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For George - Joshua Judges Ruth
Old 10th November 2005
  #1
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
For George - Joshua Judges Ruth

This is to George.

I think that Lyle Lovett's "Joshua judges Ruth" is a brilliant and unique record, emotionally, aesthetically and technically.

One of the most striking things about it is how dynamic it is, especially by dramatic contrast to today's crushed-to-a-paste records. When you play it, you have to turn your stereo up a couple notches and it leaps and darts organically with the (very skilled and graceful) natural playing dynamics of the musicians and singers. It moves almost like a jazz or classical record.

I wonder if you could share any insights or memories about the making of this record. More pointedly, I wonder if this dynamic range was deliberate and hard fought for (with management and record company resistance perhaps?) or if it was one of those things that was never discussed?

Thanks for sharing your time and wisdom.

Chad
Old 12th November 2005
  #2
gml
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JJR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya
This is to George.

I think that Lyle Lovett's "Joshua judges Ruth" is a brilliant and unique record, emotionally, aesthetically and technically.

One of the most striking things about it is how dynamic it is, especially by dramatic contrast to today's crushed-to-a-paste records. When you play it, you have to turn your stereo up a couple notches and it leaps and darts organically with the (very skilled and graceful) natural playing dynamics of the musicians and singers. It moves almost like a jazz or classical record.

I wonder if you could share any insights or memories about the making of this record. More pointedly, I wonder if this dynamic range was deliberate and hard fought for (with management and record company resistance perhaps?) or if it was one of those things that was never discussed?

Thanks for sharing your time and wisdom.

Chad
That was a tough record to make. I felt like I was the only one who heard i tthat way, other thanthe brilliant musicians on the record. I fought with noone more than with Lyle Lovett himself. Not sure why...maybe insecurity, maybe madness, during the making of this record Lyle treated me and every idea I had with suspicion and distrust. Every word I said, every move I made, had to be justified and defended (think your worst nightmare of a control freak in the recording studio). Overall, the feeling I was left with was that I was taking a very great deal of his money for doing nothing but interfering with his artistic vision.

He has not made a better record since.

George Massenburg

Last edited by gml; 12th November 2005 at 11:47 AM.. Reason: 2nd thoughts
Old 12th November 2005
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gml
That was a tough record to make. I felt like I was the only one who heard i tthat way, other thanthe brilliant musicians on the record. I fought with noone more than with Lyle Lovett himself. Not sure why...maybe insecurity, maybe madness, during the making of this record Lyle treated me and every idea I had with suspicion and distrust. Every word I said, every move I made, had to be justified and defended (think your worst nightmare of a control freak in the recording studio). Overall, the feeling I was left with was that I was taking a very great deal of his money for doing nothing but interfering with his artistic vision.

He has not made a better record since.

George Massenburg
Wow....What an insight!! Thanks brother George!

It is one album I would feel a loss without.

Thanks for that contribution G!
Old 12th November 2005
  #4
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by gml
He has not made a better record since.
I agree.

It's a cliche, I guess, but sometimes the strongest work is borne out of the breach of conflict. Sorry it was a miserable process, but the result is beautiful to me. Thanks for your response.

-- c
Old 12th November 2005
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by gml
That was a tough record to make. I felt like I was the only one who heard i tthat way, other thanthe brilliant musicians on the record. I fought with noone more than with Lyle Lovett himself. Not sure why...maybe insecurity, maybe madness, during the making of this record Lyle treated me and every idea I had with suspicion and distrust. Every word I said, every move I made, had to be justified and defended (think your worst nightmare of a control freak in the recording studio). Overall, the feeling I was left with was that I was taking a very great deal of his money for doing nothing but interfering with his artistic vision.

He has not made a better record since.

George Massenburg
Mr. Massenburg.

I am also one of the people who think JJR is the best recording in the world. It sits on my CD player since I bought it. I did not know that you had a hard time to make the record. I'd like to say that your sweat and blood gave us one of the greatest record in the music history.(at least for me)

When can we listen to a record from your new room?

Thank you for your time here.

T.H J

Old 12th November 2005
  #6
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HudHudson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gml
He has not made a better record since.
This is one of my desert island discs - thanks for sticking to your vision, George,
Old 13th November 2005
  #7
Gear addict
 
Waylon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gml

He has not made a better record since.

George Massenburg

just to add to the pileup, I also agree, and by a long shot... "I Love Everybody" was a massive letdown... oh well.

The good news is that Mary chapin Carpenter made what I consider to be JJR part 2... "Time,Sex,Love" amazing disc...and guess who made the album.... Well done George.

