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Why An Instrumental?


Guest in town Mikey
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Guest in town Mikey

I'm not a big fan of instrumentals. Even the best of them tend to get a little monotonous after the first 30-40 seconds.

Inspired by jts' post trying to get the Willie and the Mighty Magnificents LP, I began wondering what makes a group with a few good songs pump out an instrumental? Was Willie not happy that day, so took his toys home? Was he moonlighting in Pink Taco too make ends meet?

Souling, is one intrumental I do like, but then I like most of their 'proper' tunes as well.

I cant see Simply dREDful recording an instrumental, or say the Jam, Kinks etc etc. So why would this lot? Its a mystery suitable for Columbo, Kojak and Quincy to team up on.

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I must agree with you Mikey as it has crossed my mind too,

if you have a great voice use it, or

or are all records instrumentals and with voices added to them ?

do lyrics get written to a tune or do you write a tune to set of lyrics ?

where is that lolliepop of mine gone !! :thumbsup:

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I'm not a big fan of instrumentals. Even the best of them tend to get a little monotonous after the first 30-40 seconds.

Inspired by jts' post trying to get the Willie and the Mighty Magnificents LP, I began wondering what makes a group with a few good songs pump out an instrumental? Was Willie not happy that day, so took his toys home? Was he moonlighting in Pink Taco too make ends meet?

Souling, is one intrumental I do like, but then I like most of their 'proper' tunes as well.

I cant see Simply dREDful recording an instrumental, or say the Jam, Kinks etc etc. So why would this lot? Its a mystery suitable for Columbo, Kojak and Quincy to team up on.

Errr Mikey, The Jam did record an instrumental Circus on The Gift :thumbsup:

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I love instrumentals :thumbsup: The build-up throughout the recording to the crescendo at the end put's a big grin on my face :D

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Guest in town Mikey

Errr Mikey, The Jam did record an instrumental Circus on The Gift :thumbsup:

:D:D:D

When I typed that I did have an inkling I was in for trouble. (The Jam were losing it by the Gift is my only defence.)

I also replaced the Who with the Kinks, Didnt they do a song about an Ox or something??

Anyway, anyone have any idea why a band (I take it they werent a group then) like this do an instrumental?

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Anyway, anyone have any idea why a band (I take it they werent a group then) like this do an instrumental?

Maybe because they were musicians who enjoyed playing/jamming together :thumbsup:

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I am an absolute instrumental junkie

this is my newie

Edited by NASHEE
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Guest Andy BB

I've always thought they were simply so that the other members of the group feel appreciated along with the singer.

I hate instrumentals.

(Although in the case of The Jam it's a much better option than letting Bruce do something with lyrics...)

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have always thought doin an instrumental kept costs down ; studio time, royalties and so on, added to the fact that instrumentals were more popular in many genres back then

am thinking: Albatross, telstar, walk in the black forest, soul coaxing, jb all star's, classical gas, booker T, crusaders, ramsey lewis, herb albert, acker bilk.....(if you discount techno, trance and unsoulful house) funny how the instrumental has died off, good old fashioned death songs too what happened to them..BG's "New York mining disaster", "Leader of the pack", "Seasons in the sun" used to have a right ol singsong round the fire in days of yore.

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I am an absolute instrumental junkie

this is my newie

That sounds quite Batman'y :thumbsup: Nice though :D

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I don't mind instrumentals, over the years I've liked quite a few, remember hearing "Secret Home," "20/75", way back in '65, loved 'em, great nighter sounds, then, what I can't get my head round are backing tracks played as instrumentals, without the vocal (which adds the soul content) they just seem to meander along, there are exceptions of course "Bari Track" being a case in point, but mainly a backing track is just that, a backing track.

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I think it's worth remembereing that the so-called Northern soul scene started life as a dance scene. There was no rule about vocals, instrumentals, soul, non soul. If the groove was right and it got the dance floor jammin', then it got played and popular.

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I think it's worth remembereing that the so-called Northern soul scene started life as a dance scene. There was no rule about vocals, instrumentals, soul, non soul. If the groove was right and it got the dance floor jammin', then it got played and popular.

Fully agree mate - which brings us to the next level of the debate, namely: can an instumental be soulful?

In my opinion - yes, but not often!

John.

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Fully agree mate - which brings us to the next level of the debate, namely: can an instumental be soulful?

