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Joni Mitchell's Dog Eat Dog Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 8th July 2011
  #1
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Joni Mitchell's Dog Eat Dog

Afternoon Slutz,

Listening to Dog Eat Dog today, as I often do, and yet again it just strikes me as a phenomenal album, but with so much mystery surrounding it. The production, the mixing, the songwriting. It's just a superb album, really stands the testament of great artist = great album.

Wondered if anybody knew anything on the creation of the album, particularly the kind of equipment that gave Joni her warmest vocal, in my opinion.

Take "Good Friends" for example. The vocal delay on See You at the begining of the track makes me shiver, it's brilliant, but how can something be so heavily delayed without mushing? Features the brilliant Michael McDonald too, of who has one of the greatest voices in musical history, in my opinion!

I know Mike Shipley hangs around here, and he's credited with production, so hopefully he can give an insight. Are there any other cats on the board who worked in this record though?

I always thought Mike must have had something to do with the drums, as it has that brilliant signature Fairlight/Def Leppard ring to it, though I could be wrong.

Care to discuss?
Old 8th July 2011
  #2
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jnorman's Avatar
hiya jam - i dont know a thing about the production, but i am right there with you in your appreciation of joni mitchell and michael mcdonald - two of my all time favorites. IMO, joni may be the single most impressive musician and song writer i can think of.
Old 8th July 2011
  #3
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I agree with you buddy!

It seems I can't ever find anything on the making of the "Geffen" records. As much as I love her older records, they're all natural sounding, and it's always the layering I love to hear and learn about.

Layering Bass, layering drum samples etc...

For example, Vinnie Cauilita is the drummer on Dog Eat Dog (For a few tracks at least I think), and although he's a monster drummer, it's still sampled, but reading how Mike Shipley approached the Def Leppard triggering, I always wonder if it was done similarly, because it sounds larger than the "Pyromania" drums to me, but not quite "Hysteria", if that makes any sense?
Old 8th July 2011
  #4
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I was listening to this today as well, it sounds excellent. Sorry, don't have any info but I'll be watching the thread
Old 8th July 2011
  #5
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doorknocker's Avatar
I just did a search because I remember Mike talking about 'Night Ride Home' here which is another brilliant album:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/exper...ride-home.html
Old 8th July 2011
  #6
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Oh wow,

I searched before starting the thread, and couldn't find the link above. What a wonderful piece. I don't think Joni's made a bad album! She really is quite a talent.

I think it'll be interesting if Mike pop's up to hear the difference now I've had an insight into Night Ride Home, as Dog Eat Dog was presumably recorded in a professional studio.

It seems ShipShape is never far away from sessions with plenty of experimentation for the right sounds...
Old 9th July 2011
  #7
Gear Head
 

Joni Mitchell "Darkness and Light" is the main album I listen when I want to hear great song writing and musicianship. Micheal Brecker, Jaco Pastorious, Pat Metheny and Joni Mitchell.

And Joni Mitchell is a very cool and personable person. I met her at a studio party in Hollywood one time. She was a nice as could be to me then flicked a cigarette butt 30 feet and got it right in the open toilet.

And she's a great shot.
Old 9th July 2011
  #8
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Mike O's Avatar
 

There are tons of stories out there w/regard to Vinnie C. amazing ability to play as if on a grid.....without a click. But Joni and Larry Klein were beginning to use a Farlight then. Joni seems to have a beef w/Thomas Dolby and his role in the project. Programmer, most certainly. (Co) Producer? She SEEMS to have an issue with that as can be found on the web.

Amazing album. ALL the Joni albums Shipley was involved (yeah all the others too) with are fantastic and appear to share a thread of thought between Mike S., Larry K., Joni, and some of the side men in they share.

As mentioned, above 'Night Ride Home' has some truly fantastic mixing by Mike.
Old 9th July 2011
  #9
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I saw the same thing with Dolby, on the album he credited as a producer, but on Joni's site he's credited as something like a data collector. So it'd be cool to find out who did what, as according to the liner notes, there were a lot of people, wearing a lot of different hats!
Old 9th July 2011
  #10
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Mike is certainly the king of the vocal recording it seems.

