The Beatles, known for there trendy pop music, take a step out their normal style and explore the new sound of a Psychedelic rock with their album Revolver. Throughout this article we will take a look at what influenced this new sound, some techniques went into the recording of this album, and how I feel about this album as a listener and as an engineer.
Before The Beatles released one of their most famous albums, Revolver which is widely viewed as one of the first, if not the very first, truly psychedelic rock album (Hlavaty, 2011), was already known world wide. They were widely known for their, “cute and cuddly image that had dominated earlier in its career” (Beaudoin, 2012), but during a break from their extensive touring the members of the band started using drugs such as marijuana and LSD (Ingles, 2006). The use of these drugs had a heavy influence on the making of Revolver. During their sessions in the studio a lot of new techniques were used to get the sound they were looking for. Techniques like artificial vocal doubling, reverse tape effect, and using a leslie speaker on vocals. These techniques were so new that they were being done on the fly and the technology of the studio had a hard time keeping up (Hlavaty, 2011). The artificial vocal doubling was done by copying a vocal track and delaying one of the tracks by a coupe milliseconds, Also sending a vocal track through a leslie speaker gave a strange effect that some say it made it sound like it was underwater (Ingles, 2006).
In my opinion, Revolver, is a fantastic album. A lot of people consider it to be one of the greatest albums of all time. Although no one can say for sure what album is the greatest, I will say that it is definitely up there. I was enticed from the beginning because it starts out with an extremely catchy sound, but throughout the rest of the album it has such a wide range of different sounding songs I needed to know what came next. Nowadays the recording techniques they used back then are much easier now and have somewhat become a standard sound in most songs. The fact that they were able to come up with accomplish those techniques back then is amazing by itself. I have heard the majority of The Beatles most popular songs and didn’t really consider myself to be a Beatles fan, but after hearing this album in its entirety from start to finish, I am now.
What is there to say about the album Pet Sounds performed by The Beach Boys? Many people would say that Pet Sounds was one of the most influential albums in Pop music. We will be discussing the sound of The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson and what his influence on the album was, what makes this album different and unique, and finally some personal opinions on what I think about Pet Sounds.
Before May 1966, when Pet Sounds was released, The Beach Boys were considered mostly to be Surf music or Pop music. It wasn’t until Brian Wilson heard one of the Beatles album, Rubber Soul, that took their sound in a different direction (Anderson, 2006). This new sound would be classified as Psychedelic rock because of the use unconventional instruments.
Brain Wilson is one of the founding members of The Beach Boys and the man behind the making of Pet Sounds. He had taken a break from touring with The Beach Boys and during that break wrote what some people say is the best album of all time, Pet Sounds (Pet Sounds). He was the primary composer in the band and composed all the songs from Pet Sounds. The instrumental part of the song Pet Sounds, was originally intended for a James Bond movie; it was going to called Run James Run.
This album wasn’t like anything that anyone had heard before. Brian had used a multitude of different instruments. To name a few he used bicycle bells, dog whistles, buzzing organs, harpsichords, flutes, Electro-Theremin, Hawaiian-sounding string instruments, Coca-Cola cans and barking dogs (Pet Sounds). This album was considered to be so great that it inspired on of the greatest bands of all time, The Beatles, to make an album. The Beatles producer George Martin said, “Without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper never would have happened….Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds” (Greene, 2014).
After listening to Pet Sounds multiple times here are my thoughts about it. Even though it was considered to be one of the best albums of all time, I wouldn’t totally agree with that statement. When I hear Pet Sounds I don’t hear Psychedelic rock, I hear something that has a folk feel to it and I don’t really relate to that. Although I may not like the music itself I do have to say that the way that it was recorded and engineered is fantastic. Particularly the vocals is what I like the most. In the end I think The Beach Boys and especially Brian Wilson did a great on the album Pet Sounds.