JUst so that this post isnt just ass kissing, I have to ask something else, was Joshua Judges Ruth recorded to the Sony Dash at 16 bit? I seem to think it was, it is my stock answer when people complain that dig is not up to par sonically.... I actually had one anti dig guy have a one hour bitchign session at me in the car about how dig is thin, etc and then when "North dakota" came up on the shuffle play, he looked at me and said " See, ANALOG is king, listen to that!!"
Old 13th November 2005
  #8
Gear maniac
 

George, absolutely one of the best albums!! So much depth! So clean and so warm!!!

I'd love to hear how you mic'd the choir on Church? Did you record that song live in one sweep?
Old 13th November 2005
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveH
George, absolutely one of the best albums!! So much depth! So clean and so warm!!!

I'd love to hear how you mic'd the choir on Church? Did you record that song live in one sweep?
Church...Church...Church!!!! One of my all time favorite songs in history.

Man that song just floors me!

IMO...THAT very song sums up what is possible when pro audio genuis meets artistic vision.
My particular thanks again for this album...it lets me see experience the potential.
Old 14th November 2005
  #10
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya
This is to George.
One of the most striking things about it is how dynamic it is, especially by dramatic contrast to today's crushed-to-a-paste records. When you play it, you have to turn your stereo up a couple notches and it leaps and darts organically with the (very skilled and graceful) natural playing dynamics of the musicians and singers. It moves almost like a jazz or classical record.
Chad
I love that record toooo! Chad, have you heard NEW PANTS by Flim and the BB's? Its probably 10 yrs old now but I still use that for a reference. Its just so musical and full of dynamics. Most of the compositions are classic. The sonics are just killer thanks to George. But the reason I bring it up is the dynamics. They are just right! Things swell, and fade, and occasionally Jump Out wonderfully. The soprano and alto sax sounds are so damn rich and creamy. I remember telling George that that album has the hugest cymbals I ever heard. I know thats a wierd adjective for cymbals, but they are so clear like someone was playing them sweetly right next to your ear. I bet George was using those wierd B&K mics on the overheads or something? The only other overheads that had anything close were some recorded with Earthwork mics.

Artistic contention is a good thing. If theres not a tug and pull, I think you may be headed towards some cookie cutter music. Ive been such a huge fan of Georges records since 1972, and we have to be thankful that Lyle and George got together for that album. Anyway, check out NEW PANTS if you love natural dynamics and sophisticated and melodic Jazz. Not sure where the BB's are nowadays. Goerge did the next record after NEW PANTS TOO but I never found it at my record store but borrowed a copy from a friend. Its great to0.
Old 14th November 2005
  #11
gml
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Flim & The BB's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Derr
[...] George did the next record after NEW PANTS TOO but I never found it at my record store but borrowed a copy from a friend. Its great too.
Thanks for the kind words, Dave. The second record was "This Is A Recording" Allmusic.com in their infinite wisdom gives that one 2 starts (New Pants got 4). At the same time Warner Bros in their infinite wisdom have removed both records from their catalog.

George
Old 14th November 2005
  #12
Gear addict
 
Billster's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gml

He has not made a better record since.
True. I love that record with its transparent, dynamic sound !

Bill
Old 14th November 2005
  #13
Lives for gear
 
MJGreene Audio's Avatar
 

New Pants is a great companion to JJR as far as a benchmark of sound. Great album and amazing dynamics. Plus you have to love a great drummer, a great PB drum kit, and an great engineer that knows enough to not leave his sonic footprints all over him.

Just fantastic,
Michael Greene
Old 15th November 2005
  #14
Gear Head
 

George,

I've been using 'I've Been To Memphis' as a critical listening track in an course I teach at Columbia College Chicago. It's been a standard listening track for me since its release, but I use it not only for its excellent overall sonic qualitites, (still amazes me that it's digital) but its superbly crafted balance across the frequency spectrum. It's especially revealing because you can hear it happen as each instrument enters the song.

Of course, I know nothing about the recording process (though I now know it was a difficult one). Any information you'd care to devulge - vocal mic, for example? Also, a colleague of mine suggests that the reverb on the drum set is natural from the Ocean Way room - ? I'd love to enlighten the 'next generation' to some of the thoughts and techniques that went into that album. Most excellent.
Old 21st November 2005
  #15
Gear Head
 

When you say LL was resistant to suggestion what do you mean? Mic Placement? Reverb Depth? Or more like "What if you used a horn section instead of a pedal steel" ? Thanks
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