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The Eagles


Chris985

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My local newspaper (New Orleans, LA) recently ran a story about the Eagles concert. It said that they used prerecorded drum loops AND backup vocals like they were a teen group. Is this the new style, to go prerecorded? I mean, one would think that the Eagles for goodness sakes would at least play. Any thoughts?

 

Chris

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On my way into work today I heard "Hotel California" on the radio.

 

You know, it's too bad how it goes with the media, how the "bigger is better" mentality stomps in and wrecks everything about what could be something good.

 

Such as, if only they didn't play "Hotel California" to death and make folks sick of it back then! Gawd, how I remember that, every other song on the radio for months, even years at a time, "Hotel California". Finally after about 3 years of it, they finally stopped putting it on the radio altogether! Woo Hoo!

 

After almost two decade's absence from the airwaves, playing it now lets it regain just a little of the interest and freshness it used to have when it first came out, but just a little.

Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; one lick and you suck forever.
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This brings up a fascinating philosophical conundrum for me.

 

Now, we know the Eagles can play their instruments, write great songs and sing phenomenally well.

 

And their concert tickets are about the highest priced out there.

 

So...here's the problem...

 

Would I prefer judicious looping of drum tracks and overdubbed harmonies to make the song more authentic...

 

and then...

 

Would I prefer the Eagles, as they decline, to pre-sing backup harmonies (and presumably have the pitch corrected in studio) so that the music still sounds pristine...(have you heard the natural voices of CS&N lately?)

 

and then...

 

Would I prefer massive studio production, with only solos being performed live...to maintain absolute studio integrity...

 

I don't know where I fall here...probably I can accept some judicious pre-tracking to fill out a song. I still want the band to be mostly live performing...and I don't want the band to be tied so tightly to an arrangement that they can't throw in an extra chorus of Joe Walsh solo...

 

On the other hand...the Eagles are that closely produced...every lick, bass, rhythm instruments and solos are performed exactly the same every night, so far as I can tell.

 

Which deepens the conundrum...of what value is going to the concert to see them ape their albums? Just to say I was there? I saw Timothy B Schmidt from the second balcony?

 

Doesn't a band cease to exist on some level if there's no danger onstage? Or no musical interaction with the audience?

 

I saw the Who on their first farewell tour...the real Who (well, with Kenny Jones), touring in support of "Face Dances." There was definitely interaction that night...Pete's guitars kept going out of tune...he finally smashed them. And, of course, on "Won't Get Fooled Again" they were supported either by a tape or by an offstage keyboardist playing the famous break. That didn't destroy the concert for me, but I did remember it.

 

How do y'all feel about this?

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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It's fine to sequence some things. I mean it's possible to do something in the studio that you'll never pull off live. There is a line in the sand there somewhere though. I am against live drum machines though... drum loops sounds an awful lot like the Eagles playing along to a drum machine. Where's the dynamic interaction in that? Doesn't that sterilize things a bit to much?

Double Posting since March 2002

Random Post Generator #26797

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This is the sort of thing which drives me insane (not much of a drive, more of a short putt...)

 

I can't stand the pre-recording, looping, auto-tune, pre-packaged 'aids' that go into so many 'live' performances these days. If you can't do it live, what the hell are you doing onstage???

 

A good engineer could take three blue-assed baboons and edit/punch/autotune/tweak/loop/synthesize their grunts and flatulence to sound like the London Philharmonic, but to what end? If said baboons went on tour, what would their show be like? :rolleyes:

 

In the event of a particular performer having recorded all other instruments on the promoting album (Todd Rundgren, Stevie Wonder, etc), I've seen them with both backup musicians and performing solo onstage without backing tracks. This is a responsibility of any performing musician - re-work your material so it CAN be played live.

 

With the technology available these days, I foresee the next step in concert-going will be for 'musicians' to stand around onstage drinking beer, while their adoring public bops to the pre-recorded tracks being pumped in from backstage, all to the tune of $150 per ticket.

 

If you can't do it live, don't do it at all.

 

Just my $.02,

Tim from Jersey :thu:

Play. Just play.
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I'd pay more to see those blue-assed baboons than I would to see the Eagles, backing tracks or not! :D

 

I am always gravely disappointed if I go hear a group live that duplicates the performance on the records. I might as well stay home, the sound of my stereo is way better than the sound at most clubs and concerts.

 

Also when I listen at home, I don't have to listen to the "fans" of the group that come and talk and party all the way through the show. I almost got into a fight with some people that I told to shut up, until my wife said, we all just paid $50 each for tickets, don't you want to hear the music? We've got nothing against you personally, we just would like to hear the music.

