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Arthur Brown ...Stealer's Wheel .. Lime in Coconut
Old 3rd May 2011
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Arthur Brown ...Stealer's Wheel .. Lime in Coconut

How vivid are your memories of recording "Fire". I've always wondered about the reverb on that one (plate.. chamber etc) and also .. it has such a cool texture to the track itself. Was that still 8 track then? 16 track? Lots of submixing? There's a reall earthy, gritty sound to that organ in there and these kinds of tracks from the 60's always fascinate me as to how they may have been mic'd and tracked. I suppose the intro screaming was a splice in ?

And Star from Stealer's Wheel ... wow... a nice production and I've always wondered about the tracking and micing on that. Seems to be very very little reverb on the vocal's and Jerry's voice sounds great... those two -part Beatley type up and down intertwining hardmonies are very cool and the guitars so full sounding !! This is another song that has a nice texture to everything. Was this 16 or 24 track by then? And why kazoos on Star? Any particular story on that?

I've also always wondered about Nilsson ... was he a quiet singer? Such as on Lime .. or even on Without You? Or blasting out those parts in the studio? I always hear that Daryl Hall actually does all his singing at a fairly low volume and still manages that nice range he has. Was Nilsson the same way? Such great control in that voice of his on those tracks.

I ALMOST hear Nilsson stuff as being a huge number of vocal punch ins ... but maybe it's just that he had fantastic control and a great method of working the mic (or you on compressors or faders) while tracking his vocals. What were some of the techniques for tracking him?
Old 5th May 2011
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It may come as a shock - Fire was 4 track. Many instruments recorded including a backwards bass drum and then mixed down to another 4 track machine. Arthur and I tried to re-record Fire in 2000 - almost impossible to get the same result. The only thing I can think off regarding '60's sounds - few mic's used, 4 on drums, 2 on Hammond. Vince Crane got such great sounds.
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller produced the Stealer's Wheel album. recorded at Basing Street Studio One. 24 track, quite 'straight' sessions. Drums - AKG D12 on Bass drum, AKG 224 on Snare, Neumann U87's on Toms and Overheads. Bass D/I and AKG D20 on amp. Recorded fast, just a few weeks including the mixing. Mike Stoller thought the Kazoos were an unusual sound!
Nillsson sang at a relatively low level - easy going and quiet, unless drunk.
Album recorded on 16 track - very few drop-ins with vocals - top to end vocal takes.
We had very limited technology, EMT plates, ADT machine, Urei 1176 compressors. Some good mic's, but no U47's or anything pre 1969.
There's a chapter on Nillsson in Are We Still Rolling?
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