Taken from the fantastic DVD “Classic Albums: The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon“, this clip has loads of great things for audio geeks like us to enjoy, including (probably) the first time a band ever played to a tape loop (and how the loop was made), another great example of double-tracking (this time on a guitar solo) and a superb illustration of how quite extreme-sounding delay and reverb (on Gilmour’s vocal) sound great in the context of the whole mix.
[Edit – since i wrote this post the original clip has been removed – you can see the section I was talking about featuring the song ‘Money’ starting at 28’47” in the video above]
The DVD of ‘The Making of Dark Side Of The Moon’ has been in the Production Advice Bookstore since I first set up the site, and is strongly recommended viewing for anyone interested in writing, recording and mixing.
In a slightly different vein, here is an unusual and – for me – rather disturbing video acompaniment to what is arguably Dark Side‘s best track – “The Great Gig In The Sky”
Several years ago I was lucky enough to work with Clare Torry, the vocalist on this track, mastering an album of her other music over the years for RPM records. She was originally paid £30 (!) for her work on the session, but in 2004 reached a settlement with the band and is now credited as co-writer with Richard Wright on the album’s sleeve.
Clare wasn’t bitter – she’d worked regularly with members of the band since recording the song – but there was obviously a fascinating clash of opinions taking place.
To them, she was a talented session musician who did a great job and was paid the going rate. Whereas in her mind, “Great Gig” is the stand-out emotional moment on this classic album and it would have been nothing without her incredible vocal – a viewpoint that I agree with, and so presumably did the High Court.
However Clare’s album, “Heaven in the Sky“, although it contains a mixture of fun, interesting music and quirky period pieces, with a handful of really good songs, has nothing that even comes close to competing with the searing intensity of her vocal for Floyd. A vocal she says came entirely from her, un-coached by the band – more so in fact by engineer Alan Parsons.
“Money” and “The Great Gig In The Sky” are perfect examples of that.
The blending of great musicians, unexpected elements (like a potter’s mixing bowl!) and technical innovation with a little luck and a dash of pure magic, all go together to create a musical whole that is far greater than the sum of it’s parts.
Are there any examples of times when you’ve made a little musical alchemy ?