In my opinion - yes, but not often!

John.

Personally John I'd say no, the beat and the rythm get you dancing but it's the vocal that reaches in and touches you.

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I love instrumentals especially the ones you get the full orchestras on, favorites being:-

Wingates "Love in" Strings - Lets have a love-in - Ric Tic.

Mike Post Coalition - Afternoon of the rhino - 7 Arts.

Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band - Brown Sugar - 7 Arts.

San Remo Golden Strings - all there stuff.

Earl Van Dyke & The Soul Brothers - I can't help myself , All for you and 6 by 6.

and last but not least who can forget the immortal Funk Brothers.

Regards

Alan

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Guest in town Mikey

Cheers

Got some interesting replies.

I'd not thought about black music previous to the late 50s, but I do suppose there would have been lots of bands playing, with occasional vocal guests. I think thats how Ray Charles started out in showbiz.

Interesting...to me anyway

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I like instrumentals. They can often showcase a musicians skills like for example,on the organ,saxaphone or vibraphones. It can give the music an edge and compliments (or ruins!) an overall recording. I consider the music/rhythm track a 'carrier' which allows vocals or indeed other solo instruments to run simultaneously with the same goal. I guess some songs start off with just a melody and are composed without any vocal hooks and as things develop the track starts to take shape in one direction or the other.

Edited by Carl Dixon
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Supercorsa - that is the perfect example. The whole album revolves around the organ providing the melody rather than a vocal. I still associate the track with music rather than football however!

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I'm with you Carl... instrumentals are the bread and butter... vocals can add thought provocation with words but the music is what I hear over and above vocals.

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If you dont dance,then I can see them being boring,but for a dancer..the Vocals are not that important,.the backing track is where you get your moves from. :thumbsup:

Bazza

Edited by bazza
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I am an absolute instrumental junkie

this is my newie

Mmmmmm....Sort of grows on you :thumbsup:

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Guest MARTIN SNOW

soulgirl summed it up for me perfectly. and how many great tracks have been ruined by someone who couldnt "sing" if a gun were held to their head ?

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I am an absolute instrumental junkie

this is my newie

I like it. very '60's tv theme' sounding.

I know its cheesey, but I really love 'Ron Grainer - Man in a suitcase'...I use it as the theme for my shoutcast show.

Are you familiar with these 2:

BEHIND_THE_OUT_HOUSE.mp3

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I like it. very '60's tv theme' sounding.

I know its cheesey, but I really love 'Ron Grainer - Man in a suitcase'...I use it as the theme for my shoutcast show.

Are you familiar with these 2:

BEHIND_THE_OUT_HOUSE.mp3

No offence intended mate, but these 2 tunes are truly appalling & what have they got to do with (Northern) Soul.

The first instrumental posted by MP I quite like.

Russ

I am an absolute instrumental junkie

this is my newie

Who was Claus Ogerman ???

Russ

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I really like them... but then I love all that stuff - it's got lot's to do with the scene Russ whistling.gif Kev's a mahoosive R&B fan - and so am I :(

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No offence intended mate, but these 2 tunes are truly appalling & what have they got to do with (Northern) Soul.

The first instrumental posted by MP I quite like.

Russ

Thanks Russ

Here is some info ,,,

spacer.gifAbout Claus Ogermanspacer.gif

Born: April 29, 1930 - Ratibor, Prussia

Claus Ogerman is known for being a composer, conductor, and arranger today. But he began his career with the piano. After composing for a number of German films, he relocated to New York in 1959. In the early 1960s, he became musical director for the Verve record label, arranging albums by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Kai Winding, and others. Later on he and Creed Taylor (Verve Producer) joined the A&M label where Claus continued to work with Tom Jobim and others. The list of artists that Claus Ogerman has arranged and conducted for has grown steadily since that time to include Stan Getz, Frank Sinatra, Astrud Gilberto, Jo£o Gilberto, Bobby Rosengarden, and many more.

