This album is the epitome of why I wanted to do this challenge. It is truly an experience and is meant to be listened to as a full body of work, from start to finish.
Even the album art is a part of the story.
"Time" - every instrument is placed so perfectly in the stereo field *at the end of the album I can say the same thing for every song* - if I close my eyes I can picture exactly where everyone is on stage. Aubrey Whitfield, a producer from London, talks about listening with your eyes closed to mixes. I do this when I'm listening to comps to make sure there aren't pops or uneven transitions. but I should do this more often with the full mix to envision the stage.
The transitions between songs are so seamless. This is the feel I'm going for with my french album - each song has an interlude between it that transitions keys - I REALLY hope it translates the way this album does.
The intro for "Money" is so iconic.
"Us and Them" - I could listen to this song on repeat all day.
Listening to this album, I can hear the difference in audiences of the 70s vs today. Long, trance-inducing instrumental sections and space in songs. The space is so important to making the music engaging.
The background vocals throughout - especially in "Eclipse" - are amazing. I am a sucker for good BGs. I would LOVE to hear the stems for this album. (I'm sure someone has them online somewhere).
I honestly don't have much to say about this album because I was so entranced by it that I spent most of my listening time with my eyes closed. Whoever sent in this album, thank you!
I don't think I've ever seen this album artwork before... weird. I love this album though - I'm sure I've listened to it 2 or 3 times over the years.
I love everything about the timing in Black Dog.
The flutes at the beginning of Stairway to Heaven remind me of my parent's friend Gord who plays flute and who used to jam with bands. He must still do that. When I was in grades 7 to 9, I played flute and I always wanted to be able to improvise like him. I LOVED the addition of the flute to all the classics that usually you'd just hear folks strumming on guitar. Maybe I should break out the flute again...
The guitar tone in this song is immaculate.
During the solo it sounds like the electric is being panned back and forth super quickly to add dimension??
I know I shouldn't listen to loud music to protect my ears but I can't help but blast this one.
Another example of the mix getting quieter before a big moment! Go listen from 6:50 to 7:16 and you'll hear it.
"Misty Mountain Hop" - I love the dissonance in the vocals at the beginning of this song. It's such a unique sound. The bass and guitar riff repetition throughout the whole song is something I wouldn't think to do but that serves this song really well.. it brings the groove to the track with its syncopation and drive.. Thinking about how I could incorporate this in to my own music.. It would have to be a very specific tune to work.
"Four Sticks" is so fuckin cool. 5/8 and 6/8 time signatures. The synths in this tune are veeery cool. I definitely don't need more gear but I do want a vintage synth.. (maybe one day!) This song shows off the drummer's impeccable timing. It's not often I hear songs in irregular time signatures but I love it. I should make a playlist.. Or find one (I'm sure they exist online).
The vocal reverb on "Going to California" is amazing and I love that it is intensified for certain parts.
The harmonica part in "When the Levee Breaks" makes me want to learn harmonica.
Cool phaser on the vocals.
This album uses so many cool instruments and time signatures.. I think that more than the production, this album is just a really great example of great songwriting and collaboration.
This is an album I listened to a lot as a kid. Stevie Ray Vaughan is my dad's favourite. I remember dancing to "Pride and Joy" in our living room, with wall-to-wall blue carpet and an old record player. We weren't allowed to jump near the record player so the needle wouldn't bounce. But we always listened REALLY loud, because according to dad, that's how you're supposed to listen to music.
I love the walking bass lines in blues music so much. I think I learned a lot about melody from this record. Really makes me wish I could play the electric guitar....
"Testify" is just wow.
"Mary Had a Little Lamb" is another one I remember well. This song has me thinking about how they would have gone about tracking - was it everyone in the studio playing together, or one track at a time.... are they using a metronome? Did the bassist and drummer track together first and then add in the guitar? I have never tracked that way personally, but for my song You, Chris Iannetti tracked everyone at the same time, in isolation rooms, and then we overdubbed the guitars and vocals. I'll need more ins on my interface if I want to track that way though.
"Pride and Joy" = "I'm Cryin'" : melodically and instrumentally this is the exact same song, but the lyrics are completely flipped. I'm Cryin' describes a relationship going badly, vs. Pride and Joy describing a dream love. What a cool concept. I'm sure I noticed this the last time I listened through the album (not sure how long ago now), but it's a good reminder that music can be reused in new ways.
"Lenny" - immediately added to the favourites list. I love a good slow jam.
Sticky note: Get the sound you want at the source, so you don't have to process it in the box.
Make use of space.
Overall: these albums were much more manageable to listen to in a week - None of them had 30 songs ! Also, they are classics and I love everything about them.
If you want to listen along with me (in a condensed way), I'll be adding my favourites each week to a Spotify playlist, which you can find here: