Wednesday, October 24, 2012

M and M cover girls: Roxy Music's Musique and Madonna's personal mix

This is Exhibit A for Why This Blogger Collects Vinyl Records.  Or, another way, Why This Record Collectors Blogs.  Who else puts these two together?  By rights, Matt and Scott should jointly write this post.  The Roxy ep called The High Road on the left is a 4-song masterpiece.  Four songs, two of which are "cover versions," but with Roxy, "cover" is a weak term.  What they do is take hold of another's song and Roxy-ize it.  Making, can we say - even better?  Here we get John's Jealous Guy, which some think IS a Roxy/Ferry-written song.  Makes me think of Elton's Empty Garden.  They also take a song from the Neil Young canon, Like a Hurricane - and make turn that folksy ballad into a techno-thrust.  In short: the finest 4-song entry ever on vinyl.  We also get extended/live cuts of Can't Let Go (solo Ferry tune), and My Only Love.  There four make up the most haunting collected use of music committed to re-playable recording.

    Madonna's You Can Dance is her remix album.  The album contains remixes of tracks from her first three studio albums—Madonna (1983), Like a Virgin (1984) andTrue Blue (1986) - and a new track, "Spotlight".  "In the 1980s, remixing was still a new concept and technology, by which a particular vocal phrase could be endlessly copied, repeated, chopped up, transposed up and down in pitch and give them more echo, reverberation, treble or bass.  Madonna became interested in the concept, noting that she hated when others remixed her songs and she wanted to do it by herself.

  Madonna turned to her old friend and producer John "Jellybean" Benitez to help her remix the songs, and also enlisted the help of Patrick Leonard, the producer of True Blue.  The mixes on You Can Dance exhibited a number of typical mixing techniques. Instrumental passages were lengthened to increase the time for dancing, which undermined the tighter structure of the original pop song. Vocal phrases were repeated and subjected to multiple echoes, panned across the stereophonic sound outlets. At certain points, almost no music is heard except the drums and at other times, the drums are removed with only the high-hat left to keep time. The album cover denoted Madonna's continuous fascination with Hispanic culture.

~ Madonna passages above from wiki.

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