Wichita Lineman

May 5, 2021 12:42 PM

Thought I'd try recording this lovely tune by the legendary Glen Campbell

It came out a little bit more morose than I expected, but I guess that means I can sneak it into the challenge simply from the hefty ch-ch-change of vibe.

Piano recorded on my phone mic because it would've taken too long to mic it up properly, and also I am very lazy and slapdash these days.

Didn't have time to do more with the backing vocals but I wish I had.

posted by greenish (10 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

Oooh this one is a classic! Really like what you did with the chords, and the vox are ace!
posted by CarrotAdventure at 5:41 PM on May 5, 2021

The vocal harmony is so subtle around 2:50 that I thought it might be some ghostly psychoacoustic phenomenon caused by a chord voicing! Then, a few bars later, it comes forward, and I somehow felt relieved that it was indeed real.

Excellent work as always! I like how the piano feels slightly distant and the vocals feel forward. A progressive black metal band recently recorded most of an album on phones, and I think phone recordings have their own aesthetic that can actually work really well.

Also, this reminds me that I like lyrics with the "I am" perspective. "I am iron man." "I am the modren man", "I am the very model of a modern major general", etc.
posted by ignignokt at 5:17 AM on May 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

This is so great. I worked the graveyard shift at my college radio station and I had a regular who would call in inebriated at 2am every shift to request this song (the Freedy Johnston version, to be specific). It somehow never got old and you've done it great service here.
posted by q*ben at 8:37 AM on May 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

Thanks for your feedback lovely folks. I'm glad I made time to commit this to tape!

q*ben I haven't heard that version, nice. this song is like that isn't it... I know a couple whose music tastes overlap in one single location, that being this song.
posted by greenish at 12:53 PM on May 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

What a great version of a great song. Congrats.
posted by srednivashtar at 4:01 AM on May 7, 2021

What a good version of this song. Didn't seem morose at all to me. I like the rubato in your playing/singing a lot - it makes it stand out that this your version of the song, not just another cover. The harmony line towards the end is especially nice, reminds me a bit of Joni Mitchell.

Speaking of other versions, Cassandra Wilson's take on it is pretty cool. Glen Campbell was an amazing musician and songwriter, but to be honest, I always thought his version of this song that was the top-40 hit was a little cheesy. However, listening to what others have done with it really shows what good bones the song has.
posted by TwoToneRow at 3:21 PM on May 13, 2021

I don't think there's any way you can make this song awful. And in your hands and voice, DAAAAAAAAAMN. Nice job. I could listen to a radio station full of covers of this song, but this would rise to the top, next to the original. It's always one of those Jimmy Webb songs that I think, damn, what a mind he had for chord changes and song structure.

Now I want to cover the whole Richard Harris album Jimmy wrote for him. You know the one with the cake in the rain and the recipe...
posted by not_on_display at 1:59 PM on May 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

Concur with all the above. Gorgeous work, your voice sounds ace!
posted by gorbichov at 4:31 AM on May 15, 2021

Thank you guys all for taking the time to write such kind comments, they've really made my day!
posted by greenish at 12:39 PM on May 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Love this song, and your version is great! There's something quite pleasant about the phone recording of the piano. In a weird way it reminds me a bit of the atmosphere on Alice Boman's EP II / Skisser, which is one of my favorite recordings in recent memory because of how "in the room" it feels. Your voice being more forward in the mix only plays into the aesthetic, somehow. And you sing really well!
posted by edlundart at 10:00 PM on May 27, 2021

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