 

I would also be more likely to buy a cd if it had a label on it that said, "This music was recorded with no overdubs and no punch-ins. ProTools was not used in the making of this record."

 

Flim and the BB's have made all their albums this way and they are wonderful albums with fantastic fidelity. I once went to a high-end audio store that used one to demo their systems. Flim, by the way, is the great bassist Jimmy Johnson. The albums are not everyone's cup of tea, they are pretty mellow, but the sound, all recorded direct to digital, is impeccable.

 

To connect this thread to another, Steely Dan sounds pretty awesome live. So does Sting. Of course both these bands have the top players in the world in them.

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Again, I'm in complete agreement with Jeremy here. I don't want to see a band play their album note-for-note on stage. What's the point? Oh, it was louder than your home stereo and you got to see the band!! Blah. I know what they look like already.

 

I am not a fan of playing along to pre-recorded backing tracks of any type (drum loops, backup vocals, extra rhythm instruments, whatever). If you can't play the song live, don't play the thing. Hell, alter the arrangement of the song if you need to so you CAN perform it live. I hate to use my band as an example all the damn time, but this is exactly what we do. There are a number of songs that Yogi has written and recorded that we simply could not do live with our instrumentation. So, we re-arranged the song so we could play it. It sounds different than the album version, but who cares? It's still a great song and it gives people a reason to come to the shows (besides seeing my super-sexy mug... AAHAAHa... that's not funny. :D ).

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There are few places I accept pre-recorded tracks in a live situation, especially when their use is masked from the audience.

 

Every time someone raises this question, I go back to James Taylor, circa the 1980's. Although he always tours with 3 fantastic backing vocalists, he really, really likes the recorded backing vox to "Shower The People". To recreate it onstage, he would play solo, sitting on a chair. On an identical chair, right next to him, was a reel-to-reel tape machine with a start/stop pedal. As he began each chorus, James would tap the start button and the backing vox would play along.

 

There are three reasons this doesn't bother me. First, he did it on one song. One.. song.. Second, he put it out for the entire audience to see. No hiding the fact that he used the tape. Third, he utilized great singers on all other songs with backing vocals.

 

I would rather see a band connect in a different way than the studio musicians did, rather than hear every part from the albums represented onstage.

 

Originally posted by jeremyc:

...Flim and the BB's have made all their albums this way and they are wonderful albums with fantastic fidelity. I once went to a high-end audio store that used one to demo their systems. Flim, by the way, is the great bassist Jimmy Johnson. The albums are not everyone's cup of tea, they are pretty mellow, but the sound, all recorded direct to digital, is impeccable...

I had a chance to speak with Jimmy at intermission when I worked the James Taylor concert here, in 1997. He's a very nice gentleman. It was then that I discovered he is/was Flim! :D I've only heard one song ("Invention", which I love!), but someday I'll buy some Flim & The BB's albums. I'd love to see him perform with that band live. :thu:

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

Soundclick

fntstcsnd

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My take on live performances is that if its really going to be live, then real people have to play real music. So I'm against auto harmonies and such. Your fans have payed money to hear the production on the cd, and now they're paying to see you do it live. So do it!

 

Originally posted by jeremyc:

I would also be more likely to buy a cd if it had a label on it that said, "This music was recorded with no overdubs and no punch-ins. ProTools was not used in the making of this record."

I'm going to have to say that I find this ridiculous myself. Recording a cd is much different from playing live, and I see no reason to try and get everything as 'pure' as most of us seem to prefer it for a live show. No overdubs or punch-ins? If every artist obeyed that, we'd have a lot less interesting music. Unless its like a recorded blues jam or something, most of the artists I listen to over dub their solos... would you really want to be recording a song and play a guitar solo with the rest of the band while recording, and if you mess up, do another take and waste the other band mates' time? Even hendrix doubled his guitar, or added something like glockenspiel to the song later. People harmonize with themself, and I'd rather have the harmonies so I can hear their complete vision of their song than know that they used as few tricks as possible. Even auto-tune isn't against my musical morals, a stingy helping of it makes it sound better, and who care if the recorded artist can do it live if you're just listening to a CD?

 

Tricks on cd = good

Not actually playing live = bad

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Originally posted by Squ:

I'm going to have to say that I find this ridiculous myself. Recording a cd is much different from playing live, and I see no reason to try and get everything as 'pure' as most of us seem to prefer it for a live show. No overdubs or punch-ins? If every artist obeyed that, we'd have a lot less interesting music.

A lot of the early Beatles recordings were all live studio tracks with no overdubs. There are hundreds of jazz recordings that are live in the studio with no overdubs. I consider all of this stuff to be extremely interesting music.
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I prefer the 'warts and all' to the Alsihad-auto-tune-sample fake o rama.

