra-High On Mad Mountain High On Mad Mountain (Westbound) 33.Buffalo Daughter-Autoban Musique Non Stop-A Tribute To Kraftwerk (EMI-Japan) 34.Depeche Mode-The Sun And The Rainfall A Broken Frame (Sire) 35.Paul Williams-Morning I'll Be Moving On Someday Man (Reprise) --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- End
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