Heart Full Of Soul

May 28, 2010 1:05 PM

If I'd been born in 1965 and this had been #1 on the day, I'd have submitted this for the May/June challenge. But I wasn't and it wasn't, so I won't. Or something.

Original song by Graham Gouldman (10cc etc) - that's Mr Gouldman to the likes of me - and recorded by The Yardbirds. It might just be that no-one's bothered to do a decent remastering job but the currently extant electronic versions of the original - at least that I can find - don't do justice to a great song and a great band. Which is a shame. Not saying my attempt is any better of course. I just love Graham Gouldman's '60's songs and fancied taking a shot at one.

Usual instrumentation - my 335 (Ella) takes the electric honours this time.

posted by MajorDundee (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

y'know, when this faded out i winced because i just wanted more of that solo...
posted by peterkins at 1:21 PM on May 28, 2010

Thanks P - you must have been listening to this at almost exactly the same time as I was listening to your lovely version of "She Moves Through The Fair"! The end solo on this is a little bit rough and ready, but it was all in one take and I just thought "oh fuck it, people don't listen to guitar solos any more anyway....".
posted by MajorDundee at 1:51 PM on May 28, 2010

Oh, The Yardbirds! <3>
And great cover! Nice clean mix, I love the sound on the vocals, and gorgeous, gorgeous guitar! fantastic arrangement, truly. :)
posted by MaiaMadness at 2:10 PM on May 28, 2010

Huh... That didn't post right. Apparently, this site doesn't like hearts... Let's try again, shall we?

Oh, The Yardbirds! Undoubtedly one of the most important bands in Britain in the 60s, as under-appreciated as they are by the layman, music-historically. Love it!

And great cover! Nice clean mix, I love the sound on the vocals, and gorgeous, gorgeous guitar! fantastic arrangement, truly. :)
posted by MaiaMadness at 2:11 PM on May 28, 2010

Thanks maia, you're very kind. Funnily enough when I do the occasional cover I usual make a point of completely changing the arrangement. But this one pretty closely follows the Yardbirds version. There are a couple of little twists though - like adding slightly different chords under the guitar riff (I don't know what they are - I'm musically illiterate). There's one howler in the vocal that I knew was duff and I really should have fixed it - "Thinking one thought only" (the "thought" is flat) - but I couldn't be arsed to set the mic up again! I don't use pitch fixing technology either - so......there it is, warts and all.
posted by MajorDundee at 2:23 PM on May 28, 2010

The warts give it character. This is really nicely done; your vocals seem to be moving forward more and more, like you've either a) started to finally like your own voice, or b) decided you didn't give a fuck about whether or not you like it. Either way, it's a change for the better, I think.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 2:31 PM on May 28, 2010

Thanks man. I still don't like it much LOOM and it's not that I don't give a fuck, I just think that there are lots of guitar players around who seem to do ok with not-that-great-really voices: Clapton and the late Rory Gallagher spring to mind. So long as it's in tune and carries the song - fine. I think there's a sort of weather-beaten, been-around-a-bit quality to it that works quite well with certain types of "mature" material. So, yeah, maybe I am beginning to thing it's not so bad really. I'm still not confident though: I can make a guitar do what I want it to - my voice has a will of its own and sometimes just gives me the finger and laughs in my face....!
posted by MajorDundee at 2:51 PM on May 28, 2010

There are a couple of little twists though - like adding slightly different chords under the guitar riff

@MajorDundee: Yeah, I heard that. They're absolutely gorgeous. (Also, if you want to know what they are, I could analyze them for you; I'm top of my class in music theory ;P )
posted by MaiaMadness at 3:41 PM on May 28, 2010

This is great man and very nicely crafted. I love your attention to detail, like the harmonic strums you're doing. Little things like that really make this song kick ass.

This is a great showcase for your guitar work too. Man, you sound both technically proficient AND soulful and expressive. That's a great guitar voice, and I love hearing it!

About what you mention above about your voice and vocals; you have a great voice, great range, great tones...it might be that what's lacking is that you're actually singing instead of vocalizing in some instances.

That's just an idea, by the way, not a criticism. I only mention it because I have similar feelings about my own voice so I'm trying to figure out how to make it a little more dynamic.

Cheers, man!
posted by snsranch at 3:43 PM on May 28, 2010

Ooh, also, I really like your voice. It's very expressive. :)
posted by MaiaMadness at 3:55 PM on May 28, 2010

Thanks sns - you're always generously supportive (and it's not unappreciated man) - I'm intruigued and not at all offended. Can you explain a little more re what's lacking is that you're actually singing instead of vocalizing in some instances?

maia - I'd be interested to know what I'm doing there (although I probably won't understand the explanation). I tend to do this quite a lot - I play something like an E minor and then find another chord that I overdub onto it, and it produces a sort of rich texture/overtone. It can either sound awful or, sometimes, quite magical and add a whole different feeling that's totally unexpected. It is, I think, some kind of chordal counterpoint? Basically, I suppose I'm making a 10 string guitar out of it - a bit like being able to find all sorts of voicing by using 10 fingers on a piano... I dunno.
posted by MajorDundee at 4:45 PM on May 28, 2010

Oh and thanks sns for your comment about the soulful guitar playing. You know that when I'm really "in the zone" soloing, when I finish I'm out of breath, heart pounding, slightly dizzy and pretty exhausted. I can't play any other way - but it's good to know that that real fucking effort comes across and connects with people. Doesn't do much for my blood pressure though!
posted by MajorDundee at 4:54 PM on May 28, 2010

I'll give it another listen when it's not 2 am and see what chords I can pick out. It'll be good practice before my aural training exam, anyway. :)
posted by MaiaMadness at 5:09 PM on May 28, 2010

Your guitars are so great (as usual) and those really distinctive, smooth vocals of yours really actually make this song that I've heard a thousand, million times into something pretty new; which is why it's frustrating, for me, (sorry) that the canned percussion sort of sucks the edge out of it and kind of sends it down Easy Listening Street, a little bit. If everything else was the same but you had some kind of edgy, human drums in it I think it would change the whole dynamic. I know that's hard if you have no access to drums, though.
posted by chococat at 9:28 PM on May 28, 2010

You get the cigar choco - spot on. A source of immense frustration to me - but the thought of buying a kit, learning to play (again - I started as a drummer a million years ago) and then the difficulties of recording live drums with limited space/equipment is just beyond me. We all have our cross to bear......
posted by MajorDundee at 1:59 AM on May 29, 2010

Hey man, been on holiday, woo hoo!

About the vocal thing, singing vs. vocalizing is like the difference between simply strumming a guitar and really wringing that neck in your hands. I figure if I can learn Hendrix/Clapton/Page riffs and licks on the guitar that I can learn some Plant/David Lee Roth and other such with my voice.

I figure it's just like guitar...I'm not going to emulate anyone's voice, but after working through some other voices, I'll find some techniques and range that fit MY voice.

Sorry if that's so much B.S. but that's what I'm doing and I thought you might find it interesting to think about.
posted by snsranch at 5:18 PM on May 31, 2010

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