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The Smiths in the studio
Old 29th January 2007
  #31
Gear Nut
 

Another fine Marr moment can be found on Talking Heads last album Naked. Marr plays some African major scale sort of thing on the song Nothing but Flowers. Check it out. One of the best Heads albums too.
Old 29th January 2007
  #32
Gear Maniac
 
danocaster's Avatar
 

I've heard Chrissie Hynde refer more than once to an era where Johnny played guitar w/ the Pretenders ( BRIEFLY ) - has anyone heard or seen anything from theat era ??

I think he would have really shined in the Pretenders (following Jimmy Scott's death)
Old 29th January 2007
  #33
Gear Addict
 
KingUgly's Avatar
They were just the true identity of "alternative" music back when that word meant something. They may have been abhorred by the mainstream, but that was the point, as I recall.
Old 29th January 2007
  #34
Here for the gear
 

The thin sound of those albums may have to do with the medium they were recorded to. You would think mid 80's is probably an Ampex, MCI or Studer 24 track, but the Smiths recorded to an early digital monster called the Mitsubishi x-850.

As far as the band itself, I think the real unsung hero is the bassist, Andy Rourke. Go back and listen to some of those bass lines. WOW.
Old 29th January 2007
  #35
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john caldwell's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus77 View Post
...For all you fellow Marr fans out there, be sure to check out his work with Neil Finn, too—especially the 2001 Auckland "Seven Worlds Collide" concert (CD / DVD), which also features Radiohead's Ed O'Brien and Phil Selway, Lisa Germano, Sebastian Steinberg and Eddie Vedder. Unquestionably my favorite "all-star" "composite band" performance...
I'm glad Daedalus77 mentioned this Neil Finn performance. Like D. says, this is a simply great set of moments in pop music. Don't walk, but run, to your DVD store for the Seven Worlds Collide piece! And yes, J. Marr is a great addition here.

John-
Old 29th January 2007
  #36
Quote:
Originally Posted by hunt15 View Post
The thin sound of those albums may have to do with the medium they were recorded to. You would think mid 80's is probably an Ampex, MCI or Studer 24 track, but the Smiths recorded to an early digital monster called the Mitsubishi x-850.
1st album "The Smiths" was recorded on a 2" Telefunken M15a 24 track multitrack, I should know, it was my job as assistant on that record to line it up every morning. (but unlike this photo, I was trained to put away the isopropyl alcohol and Que Tips away before loading up a reel onto it!!!!)

Matrix studios London, had 3 of these machines. I learned to love them. They have two HF line up pots one for 8k and one for 16k (I think) I got very good at lining them up after a while.....

The studios tech staff had so much confidence in the German engineering of the tape head block assembly and the way it sat in its base that we used to de-mag the heads by lifting off it's cover, unscrewing two knurled knobs that held it onto its machined base , remove the whole block and then wipe it across a bulk eraser, (avoiding actual physical contact) then screw it back on again..

I doubt people have the nerve to do that sort of thing much anymore as they might fear azimuth issues, but it was the standard MO of that studio in those days.. Pretty 'gonzo' as I look back... heh

I am sure The Smiths moved on to use many of the flavor de jour multitracks after this first record...
Attached Images
The Smiths in the studio-telefunken_m15a_24.jpg 
Old 29th January 2007
  #37
C/G
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C/G's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
1st album "The Smiths" was recorded on a 2" telefunken M15a 24 track multitrack, I should know, it was my job as assistant on that record to line it up every morning.

Old 29th January 2007
  #38
Here for the gear
 

Jules:

That's interesting that you were the assistant on those first sessions. I was getting the Mitsubishi info from a Stephen Street article in SOS. I think from Meat is Murder through at least The Queen is Dead (maybe even some Louder than Bombs)they used the x-850 and an SSl console at Jacobs Farm. Soundwise, I always thought Hatful of Hollow was the best.

I for one would love to hear more from you about those sessions.