I find the Vocal tracks on Dog Eat Dog to have the same aural quality as on the latest Alison Krauss record that Mike engineered. So it'll be interesting to hear if there is continuity between the two!

Keep the thread alive
Old 9th July 2011
  #11
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Michael McDonald is a MONSTER. I suggested we cover What A Fool Believes in a band I was in years ago (we had a great chick singer) cuz I always thought it was a great pc of songwriting. A really bright brother kindly charted out the keyboard part for me otherwise it would taken me about a year to figure out all the subtle harmonic Kung Fu Michael had crafted into that great Doobies tune.

Joni is phenomonal as well, nice to see some love for both of them on Gearslutz.

Peace
Old 9th July 2011
  #12
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shadows and light is indeed one of the best albums. there's a dvd of the live performance from the record- metheny, mays, jaco, brecker and alias- all killing it. one of my favorites.
also- don't leave Turbulent Indigos out of the conversation. Another gem.
David
Old 9th July 2011
  #13
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themaidsroom's Avatar
 

i love almost all of Joni's work.
"Dog Eat Dog" was the first Joni Mitchell record I ever bought, something
my older boomer friends find hard to believe. what a great combo, that Thomas Dolby production with Joni.
"Night Ride Home", to me, is the masterpiece of the geffen era. I like
all of those records. I recently had "wild things run fast" in the car in London
in waxing nostalgic about times in the car with that record in Los Angeles
in the 1990's.......
I am just now in nyc for twelve days from London.....back to my tape
and vinyl......I have "Night Ride Home" on vinyl......a radio 12" of "good
friends" a radio 12" of "secret place".......
that may help shake this jet lag




be well


- Jack
Old 9th July 2011
  #14
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Tone Laborer's Avatar
No Joni fan should DARE leave "Hejira" off the list. Do so at your own musical peril.

I've been a fan since "Clouds" () In my subjective opinion; No one can touch her. No one even comes close. There are a lot of amazing songwriters out there, but JM brings something completely unique to the table.

On a more recent note, "Shine" is utterly brilliant.

I would also like to hear any recording whatnot about any of her records.
Old 9th July 2011
  #15
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I think a lot of folks were cold to 'Dog Eat Dog' coz of it's 80's sound, lots of digital reverb, Fairlight etc. It's a big sonic departure from her 70's material, but then why shouldn't it be? Time moves on, and so do artists like the great Joni M.

It's not my 'fave' record of hers, partly coz it feels too controlled to me at times. Very little in the way of solos or letting the musicians stretch out, and yet from a songwriting, production and 'artistic' pov, it still stands as a heavyweight piece of work, like almost everything Joni does.

As a drummer, I particularly liked hearing some of Vinnie's incredibly tasty playing. I can't remember which tune it's on, maybe 'You're So Cool', (is that the right album?) but during the fade Vinnie starts really going off the rails with some hilarious mind-blowing fills. It's one of the few places he lets slip a bit of his Zappa heritage, and maybe it's moments like that that made me wish the album had a little more musical 'fun' and personality sprinkled throughout.

I even was lucky enough to see Joni live at a small Toronto concert at the CNE Bandshell around the time of this album -- the only time I got to see her live. And Vinnie was on drums too. It was a frikkin awesome incredible show. Great songs, thrilling musicianship, and Joni herself holding court and having fun. So glad I got to see that, and the memory's still fresh.


*** Edit: My memory's not as fresh as I thought... I just went back and checked my record collection, only to realize that the album/tour I'm thinking about was 'Wild Things Run Fast' ! D'oh! Though I still think the musicians sound a little too 'reined in' on Joni's last 3 or 4 releases, from Wild THings through to Night Ride Home and Turbulent Indigo. I'd love to hear her get back to the more free-floating and expansive musical territory of Mingus, Hejira, etc. Not the same old school sounds necessarily. Just more breathing room for the music and the musicians to hold their own against the torrent of J's powerful lyrics.
Old 10th July 2011
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timtoonz View Post
I think a lot of folks were cold to 'Dog Eat Dog' coz of it's 80's sound, lots of digital reverb, Fairlight etc. It's a big sonic departure from her 70's material, but then why shouldn't it be? Time moves on, and so do artists like the great Joni M.
The sonic departure I found was not something bad, but beautiful sounding and a great chapter in Joni Mitchell's career. It's so well produced, I don't think it gets anywhere near the praise it should. I wonder if any of the sounds on Dog Eat Dog were used on any of the Def Leppard records Mike did.