That's why I love my old Robert Johnson recordings so much.

 

In fact I was listening to the RE-mixed Allman Brothers "Live" at the Fillmore CD tonight, and the solo fly-ins and edits were so numerous it was awful. This revisionist album is NOT what we had on vinyl, and I was pretty much not digging on it.

 

Give me the real deal in a live show and keep the fake crap for the 'learning-to-play' surface-oriented kiddie acts.

"We are the Federales... You know, the Mounted Police..."

---"If you're the police, where are your badges?"

"Bodges?..."

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I love live music. What attracted me to playing music was watching a great musician (Urbie Green-jazz trombonist) from 5 feet away when I was 12. I've always been fascinated watching people create music. I don't mind some prerecorded tracks if used sparingly as an enhancement of the music rather than as a crutch. As long as I can still feel the passion from the musicians. It is a fine line though.
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It has got to be all live.

 

I understand that when making a cd there is all kinds of multi-track stuff going on, but arranging a song for a performance is part of being a musician. I believe that good songs are still good songs no matter wha the instrumentation (one of my regular gigs is just me on upright and a singer). I also understand that the layman wants to "see a show", but I think that it is up to us to raise the bar so that the people look forward to hearing the new arrangement that should have been on the cd in the first place. Why pay $50 bucks to see some clowns mime? The cd only cost $17 and there are no parking hassles.

 

The uninitiated should check out Flim and the BB's, as jeremyc suggested. Direct to digital 2 track is the only way to go. They are mild but they play their asses off.

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I would also be more likely to buy a cd if it had a label on it that said, "This music was recorded with no overdubs and no punch-ins. ProTools was not used in the making of this record."
Speaking as someone who is acting as his own record label, it's hard to overstate the impact on your bottom line that Pro Tools and similar technologies can offer you - that is, in terms of savings. When you're a little guy, working a day gig to finance your stuff, and putting every single penny you have into it, it sure is nice to get the most bang for yer buck. Pro Tools, used wisely, and with the help of a talented engineer, can save you all kinds of time (and thus, moolah) in all aspects of the recording process - tracking, overdubbing, mixing. ESPECIALLY mixing.

 

Sure, it would be great if we were all gods who play our best when the red light goes on, and nail everything on Take 1. But are you going to wait around to create your art until you qualify for that distinction? Not me! I'm happily flawed, and I'll never be as good as I wanna be, but I wanna make albums anyway.

:wave:

"Expectations are the enemy of music." - Mike Keneally

Hi! My band is... my band is... HALF ZAFTIG | Half Zaftig on MySpace | The Solo Stuff

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Hey yogi! The whole gang's here!

 

I generally don't have a big problem with people using sequenced tracks, tapes or drum loops live, but it really depends on what kind of music it is and what kind of audience they have.

 

For instance, a top 40 dance cover act would need to have a large group to pull off the music accurately. By sequencing some parts, they can have a smaller group, everybody makes a little more money, and the drunk casino people who are dancing their butts off couldn't care less about it. It may be a matter of survival for some groups in that line of work because they may not get any gigs otherwise.

 

I've played in a couple original rock bands where we used drum loops live on a few songs, and it rocked. Having a loop going along with live drums can in fact be really cool. We used the same loops that we used on the recordings, and there was no one in the band who could possibly play it because it wasn't "played" by anyone in the first place. So in that respect, we were being true to the music. What is wrong with that?

 

I do draw the line at backup vocals and extra keys or other ear candy parts....that IS a bit lame. And lip syncing lead vocals is right out! And a band of musicians like the Eagles should know better.

 

I suppose if it is done to cover up the musician's shortcomings, then it's lame. But if it's done in a way that enhances the live show for the fans, leaving enough musical elements up to the players, then I see nothing terribly wrong with it.

 

Modern recorded music is not strictly about music anymore, unfortunately. Half the game is the production. There is music, and there is production, and some artists feel it is important that the production be presented in the live setting in addition to just the music. Apparently they believe it will sell more tickets.

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I'd almost forgive another band for it before I would the Eagles, and I CAN tell you why. Sorry, bad pun. When they reunited for the "Hell Freezes Over" project, tickets started at $95 for lawn seats. I heard an interview with Glenn Frey where he was asked why tickets were so expensive. Now, he could have said anything - high expenses, the promoter sets the prices, whatever - but what was his answer? He said, and I'm paraphrasing from memory, "We're the Eagles, and we swore we'd never get together again, but we are, and it's a big deal, and if you want to see it, you're gonna pay for it." :rolleyes: I decided right then and there that I would never EVER spend another dime on any product that said "The Eagles" on it as long as I lived.

