One of the great things about listening to isolated tracks is that you get a better sense of what's actually driving the song. While we tend to think that it's always the rhythm section (especially the drums), that's not always the case, as evidenced from the James Brown "Sex Machine" post of last week.
This week we find another great example in Frank Sinatra's classic 1964 "Fly Me To The Moon." You'll hear just the instrumental track without Frank's voice in the first video, then the final mix on the second. Here's what to listen for.
1. The music track is great - it's the Count Basie Orchestra and a Quincy Jones arrangement.
2. That said, this is a case where the music is elevated tremendously by the vocal. In fact, it almost sounds like a different song and doesn't seem to swing as hard without it.
3. Once again, the guitar establishes the groove laying down a steady quarter-note rhythm throughout the song.
4. The drums (especially the kick) are way up front when they play loudly (the playing is very dynamic), which is quite unusual for a big band recording of that era.
5. Listen to the beautiful long reverb on the flutes and horns.
Here it is with Frank's vocal. Check out the stereo spread.