Sent from my HTC Wildfire using Gearslutz.com App
Old 10th July 2011
  #17
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axisdreamer's Avatar
You guys left out another really good cd of Joni's

"Chalk mark in a rainstorm" one of my all time favs...



"The beat of black wings" is one of my fav joni songs ever ,although I like many of her cd's and albums.I started with Court and Spark in my teens and loved the cd's she did with her husband Larry!

Check out the video done with live dancers on stage for Joni's last cd "Shine" I think netflix has it and it's worth seeing.
Old 10th July 2011
  #18
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Originally Posted by axisdreamer View Post
You guys left out another really good cd of Joni's

"Chalk mark in a rainstorm" one of my all time favs...
Another Joni/Shipley record! Love to hear any tales from these sessions!

Sent from my HTC Wildfire using Gearslutz.com App
Old 10th July 2011
  #19
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Chalk Mark/Dog Eat Dog/ Mingus -

3 of my favourite albums of all time
Old 11th July 2011
  #20
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Originally Posted by beats workin' View Post
shadows and light is indeed one of the best albums. there's a dvd of the live performance from the record- metheny, mays, jaco, brecker and alias- all killing it. one of my favorites.
I appreciate it now, but I saw that tour in Providence and when the album/video was released, it sounded frantic and coked out to me. The show I saw (sans Michael Brecker) was much more relaxed and transcendent. Jaco was subtle and sublime. I had seen him the year before with Weather Report and had enjoyed his unrestrained jubilance at that show, so it was a great contrast. It took a while for me to be able to listen to the album, but I do love it now.


I also saw the Wild Things Run Fast tour in Boston on the Common. It was pretty good, but she got pissed at people walking around during her set and left the stage. I still loved the show! I agree that Hejira is one of the best all time albums and the way that Larry Klein extrapolated a very cool reggae line out of a single Jaco phrase in Refuge of the Roads was just awesome. I'm pretty sure that Vinnie was playing at that show and he killed it.
Old 11th July 2011
  #21
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Joni's home studio put together by Mike had a Trident Series 70 I believe.
Old 12th July 2011
  #22
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Originally Posted by tubehead View Post
Joni's home studio put together by Mike had a Trident Series 70 I believe.
I believe it was used on Night Ride Home onwards, it featured an Otari tape machine too if I remember rightly?
Old 13th July 2011
  #23
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Originally Posted by jampottt View Post
I believe it was used on Night Ride Home onwards, it featured an Otari tape machine too if I remember rightly?
Found this on Joni's site "Joni's main recording guitar has been a Martin D28, which she records using an AKG C12 mic. The mic's output is routed through a Neve 1073 preamp and Urei 1176 compressor on its way to her Trident 70 mixer. She treats vocals the same way except when she records vocals and guitar together, in which case she leaves the C12 on the guitar and sings into a Neumann U 67. Joni's outboard gear includes a slew of Yamaha effects (REV7s, REV5s, SPX90s and SPX 1 1000s) as well as a complement of compressors and limiters including a Urei LA-2A, dbx 165A and dbx 160X. She tracks to an Otari MTR-90 through Dolby SR noise reduction units, monitoring via Yamaha NS10s and Genelec speakers. Keyboards include a Sequential Prophet-5, Roland JD-800, Roland Juno 60 and Yamaha baby grand piano."
Old 1st May 2018
  #24
Here for the gear
"There's two chords where it see-saws back and forth from one to another and she'd sing those stacks and then we sampled those with an AMS digital delay and then triggered them with like a rim shot or something like that. And so what you're actually hearing is these two different samples being triggered da-da da-da / da-da da-da."

Joni Mitchell Library - Rock Master Class: Capitol Radio 95.8 FM, December 29, 1985

Here's the link to the interview with Joni Mitchell and her then husband where she meticulously describes the songwriting process and another details of the album
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