Tag Archives for " clavinet "
There’s been a lot of hits from the past that you continue to hear on the radio, but a perennial favorite is “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” from Blue Oyster Cult. The song comes from the band’s 1976 album Agents of Fortune album, where it hit #12 on the Billboard charts and has been around ever since. You’ve probably heard the song hundreds of times, but you’re probably not aware of some of the very interesting things that are going on inside the mix that you don’t readily hear. Pull up some headphones and take a listen to the following.
1. The clean guitar playing the lead riff, which comes in the second time through the riff (which you don’t hear here).
2. This song is famous for its cowbell (thank you Saturday Night Live), but the percussion instrument that really stands out is the guiro (as seen on right).
3. The organ shadows the vocals. Here you can hear the organ leaning to the left, and the low harmony leaning to the right.
4. There’s what sounds like a clavinet playing whole notes in the B section.
5. In the bridge you can hear the doubles of the clean arpeggiated guitar and distorted guitar riff.
6. At the end of the bridge there’s a synth that doubles the feedback guitar (which you can’t hear here).
7. On the outro there’s an new keyboard shadowing the main chord pattern.
8. If you listen to the end, you’ll hear the ending that didn’t make the final mix on the record.
All in all, a very cool version of some buried in the mix isolated backing tracks that will have you listening to the track differently the next time you hear it.
How many times have you heard a cover band play Stevie Wonder’s seminal “Superstition” and think, “That doesn’t sound like the record.” One of the reasons why is because there’s more than one clavinet on the track, a fact that’s usually overlooked by the band. In fact, according to Bob Margouleff (who recorded and co-produced the song – hear him talk about working with Stevie on my Inner Circle Podcast episode #78) there are actually 4 clavinets on the track, and in today’s video you can hear them clearly.
1. The clav track on the left during the verse is the signature line that everyone knows.
2. The clav track on the right plays counterpoint to the signature track, and is actually key to the sound of the record (and the part that no one ever plays).
3. During the B-section there are two new clav sounds that replace the verse clavinets, one on each side, that are much softer sounding.
4. Listen for the amplifier noise (no directs used here) on the intro of the track, and Stevie singing in the background during the breaks.