The image of Kraftwerk was the flamboyant, corporate look. Kraftwerk music was electronic, pop and experimental. It is said they look at The Beach Boys as the image they like to create but with electronic music. Kraftwerk two group leaders were Ralph Hutter and Florian Schneider. Enigineer Conny Plank, musician Klaus Roeder and Karl Bartos were some of the people who were Kraftwerk members.
The albums that were released through 1974-1981 were all conceptual. Autobahn released in 1974 was an album about being on the road. Faug’n being mistaken for fun in the track made it a hit. Radio Activity released in 1975 was about nuclear energy and radio play the gathering of people listening to Hitler and Churchill was the concept behind their album cover. Trans Europe Express released in 1977 was about trains and the movement of still being on the road, similar to their ‘74 album Autobahn. The Man Machine album released in May 1978 was said to have the conservative album concept and Computer World released in 1981 stayed on the UK top 20 for 22 weeks. The album featured the song “Pocket Calculator”
The instruments that Kraftwerk used to produce their music and the Album concepts make them the biggest influence on electronic music. There were the Vacoo Orchestra which was a synthesizer and custom made electronic drums that were made by Florian and Ralph friends. Their album concepts really set them apart. The Trans Europe Express beat was said to be a concept of a train on the track and the wheel turning.
The impression Kraftwerk leaves me as a listener that this music is very chill, vibrant, futuristic music. Art is totally subjective but what touches a person is universal: Good grooves and the memories of good times.That aspect of art in all it’s forms will not change.
Kraftwerk, and the Electronic revolution (8/19). (2010, April 16). YouTube. Retrieved , from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajKSV9BRDt0
The image of Marvin Gaye Prior to What’s Going On were clean cut, no facial hair and suits for the stand up lover look. Love songs like That’s The Way Love Is and I Heard It Through The Grapevine were the music he was making. According to David N. Howard in Sonic Alchemy “I Heard It Through The Grapevine sold over four million copies and is Motown’s biggest selling record of all time.”
Social and national concerns that influenced the music and lyrical content of What’s Going On were things like Marvin Gaye’s little brother Frankie, who survived a three year duty in Vietnam. Frankie told Marvin he could fight in so many other ways, especially through his music. Tammi Terrell who he collaborated with Marvin on the hit song Ain’t No Mountain High Enough dying of a brain tumor and the Detroit race riots that happened in 1967.
Obstacles faced by Marvin Gaye to get What’s Going On recorded and released were the founder of Motown Records Berry Gordy. Berry Gordy reportedly called What’s Going On “ the worst thing I’ve ever heard in my life” and no one believed the song would be hit even though all of Marvin’s hit songs were turned down as not being good enough.
Two main characteristics of What’s Going On are the opening of the alto saxophone played by Eli Fontaine; which he claims was just a warm up and the double lead vocal of Marvin voice; which was a brilliant mistake made by the engineer Ken Sands.
As a listener What’s Going On is a powerful song that can take you back to the time where this song was recorded and why. As a professional What’s Going On can really bring you into the perspective of soul music and provides a guide to real lyricism.
Howard, D. (2004). sonic alchemy. Milwaukee, Wi: hal Leonard Corporation. DOI: www.halleonard.com
Edmonds, B. (2001, Dec 7). What went on. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/books/2001/dec/08/extract
Edmonds, B. (2001, Dec 7). What went on (part two). Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/books/2001/dec/08/extract1
Marvin gaye biography: Life and career of the soul singer. (2012, April 1). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6gYcdQSIG4
Brian Eno born May 15th 1948 came from a background of postmen but was more intrigued by music and how it was created. His influences were minimalists such as John cage, La Monte Young and Terry Riley. According to David N. Howard in Sonic Alchemy “ unable to playa traditional instrument, Eno focused on tape recording experiments as an alternative.”
No Pussyfooting released in 1973 and My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts released in 1981 were both pivotal to the sampling technique used through out Hip Hop and electronica music today. About the No Pussyfooting album Eno is quoting saying “ That got me into the idea of the studio, not as place for reproducing music but as a place for changing it, or recreating it from scratch. Sampling was first established by Eno’s collaboration album with Robert Fripp. Although they both were ambient No Pussyfooting was experimental and MLITBOG was rock.
Eno and Robert Fripp created a technique called Frippertronics where you process guitar patterns through custom delay treatments then run the signal through two separate revox recorders. For percussion Eno and David Byrne used garbage cans and ashtrays for percussion. About the MLITBOG album Eno is quoted saying “ what we wanted was to create something more mysterious, and by taking voices out of context, but featuring them dominantly as the main vocal performance, you can go on to create meaning by surrounding the voice with a musical mood.”