=======================================

German arranger/conductor/composer Claus Ogerman (born 1930 in Ratibor, Prussia - which was then a German state - now is part of Poland) has been widely-admired for five decades for his large orchestra arrangements of often brooding unison strings. His many strings often blossom into a sumptuous harmony highlighted by soloing flutes. He is best known for his brilliant and unparalleled arrangements of Brazillian music on a series of Antonio Carlos Jobim albums nearly the polar opposite of his traditional European classical music training. Ogerman also arranged Jobim's compositions on the acclaimed 1967 album "Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim". Many lament that Sinatra failed to use Ogerman again (while searching for arrangers for the rest of his career) when one hears his outstanding arrangements behind Sinatra singing the American popular song classics "I Concentrate on You" and "Baubles, Bangles and Beads".

In the 1950's, Ogerman worked in Germany as an arranger-pianist with Kurt Edelhagen and with Max Greger. In 1959, he moved to New York City to begin an arranging career as light classical music interest started to rapidly decline. Despite being immediately saddled with lesser arranging assignments in a fast-changing American music business, he firmly established himself in the recording studios with his versatile skills such that his work is still heard in commercials, elevators and recordings of all types. In 1963 he joined Creed Taylor's Verve/MGM Records, working on recordings by Jobim, Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery, Kai Winding and Cal Tjader. Taylor sold Verve Records and brought Ogerman over to arrange Jobim's Wave on his new CTI label. Ogerman later worked on albums by Oscar Peterson, Nelson Riddle (his favorite orchestrator) and others at the German MPS label. His other collaborations include work with Benny Goodman, Joao Gilberto, Astrud Gilberto, Joao Donato, Betty Carter, Leslie Gore and Michael Franks. Ogerman arranged best selling albums for Connie Francis and The Drifters. He has written jazz charts for Stan Getz, Freddie Hubbard, and Stanley Turrentine, among others. He has composed for many German films as well. He greatly regrets missing Glenn Gould's request to play on the arrangements he did for Barbara Streisand's "Classical Barbra" album.

In 1976, Jobim gave Ogerman the back side of his "Urubu" LP to exclusively feature his strings while Bill Evans similarly allowed Ogerman great latitude on his albums. Ogerman's piano-playing, which included early work with Chet Baker, can be heard to great affect on Jobim's best album "Terra Brasilis" (1980), featuring his masterful reworking of his arrangements from Jobim's 1960's American albums, highlighted by "Double Rainbow".

After many Grammy nominations over the years, Ogerman won the 1979 Grammy for Best Arrangement on an Instrumental Recording - George Benson's "Soulful Strut" Living Inside Your Love. He also solidified the jazz guitarist's pop vocal career with his arrangments on Benson's hugely selling album "Breezin'". George Benson's producer Tommy LiPuma the then helped him take highlights from his ballet 'Some Times' to create his song-suite album 'Gate Of Dreams' featuring his own orchestra, George Benson, David Sanborn, Michael Brecker and others. LiPuma later also produced Ogerman's excellent album "Cityscape". After producing the Benson and Ogerman albums for Warner Brothers, LiPuma took Ogerman to Dave Grusin's GRP label to produce the 1991 album "Claus Ogerman featuring Michael Brecker".

Unlike many arrangers who became better known when touring and appearing on television with big-name singers, Ogerman's intricate, large orchestra arrangements could usually only be afforded in the recording studio. Until the 1970's, Ogerman's large-scale orchestrations were almost always reduced to backing other artists of widely-varying talents and types of music at a time when only hit-composing arrangers (with more marketing-friendly names) could cost-effectively record their own albums in a country lacking subsidized light music orchestras and productions. Ogerman even hinted that the vast majority of his 1960's and 1970's work was quite unsatisfying.

Since the 1970's, Claus has devoted himself almost exclusively to serious compositions. His commissions and projects include a ballet score for the American Ballet Theatre (Some Times), a work for jazz piano and orchestra (Symbiosis) for Bill Evans, a work for saxophone and orchestra (Cityscape, which includes Symphonic Dances) for Michael Brecker, a song cycle (Tagore-Lieder) after poems by Rabindranath Tagore that was recorded by Met soprano Judith Blegen and mezzo-soprano Brigitte Fassbaender, Concerto Lirico and Sarabande-Fantasie for violin and orchestra that was recorded by Aaron Rosand, 10 Songs for Chorus A-Capella After Poems by Georg Heym that was recorded by the Cologne Radio Chorus, a work for violin and orchestra (Preludio and Chant recorded by world-renowned violinist Gideon Kremer), and many more.

