Classic recordings that are out of tune

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Rodgre
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Classic recordings that are out of tune

Post by Rodgre » Mon Dec 27, 2004 8:12 pm

The Blue Nile thread got me thinking about other classic recordings from the pre-Auto-tune days when human beings were relied upon to either sing in key or not.

I was thinking a few years ago about how flat Duran Duran was in the early days. "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Rio" have some questionable pitch, but they're so classic. They're perfect the way they are. I never noticed until I started using Autotune how pitchy vocals can be cool.... Thank god they never tuned those songs. The backups in "Cruel to be Kind" by Nicke Lowe, the out of key solos in "All Summer Long" by the Beach Boys, and "California Dreaming" by the Mamas and Papas.

The "ahhhhh" backups in the last bridge of "No Matter What" by Badfinger. Perfectly flat.

One of my favorites is the chord squeezed out of tune in "It's the End of the World" as we Know It" by REM. What about the vocals at the end of "Fool in the Rain" by Led Zeppelin. They go so sharp that I used to think my record was speeding up. I love it now.

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Re: Classic recordings that are out of tune

Post by JGriffin » Mon Dec 27, 2004 8:37 pm

The rhythm guitar break in Bowie's "Young Americans" is so wretchedly out of tune that they replaced it with a drum break on the recent Bowie Hits collection.

Ringo's "in the town" at the beginning of "Yellow Submarine" is sharp, if I remember correctly.
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Re: Classic recordings that are out of tune

Post by lobstman » Mon Dec 27, 2004 8:46 pm

Any good Neil Young song. The ones he tries too hard to sing on just sound forced.
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Re: Classic recordings that are out of tune

Post by east3rdst » Mon Dec 27, 2004 9:48 pm

Helmet - Meantime

I never noticed it before a friend pointed it out this year. Now I only hear out of tune bass when I listen to it. Still great though.
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Re: Classic recordings that are out of tune

Post by DryCounty » Mon Dec 27, 2004 10:05 pm

Or anything by Guv'nor. Auto-tune would've ruined them, for sure.
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Re: Classic recordings that are out of tune

Post by JGriffin » Mon Dec 27, 2004 10:18 pm

The backup vocals on the Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" are SO ADT'd that they sound awfully out of tune.
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Re: Classic recordings that are out of tune

Post by SKEETER » Mon Dec 27, 2004 10:36 pm

There is a somewhat obscure album by Jefferson Airplane called "Thirty Seconds over Winterland". The vocals on it are atrocious! But there is something about the album that makes it really good, there are a couple of cool sounding songs on it. The drummer on it is one of the unsung heroes of rock drummers, Johnny Barbeta. He also played drums on the live CSNY "Four Way Street" on the electric set. The guy has a sound all his own.

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Re: Classic recordings that are out of tune

Post by JGriffin » Mon Dec 27, 2004 10:55 pm

I have that album. I'm gonna go play it now!
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Re: Classic recordings that are out of tune

Post by Mr PC » Mon Dec 27, 2004 11:17 pm

Listen to "Love Me Do" and MacCartney's bass is out of tune on the A-string. Assuming that he uses that on the notes d and c. The second and third notes he plays in the song.


I don't get the "California Dreamin'" example. I mean, the vocals are human and all, but I don't think they reach the level of being out of tune. The high female part can be intoned a bit flat, but I don't think of that as being "out". All in the ear of the beholder....


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Re: Classic recordings that are out of tune

Post by dayvel » Mon Dec 27, 2004 11:51 pm

The thing about "California Dreamin'" (and "Monday, Monday") is that the orchestral tracks are way out of tune with the vocal and rhythm tracks.

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Re: Classic recordings that are out of tune

Post by StivBatorsWreckedMyCar » Tue Dec 28, 2004 12:02 am

This is so funny. I just heard Badfingers "No Matter What" yesterday and there are definitely tuning issues contained therein. Ever hear "Lady Jane" on Aftermath? Ughh.

But hey, these things can add a little character. There's a great old garage/rock band out where I live called Dead Moon. They're never in tune and on the right night they can blow away just about any band around.

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Re: Classic recordings that are out of tune

Post by SKEETER » Tue Dec 28, 2004 1:44 am

I think perhaps the advent of digital tuners has ruined music for a lot of people, .... everyone has gotten so used to hearing robotic sounding music that the real magoo sounds unnatural now

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Re: Classic recordings that are out of tune

Post by Scodiddly » Tue Dec 28, 2004 2:02 am

Tom Waits - "Johnsburg, Illinois" off the Swordfishtrombones album. He's pretty free with his pitch anyway, but that song is like a litmus test.

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Re: Classic recordings that are out of tune

Post by bobbydj » Tue Dec 28, 2004 2:37 am

Great thread. Terminally unfashionable but JJ Burnel's vocals on the track The Raven are meh. He made the switch from bar-room brawler delivery to...what? Whispered semi-falsetto. On this LP (The Raven), and whooh. I was listening the other day and was surprised out just how weird the singing on that track actually is. He really has trouble in places. I dunno if it spoils it or not. Hard to say.
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Re: Classic recordings that are out of tune

Post by toothpastefordinner » Tue Dec 28, 2004 4:41 am

A lot of old dub stuff has badly-intonated (or just out-of-tune) bass, and vocals are often pitchy when they're there at all... but still sounds awesome.

I could listen to Scientist "rids the world of the curse of the evil vampires" or "scientist meets king tubby" or basically any king tubby compilation forever...

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