Saturday, October 21, 2006

Musical Quark: Overdub v. Collaboration

When you consider the great musical collaborations in the past, you have to include Lennon/McCartney (poor George, everybody loves George). On the one hand, you have Paul, the poet, the sensitive thinker; on the other, John the innovator, the visionary. And when you read stories about the studio experimentation of John Lennon and George Martin, you have to be impressed also with that collaboration also. I mean, you ahve to, it's the Beatles, right? Believe me, this intro is going somewhere, by the way. One of the studio techniques Lennon used to the point where it defines the sound of his voice is double-tracked vocals. His voice would be recorded for the same part twice, and the two would be overlayed, fooling the ear into hearing a single, disembodied voice.

Collaborating with yourself is fine, but this has long been a pet peeve of mine. Back in the late eighties/early nineties, I loved (loved) the Lemonheads, and during that same time period, started listening to the Throwing Muses more and more. Both bands centred around a collaboration between a main songwriter (Evan Dando and Kirsten Hirsch, respectively) and another songwriter who, though contributing fewer songs, could just blow me away (Ben Deilly and Tanya Donnelly). Well, the years passed, and I started to appreciate Kirsten Hirsch more, listened to far too many Belly albums, and really miss Ben Deilly. Evan Dando? Well, enough about Evan Dando, already. I really like the new songs, actually, much as I'd prefer not to, and sure, maybe Syd Barrett was the real Pink Floyd (I've seen the movie, I know it was Bob Geldof).

Which brings me to my pet peeve. When a singer starts recording his/her own overdubs, even though there is no possible way he/she can sing backup for him/herself live, it pisses me off. There, I've said it. Felt good, too.

The "Lemonheads(/Dinosaur jr. jr.)" - No Backbone

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