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Monday, May 3, 2010

The Making Of "God Only Knows"

In staying with the Beach Boy theme for this week, here are two videos regarding the making of their hit "God Only Knows." Once again, this is a terrific piece of musical history that can teach us a lot about how great records were made back in the days of limited technological resources.

The first video is the vocal track without the music. Listen to:

1) How spot on the doubled lead vocals are. Remember, this was in the days before cut and paste.

2) The background harmony vocals are just gorgeous, especially the round-robin at the end at about 2:00.

3) The reverb sound is awesome. It's the famous Capitol Records chamber and it's so clean and smooth. Luckily, it's still in use today and still in great demand.

The second video is "the making of" for the song similar to the one posted yesterday. It doesn't feature a complete take, which is why I put the vocal one first.

4) Once again Brian is in full command. He knows what he wants and he knows how to get it from a great group of musicians (the famous "Wrecking Crew"). There's a great film about the Wrecking Crew. You can find out more on the film's official website.

5) And once again, all the musicians are playing at once in a relatively small room. Gold Star was another studio noted for it's superlative reverb chamber, which many think was more responsible for Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" than he was. Unfortunately it closed in 1984. The studio is now the site of a mini-mall at the corner of Santa Monica and Vine Street in Hollywood.

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1 comment:

Fred Decker said...

Thanks for letting me hear that! The ambition and creativity come out even more when I can hear the vocal parts in isolation.


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