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6 Classic Recordings That Have No Business Existing (Part One)

Learn about the secret screw ups behind some of the greatest songs you've ever heard.

Kathy Shaidle


February 19, 2013 - 7:00 am
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Today, when every computer ships with GarageBand-type software, sour notes can be sweetened with Auto Tune, and radio stations broadcast focus-grouped computerized playlists, there seems to be no room for the serendipity — – or sheer incompetence and confusion — that helped create some of the greatest records of all time.

For instance, the ultimate irony of the urban legend that “Louie, Louie” is a “dirty” song (there’s a whole book about it) is that today you can just about make out what the FBI(!) couldn’t back in 1963:

The Kingsmen drummer’s frustrated “f-word” at around the 0:55 mark.

What you can’t hear are the backstories: the flukes, accidents, misunderstandings, coincidences, white lies, and willpower that wrenched classic songs from crazy recording sessions.

What you know about a particular recording can change the way it sounds.

If you’re my age, you’ve heard Boston’s “More Than a Feeling” about 10,000 times, which may be 9,999 times more than you ever wanted.

But you may not realize that lead singer Brad Delp “actually hits those high notes; there’s nothing electronic helping him.”

One of the more remarkable vocal pyrotechnics on an album where Delp’s singing gives Scholz’s guitar work a run for its money is on the passage where Delp’s ever-rising tenor rides into the first notes of the signature guitar solo, a move Boylan says was planned and executed flawlessly on virtually the first take.

You may also not know that Brad Delp committed suicide in 2007.

Now, give that 1976 recording one more listen.

See if it sounds… different.

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The way the articles at PJM are augering into the dummy file remind of of the Rad Baron's last flight in France. It's all crash and burn. The only thing that Kathy Shaidle knows less about than music is head angling when she's about to be photographed. Or perhaps, writing.

Locating her point is like finding a needle in a haystack.

The beach was a Wilson inspiration? Does it matter?

If you don't surf, do you not like the beach?

Fact is, nothing captivated the Brian like Spector's wall of sound in be my baby by the Ronettes.

Tell me a little about T Bone Walker's influence on Chuck Berry. The 50 second musical outro in Morrison's touch me. Why the suspended 4th starting a Hard Day's Night is such an internet mystery. Unravel the Otis Blackwell all shook up controversy.

Highlighting the obvious isn't the mark of a good writer. If I were your ink, I'd be embarrassed.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
I don't know if this is on-topic or not, but somebody needs to be indicted for not promoting Bob Seger earlier in his career.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
The definition of Chutzpah is linking back to the article you've cribbed a third of this article from. Or is Johnny Lepper your alias?
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
Daley says that Delp's vocal was " . . . planned and executed flawlessly on virtually the first take." Well, was it the first take, or was it not the first take? What is a "virtual" first take? This is poor writing. If it took 3 takes, say so.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
I think it is a stretch to mention Esquerita or whatever his name is in the same breath as Little Richard.

I go back to beginning of rock 'n' roll listening to Alan Freed on WINS up in my home in Canada when he was totally alone on the airwaves with this music.

Two things have to be understood. We didn't see the singers. It was all in the sound. In the US there was segregation but when we heard Little Richard, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, and Bo Diddley, no one of our generation cared. Bill Haley and the Comets in the movie Blackboard Jungle brought the the music to the grand stage, but no one saw them. Then the country boys came along starting with Carl Perkins and of course Elvis and Jerry Lee and even Johnny Cash. Getting on TV for Elvis was a huge deal and the rockers didn't get on very often in the early days.

The sound was the thing and I must say from this one clip of Esquerita, his sound is inferior. I know them all from that era and I never heard of him Those who made it big, and there were only teenagers listening, it was the fact that they stood out on the airwaves and they made you dance.

In my own former life I was part of a group that is credited with making the first rock 'n' roll record domestically in Canada in 1958. Shhh Blast Off by the Asteroids. No one over 20 even knew what we were doing.
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
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