Thanks.
Old 29th January 2007
  #39
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starcrash13's Avatar
Quote:
As far as the band itself, I think the real unsung hero is the bassist, Andy Rourke. Go back and listen to some of those bass lines. WOW.
He was great. I remember reading an article about him in Mojo. Apparently, he was a ruthless heroin addict during that whole period.

Quote:
Marr plays some African major scale sort of thing on the song Nothing but Flowers.
That's funny. I was just listening to that the other day in my car and was wondering who was playing guitar on Flowers. Thanks.
Old 29th January 2007
  #40
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starcrash13's Avatar
I was just listening to "This Charming Man" and I can't even begin to grasp how one could could come up with a guitar part like that. It's so complex, yet comes off so natural and accompanies the vocals perfectly. There must have been some divine inspiration (or perhaps the Devil).

After all, "the Devil will find work for idle hands to do."
Old 29th January 2007
  #41
Gear Nut
 

I used to love There's a light that never goes out. But - after five years hard work with a home studio and lots of reading up on sound etc on the net I suddenly noticed the dreadful snare sound on that song. Didn't bother me before.
Old 29th January 2007
  #42
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woomanmoomin's Avatar
 

Feeling your remarks on Talking Heads' 'Naked' album, bo jorgen. I was singing 'Totally Naked' to myself only this evening. Well, I guess that's just the kind of guy I am. I love the slide guitar on that album too, along with pretty much EVERYTHING ELSE. I can't help thinking 'Cool Water' is kind of the Talking Heads or David Byrne masterpiece that everyone forgot to notice or something.

I knew a guy who did a degree dissertation mostly on the lyrics on that album. Plenty to write about. 'I'd pretend that I was a billboard', etc. (and this from a man who first started making a name for himself by nailing fish to walls and shaving himself, dry, without a mirror (I think), on stage.

I also knew a guy who did a dissertation on sado-masochism and homosexuality in Warner Brothers cartoons. Yup, plenty of material there as well.

'Don't leave me standing here. I can't get used to this lifestyle.'

By the way, bo, let me thank you in advance for (probably) ruining 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out' for me (when I next hear that snare). Not all that happy with some of the harmonies in songs like 'How Soon Is Now?', myself, but they're all still great songs.

A sad fact widely known:
The most impassionate song
To a lonely soul
Is so easily outgrown
But don't forget the songs
That made you smile
And the songs that made you cry
When you lay in awe
On the bedroom floor
And said, 'Oh, oh, smother me, mother...'

(Morrissey, you freak!)
Old 29th January 2007
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by hunt15 View Post
Jules:

That's interesting that you were the assistant on those first sessions.

I for one would love to hear more from you about those sessions.

Thanks.
I wrote some stuff here a while ago..

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...highlight=Marr
Old 30th January 2007
  #44
Gear Nut
 

Cool Water is a masterpiece! Maybe we should start a Talking Heads-thread?

On topic: Marr's playing is the real thing. He actually plays the strings on that guitar. Who cares about signal chain, boxes, amps etc? I bet he could make my old Ibanez PF 300 and my transistor Yamaha JX30 sound very musical indeed. Just put a microphone - any microphone - in front of the music and bang, you're a producer.
Old 30th January 2007
  #45
Gear Nut
 

One other thing: In the video, Morrissey says that he gets the music on cassette, and then he makes the melody lines and lyrics. Isn't that a key to The Smiths music? One guy makes the (basic) music, then there's another one making the melody (and lyrics). Morrissey's tunes are very similar, I think, sort of ad libs to recorded music...

Not really the traditional song-writing, where music and melody is created at the same time, by the same person. Doesn't it make the songs (music) dreamy, flowing, non-predictable?
Old 30th January 2007
  #46
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jahtao's Avatar
Maybe its been suggested before but WE SHOULD HAVE A YOUTUBE VIDEO THREAD!! : ) : )

ps Enjoyed that thanks for posting
Old 10th August 2009
  #47
Gear Head
 

Tony Wilson: "Those are the influenes which have made the guitar fashionable again, Johnny, but I'll bet you can't tell me where the melodies come from..."
Marr: "The answer is, I don't know, really"
Wilson: "That's what Mozart used to say, you know."
Marr "Good ole Mozart? Hip guy!"




