It's another podcast baby!
9 January 2006
Yup, the second podcast from the 50th Anniversary Edition. It's got an intro and a backing track and everything: all I need now is a personality!
I've been enjoying the recent album by Robert Plant, "Mighty ReArranger" for the last few months; an album over which the critics enthused as a return to form for the ex-Led Zeppelin singer.
I think maybe the clue to its success is in the title, because the intelligent arrangements and production bring life to the songs, and there's nothing wrong with the songs either.
But it was the chance hearing of an album by the Vaughan Brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Vaughan, called "Family Style" which brought home to me just how important arrangement and production are in making a song come to life.
The "Freedom Fries" track on Robert Plant's album is very similar in its simple blues structure to the Vaughan Brothers "Good Texan", but the arrangement and production couldn't make them sound more different.
It's common knowledge that a good pop song has to have a hook, but maybe it's less clear that the sound of the track should be a hook too. The arrangement needs to be written so that the individual parts are hooks, and the production needs to give the arrangement a unique sound that becomes its own hook.
For my money, the Robert Plant track is full of those hooks, while the Vaughan Brothers track sounds like a tired bar band going through the motions. And this is extremely pertinent to the 50th Anniversary Edition because I decided early on that my band would be a straightforward bar band because that is what I know. Maybe I should be taking the production and arrangements a stage further...
Anyway, have a listen to the podcast which includes excerpts from the two tracks and see if you agree.
I think I'd take issue with you that Plant's treatment works and the Vaughns' doesn't. I may not be hearing something but the rhythm of the Plant track just feels too jerky to be cool. Stevie Ray and Jimmy, on the other hand, are lazing back in a long tradition and just chilling out. It may not be cool or different but it's connected.
Yep, this is punditry too.
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