Update, September 2001: After 20 years away from jazz and popular music, Diana Krall coaxes Claus to arrange and conduct the London Symphony Orchestra on her best-selling album "The Look of Love". Now enjoy seeing Claus conduct on Diana's DVD "Live in Paris". Ogerman's major influences remain Max Reger and Alexander Scriabin. He steadfastly maintains that he is not primarily concerned with "modernism" per se - his goal is to evoke emotional response in the listener. Let's hope Maestro Ogerman excites us by returning on his own terms to the light orchestral music now afforded by today's retro music trend.

By Alan Watts

Who was Claus Ogerman ???

Russ

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Guest TONY ROUNCE

Cheers

Got some interesting replies.

I'd not thought about black music previous to the late 50s, but I do suppose there would have been lots of bands playing, with occasional vocal guests. I think thats how Ray Charles started out in showbiz.

Interesting...to me anyway

...Indeed, back in the 30s and 40s the singer was almost always incidental to the band, and often only came in on a record to sing maybe a verse of the song's lyrics, maybe two at most. Both Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, for instance, were only billed as "with vocal refrain" on their first recorded offerings. You didn't get many singing bandleaders back in that era, be the bands black or white. Think of the likes of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Lucky Millinder, Paul Whiteman and others - not a singer among 'em, unless it was on what they used to term 'novelty' items back in the day. Really the first and only man to buck this trend until the late 40s was the great Louis Armstrong...

For the record, Brother Ray started out as part of a trio called - depending on which record labels you read - either the McSon Trio or the Maxin Trio. But he was indeed one of the first real R & B artists to form, tour and record with his own big band, just prior to signing with Atlantic. (BTW if you want to hear rockin' 50s R & B at its very best, cop an earful of Ray's Swing Time recording "Kissa Me Baby"...)

TONE huh.gif

PS: Here's five more fautless, instrumentals for you:

1. IMAGE - HANK LEVINE AND HIS ORCHESTRA

2. ALL ABOUT MY GIRL - JIMMY McGRIFF TRIO

3. THE HORSE - CLIFF NOBLES & CO. (yes I know it's a backing track, but it's infinitely preferable to the vocal cut and infinitely more famous, too!)

4. JAM UP TWIST - TOMMY RIDGELEY

5. WIVES AND LOVERS - JACKIE MITTO AND THE SOUL BROTHERS

4.

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Guest soul_hull

stanley mitchell - get it baby - i've always liked - thought there's a few whoops and yeahs in it.

and who can forget interplay and joe 90? well me for a start, and probably most of you. condition red? yep, pretty dreadful....ouch....

on a modern tip - ramsey and co.- love call - mostly an insrumental if memory serves...[a few yeahs and wooh's again]

fave tune of mine is hesitations 'i'm not built that way'. the instrumental version though.......why? it's obviously got the right groove, but without the vocals..... can't really be a soul track imo.

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No offence intended mate, but these 2 tunes are truly appalling & what have they got to do with (Northern) Soul.

none taken Russ. I'm sure there's someone out there who would appreciate them. Wouldn't it be a boring old world if we all liked exactly the same choons. :(

I really like them... but then I love all that stuff - :lol:

huh.gif:(

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I like it. very '60's tv theme' sounding.

I know its cheesey, but I really love 'Ron Grainer - Man in a suitcase'...I use it as the theme for my shoutcast show.

'Ron Grainer - Man in a suitcase'...great tune and

The Prisoner...was that Ron Grainer as well...

Bazza

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Luv this one

and for something a little different

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Inspired by jts' post trying to get the Willie and the Mighty Magnificents LP, I began wondering what makes a group with a few good songs pump out an instrumental? Was Willie not happy that day, so took his toys home? Was he moonlighting in Pink Taco too make ends meet?

Missed the JTs thread.

I've got a Willie and the Mighty Magnificents LP that i could let go.

Which one does he need?

Col.

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Hi Mate

One of the main reasons many put out instrumentals in the 60's was cost. For many young artists in the sixties they could only afford studio time for one set of vocals, so would just put the backing track on the B side. But there are many instrumentals that where made to stand on there own, these tend to be less repetitive. I was never a great fan of purely backing tracks that had little extra to offer. But full blown instrumentals for instrumental sake, bring them on.

Sam Ambrose and Friend, G Tyler & R Davis, King Errison, Mike Post, Brothers, Miracle Workers.

Bring back the instrumental!!!!!!!

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