Reading that, all is right in the world.
Old 10th August 2009
  #48
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"Video removed due to terms of use violation" :(
Old 10th August 2009
  #49
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steelyfan's Avatar
 

supercool thread, and an oldie!

Love The SMiths, maybe my favorite all time band,......yea I said it. lol !

It's awesome to be part of a forum with someone who worked on one of their records. How cool is that!? Awesome for you!

There has never been a band IMOP that sounds even remotley similar to The Smiths, they just had their own thing.

I don't want to ramble too long, but want to add that I think Andy Rourke was an probablly still is one of the greatest/melodic bass players ever.
Every time I listen to them, his bass parts make me smile, just SUCH an important part of their music. I wish he and Marr would make more records together. Even instrumentals.

Steely
Old 10th August 2009
  #50
Lives for gear
 

Lol Steely , I never noticed it is a necro thread !

Part of the backdrop of my "youth" in Manchester at that time , great music .
Old 16th August 2009
  #51
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neilio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
1st album "The Smiths" was recorded on a 2" Telefunken M15a 24 track multitrack, I should know, it was my job as assistant on that record to line it up every morning. (but unlike this photo, I was trained to put away the isopropyl alcohol and Que Tips away before loading up a reel onto it!!!!)

Matrix studios London, had 3 of these machines. I learned to love them. They have two HF line up pots one for 8k and one for 16k (I think) I got very good at lining them up after a while.....

The studios tech staff had so much confidence in the German engineering of the tape head block assembly and the way it sat in its base that we used to de-mag the heads by lifting off it's cover, unscrewing two knurled knobs that held it onto its machined base , remove the whole block and then wipe it across a bulk eraser, (avoiding actual physical contact) then screw it back on again..

I doubt people have the nerve to do that sort of thing much anymore as they might fear azimuth issues, but it was the standard MO of that studio in those days.. Pretty 'gonzo' as I look back... heh

I am sure The Smiths moved on to use many of the flavor de jour multitracks after this first record...
alright...i officially hate you now....so jules, tell us more about johnny will ya? lots of overdubs? layering? come on inquiring minds NEED to know...!
Old 16th August 2009
  #52
Gear Maniac
 

How many Smiths songs were written:

1.) Marr writes an absurdly idiot-savant like complex busy guitar part.

2.) Andy Rourke goes "Bloody Hell, I'll look a right git if I play root notes over that lot Marr came up with, I'd better get crackin' on something that's up to the task" (Andy's one of my fave bassists, btw).

3.) Morrisey thinks "That's so dreadfully busy now, lads, I better just bleat in drawn out monotone to balance it out. Where's me poetry journal? I'll just read some o' that aloud...and when I'm lying in my bed..."

4.) Drummer thinks "Great, I've got to come up with something that drives it along and sits back and lets it breathe at the same time...yet again. No one is ever going to appreciate what I've done for these songs".

The ends more than justified the means. One of the best rock groups ever.
Old 16th August 2009
  #53
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bcgood's Avatar
 

Every once in awhile I'll throw in one of The Smiths best CD's and every time I do I'm absolutely blown away by how awesome that band was. It's ridiculous really, they where that good.
Old 16th August 2009
  #54
Gear Addict
 
Paul Russell's Avatar
 

Slightly OT, Morrisey's new album, "Years of Refusal" is probably his best for years. He's assembled a really fine band around him this time and the songs are the strongest he's written since Viva Hate, IMHO.

Sorry if I'm preaching to the choir.
Old 16th August 2009
  #55
Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper View Post
How to keep your hair looking great with headphones on.
Possibly one of my biggest issues
Old 16th August 2009
  #56
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leaper's Avatar
 

My drinking career has been blessed by the discovery that Smiths and Morrissey records are the best hangover cure ever invented.
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