Analogue Foundation co-founder and Grammy award-winning engineer/producer Russell Elevado is renowned and celebrated for his continued use of analogue recording techniques to create and capture fresh, contemporary music that is rich with references to classic soul, funk and rock records from decades past.
Each time, exclusively for the Analogue Foundation, Russell will be delving into his musical inspirations to curate a new installment in his Vinyl Selection series. Here’s the second installment, bringing you a unique perspective on classic tracks from Serge Gainsbourg to Dave Brubeck.
from the album : Histoire De Melody Nelson, 1971
Serge Gainsbourg is considered an icon in french culture and somewhat of a cult figure worldwide. This song is from an album that is regarded by many as his masterpiece which blends funk and rock with lush, psychedelic string arrangements (Jean-Claude Vannier) and Gainsbourg's signature spoken word lead vocal. Gainsbourg's vocals are quite stark and "in your face" with his typical, witty and sarcastic lyrics or poems. I find it interesting that all of the instruments (apart from the strings, brass and organ) including Gainsbourg's vocal are completely dry with no room sound or reverb. A unique sound for this music.
Papa was a Rolling Stone
from the album : All Directions, 1972
To say this song is a soul/funk classic would be a huge understatement. Produced by Norman Whitfield who was a Motown producer and songwriter and a key figure in the creation of the sub-genre "psychedelic soul". This became a #1 single and won three Grammys. The full album version is over eleven minutes long. The song plays for a full 4:00 before you hear the Temptations vocals. The Temptations alternate the lead vocal part every couple of lines, each with their own distinct tones and style. The beat, bass and wah-wah guitar hold down the repetitive groove which anchor's the song around the vocals, the trumpet riffs (check out the cool echoes) and the amazing string arrangement.
21st Century Schizoid Man
from the album : In the Court of the Crimson King, 1969
From progressive rock group King Crimson's debut album. This is a heavy, dark, dynamic, technical and psychotic sounding song. The vocal and the bass are processed with distortion which sets the tone. Two elements in a recording you would normally want to have a clear sound. This song has many different sections with alternating 4/4 and 6/8 time. the band sounding very tight and really showing off their chops. Also notable are the obscure sax solos and guitar solo.
from the album : The Beatles (aka The White Album), 1968
One of my favorite Beatles songs. It's a simple kind of song with a brilliant melodic movement at the same time. The production is perfect. The sounds of the instruments as well as John Lennon's vocals have such a rawness and edge to them but the melody and chords are very beautiful which gives a nice contrast to the raw energy of the tracks. Also something with how they would arrange their backing vocals and how their voices sounded harmonizing together was so distinctive to The Beatles.
from the album : Time Out, 1959
Some of you will probably wonder why I chose this song as it may seem a bit commercialized and everyone has heard this song. After all, it is a jazz classic and one of the biggest selling jazz singles of all time. But have you heard a good vinyl copy of this? Just listen to the drum sound on this recording. I have an original mono pressing on vinyl that sounds so huge. It's amazing to me that the middle section is mostly the drummer soloing. It's like, "give the drummer some" but on a contemporary jazz record in 1959. A very bold decision for that era of music in my opinion. And the recording is just brilliant especially since they only had mono and 2 track recorders at that time. and let's not forget the song is using a 5/4 time signature which was to open the doors to new ways of playing jazz.