 

Now I hear they're using canned backing parts. After the load of shit Frey spewed about how friggin' special it was to see them in concert and how much it cost, they better be playing all the parts themselves, and hiring the goddamn New York Philharmonic to back them up, if that's what it takes. What a bunch of losers.

 

The bitterest pill of all to swallow is that the mighty Joe Walsh is participating in this travesty. Joe, we hardly knew ye.

"I had to have something, and it wasn't there. I couldn't go down the street and buy it, so I built it."

 

Les Paul

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I saw The Who on the same tour that Jeremy did, and I believe the keys were used more often through the show, and they were live, played by Rabbit Bundrick (sp?). Solid player.

The element of "danger", contrived or not ,was in the air for real. Especially when Pete put down his guitar, and walked out to the middle of the floor seats to approach an audience member, who had been playing with a paper yo-yo through the first part of the set.

Pete approached the guy, in what appeared to be the prelude to a nasty scene... And, apparently quite nicely, requested and received the toy from the fan. And then, back to the stage...

Queen was a band that relied pretty heavily on overdubs, but took great pride in labelling their albums "no synthesizers were used!" or some such. Live, for Bohemian Rhapsody, they left the stage for the overture (the vocal part) and rolled tape, back on stage for the head of the solo section. Even allowed for a costume change for Freddie.

 

The Alsihad brigade is here to stay, and ProTools can be utilized to make a good product, but, ultimately, it is a tool of convenience for the music makers, and not for music buyers.

 

It makes recording music easier, but it does nothing to make recording good music easier. That's up to us.

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yeah, I wish Queen had continued not using synthesizers. The synths tended to make their sound a little less interesting overall, even though they still came up with some great songs.

 

I think Bohemian Rhapsody is a good example of a song where it was a good decision to play a prerecorded track. In that case it was of the middle section, which the band decided would sound almost silly if they tried to perform on stage. The band would go off stage, as mentioned by another poster, and a light show/fireworks would ensue during the "opera" break.

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Originally posted by Fezziwig:

I think Bohemian Rhapsody is a good example of a song where it was a good decision to play a prerecorded track. In that case it was of the middle section, which the band decided would sound almost silly if they tried to perform on stage. The band would go off stage, as mentioned by another poster, and a light show/fireworks would ensue during the "opera" break.

Oh ho ho!! I beg to differ with this particular song. There is an amazing 3-piece cover band here in Seattle that does Bohemian Rhapsody. Whole thing, with just guitar/bass/drums. All three of the guys in the band can sing extremely well. It's really, really cool how they manage their way through the middle section. Always a crowd favorite for them. :)
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Yeah, I know Phish did it too. In my opinion it sounds pretty funny unless you get all the voices...that's all 96 of them, I believe. But, I like the full choir effect. That's why there are differences of opinion!
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I saw a guy. one guy, do Bohemian Rhapsody with a keyboard, a mike and obviously a bunch of other gear.

 

It was at the NAMM show, and I didn't catch his name.

 

He tore the roof off of the sucker!

 

Then he followed it with Thriller and then an operatic aria.

 

Wraub, I don't think we saw the same Who show, I never saw any keyboards.

 

The two times I saw the Who were in 1966 in Providence at the RI Auditorium (opening for Herman and the Hermits!) and 1969 at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit. That was an awesome show. First they played a whole bunch of tunes, then they played Tommy in its entirety, then they played My Generation, then they encored with Magic Bus.

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Originally posted by jeremyc:

...and 1969 at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit. That was an awesome show. First they played a whole bunch of tunes, then they played Tommy in its entirety, then they played My Generation, then they encored with Magic Bus.

Will someone PLEASE invent a time machine so I can go back and witness this show?
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It was me wraub was talking 'bout.

 

But I LIKE being confused with Jeremy!!!!! What an honor.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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The newspaper was WRONG!!!!!!!

Stupid stupid stupid writer.

 

I just saw their concert this week.

2 tunes had loops.

The new single and "you belong to the city" which made me sick (the tune not the loop).

 

The loop on the new tune was a choice. Just trying to sound current.

"you belong to the city" was a shitty tune always.

 

But the rest of the concert was awesome.

Don Henleys voice was tired so the second set turned into the Joe Walsh show.

Total straight up rock. Awesome.

And each vocalist sounded great. (henley included).

These guys sing IN TUNE at all times! even walsh.

 

And the bigger revelation was......

Every single tune.

Every single guitar solo.

Was so perfect for the TUNE that they HAVE TO PLAY THEM note for note live.

They are part of the tune.

 

Simple. effective. Perfectly melodic.

And forever PART OF THE TUNE.

 

The concert was great. Fuck the critics.

They hated the eagles from minute one.

 

The songs will last for a very long time.

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