9780262134576

The Producer As Composer: Shaping The Sounds Of Popular Music

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780262134576

  • ISBN10:

    0262134578

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2005-12-01
  • Publisher: Mit Pr

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Summary

In the 1960s, rock and pop music recording questioned the convention that recordings should recreate the illusion of a concert hall setting. The Wall of Sound that Phil Spector built behind various artists and the intricate eclecticism of George Martin's recordings of the Beatles did not resemble live performances-in the Albert Hall or elsewhere-but instead created a new sonic world. The role of the record producer, writes Virgil Moorefield in The Producer as Composer, was evolving from that of organizer to auteur; band members became actors in what Frank Zappa called a "movie for your ears." In rock and pop, in the absence of a notated score, the recorded version of a song-created by the producer in collaboration with the musicians-became the definitive version. Moorefield, a musician and producer himself, traces this evolution with detailed discussions of works by producers and producer-musicians including Spector and Martin, Brian Eno, Bill Laswell, Trent Reznor, Quincy Jones, and the Chemical Brothers. Underlying the transformation, Moorefield writes, is technological development: new techniques-tape editing, overdubbing, compression-and, in the last ten years, inexpensive digital recording equipment that allows artists to become their own producers. What began when rock and pop producers reinvented themselves in the 1960s has continued; Moorefield describes the importance of disco, hip-hop, remixing, and other forms of electronic music production in shaping the sound of contemporary pop. He discusses the making of Pet Soundsand the production of tracks by Public Enemy with equal discernment, drawing on his own years of studio experience. Much has been written about rock and pop in the last 35 years, but hardly any of it deals with what is actually heard in a given pop song. The Producer as Composertries to unravel the mystery of good pop: why does it sound the way it does?

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xiii
From Mirror to Beacon
1(42)
Beginnings
1(4)
The Brill Building Songwriters
5(4)
Phil Spector's Wall of Sound
9(7)
``Be My Baby''
12(4)
Brian Wilson
16(5)
``Good Vibrations''
19(2)
Hits Off the Assembly Line: Motown
21(5)
``I Heard It through the Grapevine''
24(2)
George Martin and the Beatles
26(9)
``Tomorrow Never Knows''
29(3)
``A Day in the Life''
32(3)
Frank Zappa
35(5)
``Flower Punk''
38(2)
The Situation at the End of the Sixties
40(3)
The Studio as Musical Instrument
43(36)
Sixteen Tracks and More
43(1)
Dark Side of the Moon
44(7)
Tony Visconti
51(1)
Brian Eno
52(10)
Music for Airports: ``2/1''
56(3)
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
59(3)
Bill Laswell
62(8)
The Making of Swans' The Burning World
64(6)
Trent Reznor
70(9)
``Mr. Self Destruct'' v. ``Irresponsible Hate Anthem''
74(5)
The Producer Takes Center Stage
79(34)
The Discotheque and Musique Concrete
79(1)
Disco: ``The Producer's Genre''
80(3)
``I Feel Love''
81(2)
Michael Jackson's Work with Quincy Jones
83(6)
``Billie Jean''
85(4)
Kraftwerk and Conny Plank
89(1)
Hip-Hop and the Rise of Sampling
90(3)
Hip-Hop in the Late Eighties
93(2)
``Bring the Noise''
93(2)
The Hip-Hop Producer Today
95(2)
Electronica
97(6)
Remix
103(6)
``Break on Through'' (The Doors; BT Remix)
106(2)
Re-editing Updated: Mash-Ups
108(1)
The Contemporary Situation: Is the Producer Obsolete?
109(4)
Glossary 113(6)
Recordings Cited 119(6)
Bibliography 125(6)
Index 131

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