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Monday, September 13, 2010

"Sunshine Of Your Love" Backing Track

Yesterday we listened to the isolated guitar track from Cream's seminal single "Sunshine Of Your Love." Today we'll listen to the other tracks, minus the guitar. Here's what to listen for.

1) Jack Bruce's bass is pretty distorted and the amp is obviously miked. There was no such thing as "going direct" back in those days. In fact, direct boxes didn't even come on the scene for another 10 years or so. I must admit, I think that miking the amp is a better way of doing things as it gives the bass player's tone some character. Direct bass tends to all sound the same.

2) Bruce's vocal is also distorted, especially when he really opens up on the B section. It has just a touch of reverb, and you can hear the compressor grabbing a bit, but it's not a bad sound in general. Also listen to all the breath noise in the vocal. If the song was recorded today, that would probably be eliminated, but it does give the vocal a sense of realism and character.

3) Bruce's and Eric Clapton's vocals are slightly split in the stereo field during the choruses

4) Ginger Backer's drums are interesting in that the pattern is built completely around the toms. You only hear a few crash cymbals in the choruses until the solo through the outro, where you also hear him play the snare with the crashes.

5) Make sure you listen through to the end, where you'll hear the songs real ending that never made the record.

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Mike B. said...

Thanks, Bobby - excellent post!

Wow - I'm blown away by Bruce's vocal - amazing how much more you hear without the guitar.

Question about the choruses, though - are you sure that's Clapton doing the harmonies in those spots? Sure sounds like another track of Jack to me...

Derek said...

Clapton certainly did the harmony vocal live, and it does sound like him; his and Bruce's voices sound very similar in that range.

While commercial DI boxes weren't available till the '70s, studio engineers often built their own. The Beatles used DI at Abbey Road frequently for bass, guitars, and other things in the mid and late 1960s, in order to create "different" sounds, such as the overdriven guitar in the "Revolution" single, which was actually overloading the console with no amp at all.

SG said...

Sounds like a fretless bass. Can anyone confirm that?

I know Jack used fretless basses later on at least.


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