As a listener Brian Eno’s projects were terrific for being different, futuristic, spiritual and dynamic. As a professional it gave me an understanding to always have a visual before you start arranging, composing and/or recording music and not to be afraid to go above and beyond what you hear as far as today’s music. I will honor my error as a hidden intention.
Howard, D. (2004). sonic alchemy. Milwaukee, Wi: hal Leonard Corporation. DOI: http://www.halleonard.com
Tamm, E. (1988). Brian eno his music and the vertical color of sound.
Thiesen, J. (2012, April 21). Arena – brian eno – another green world. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPOz5-rcIeA
Dunhill, A. (2013, Jan 14). Brian eno by alfred dunhill. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mqtc2Z3K8o&feature=youtu.be
Prior to the recording of Revolver, The Beatles music and image were almost the identical as Rubber Soul. Rubber Soul which set the bar for The Beach Boys album Pet Sounds; had the same futuristic sound as Revolver. In Abracadabra written by Ray Newman George Harrison was stated saying, “ there wasn’t much difference between Rubber Soul and Revolver. To me, they could be volume 1 volume 2”.
Non-musical interests that influenced the music and lyrical content of Revolver were things like the drug LSD better known as D-lysergic acid diethylamide, traveling the world and books. In Abracadabra written by Ray Newman the track Tomorrow Never Knows written by John Lennon was an idea from the book the Psychedelic Experience written by Tim Leary.
The Beatles would use the studio as an instrument by recording in different studios. They had three studios at Abbey Road and they preferred the large echoing studio with the dirty white walls and sometimes the small cramped studio that were for the artists with a low budget.
Two innovations found on Revolver were compression and ADT. The compression was used on instruments to boost the volume on tape and smooth out the signal. Before compression a musician had to play carefully. ADT also known as automatic double tracking allowed two sound images to be overlap and then frequency altered for a greater depth.
The impression Revolver has on me as a listener is like I really do live on a yellow submarine. As an industry professional it makes me want to work a lot harder.What worked then will work now – reaching people by hitting an emotional chord that will resonate and make them feel a part of something bigger then themselves.
Newman, R. (2006). Abracadabra. Retrieved from http://www.revolverbook.co.uk/abracadabrav1.0.pdf
Howard, D. (2004). Sonic alchemy. Milwaukee, Wi: Hal Leonard Corporation.
The Beach Boys Pet Sounds. Prior to this album, The Beach Boys were the surfboarding Californians who had radio friendly songs that were tailored for the young women. Brian Wilson role in the group was not only a singer but also the arranger and composer. He is stated saying“ I wanted to write songs that reflected how I really felt. Something that I felt in my soul rather than car song’s and surf songs.”
The two influences for Brian Wilson to write and record an album like Pet Sounds were mega producer Phil Spector and his mono miracles. Brian is stated saying that “ he like the way that Spector sat at the piano, the way he talk, his voice, his face, the way he looked, he liked him.” The album Rubber Soul by The Beatles was also an influence for Brian. Brian is stated saying “I felt competitive with The Beatles.”
Characteristics of Pet Sounds that set it apart from other popular recording in the mid 1960s were the musicians known as The Wrecking Crew, which included Carol Kaye on the bass, Hal Blaine on the drums, Glen Campbell on the guitar, Tommy Morgan on the harmonica, Roy Caton on the sax, Lou Blackburn on the trombone, Frank Capp on the Percussion, and Leon Russell on the keyboard.Brian made each song arrangement work by hearing the end result in his head. The studio musicians played without hearing any vocals so they did not know what the songs would sound like until the album came out. That is a difficult to work unless you can hear the finished product in your head first.
As a listener Pet Sounds is warm, vibrant and relaxing. It is definitely in the category of timeless music. As an industry professional Pet Sounds is a study guide. It was created a mono, it had many flavors to it like sax, trombone, bike horn, violins, cellos and is a very well put together album.
Pet stories. (Oct, 2012 14). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0vAL8dHBxA&feature=youtu.be&t=7m51s
Behind the sounds: Wouldn’t it be nice. (June, 2008 14). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofByti7A4uM
Hello my name is Carl Baldwin a/k/a Drac and I am student studying music production at Full Sail University. I am 27 years old, married with three kids. I enjoy all music because they all have an avenue to heard but my own preference is hip hop/rap. My primary focus in the music industry is to write and produce music.