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.
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 ?