To all the members (and non-members as well), we wish you a rockin’ 2013!
Let’s welcome the new year with some loud ass ROCK ‘n’ ROLL!
“We’re just talkin’ about the future
Forget about the past
It’ll always be with us
It’s never gonna die!”
Your SoloDallas team.
All the best!
One more year goes by, and once again this date comes.
So, to everyone here at SD.com…
Best wishes to all, with lots of Rock n Roll, and most importantly, LOTS OF LOVE!
Your SoloDallas Team.
I guess most “gearheads” and “tonefreaks” are already very used to boutique pickups. It seems that most variations and options offered out there are reproductions of the sought after “Patent Applied For” pickups (PAFs), which are very special in their own right, but also very elusive. The inconsistent character of that era makes reproducing them very hard, as there’s hardly any set “standard” for the true PAF tone.
The quantity of people who offer high quality replicas of said pickups is overwhelming. From $75 to even $200 or even more for a single pickup, there are many to choose from, be it from big names such as Dimarzio and Seymour Duncan, as well as other small winders. Truth is, all of them sound great in their own way, what you get, though, are different tastes.
But I’m not here to talk about boutique pickups in general. Thing is, I have something that might interest you.
Just writing up this article to discuss a few rumours and facts about the “If You Want Blood” live album
Marcus (username Mackollas) and I, while casually talking, realized that “Whole Lotta Rosie” is, perhaps, the most obviously “patched up” track for a very tangible fact: It is, basically, the edited LTBR LP version.
Now… wait… Just wait…. Before you start jumping at me with “WHAT??” or “Are you nuts/ insane/ f*cked up???”, please listen to this file:
This is the intro of the IYWB version (slowed down, so the pitch is lowered) followed by the studio version.
Note how the final A of the riff second time around is longer and then the third run of the riff is stiffer on both versions.
More importantly: The guitar tone is EXACTLY THE SAME.
Later on, the “She’s got it ALLLLLLLLLL” line also matches the studio version 100%
“BUT…. The solos are different!!!! They can’t be the same!”
Just listen to it carefully. No need to even compare to the studio version.
The tone is also 100% the same. It’s even scary. It IS that very same “overloaded mic preamp” sound.
And a more stupid giveaway. listen to Malcolm missing the chord slightly here:
What does this mean? The instrumental rhythm part is simply the sped up (and slightly edited) album version, but with different solos and vocals.
So… what these solos are exactly?
My bet: They are unused outtakes from the LTBR sessions.
Also, let’s consider this: as much as Angus always change up the solos live, he always keeps the same “formula”. If you listen to ALL the “Whole Lotta Rosie” versions from 1977, through the ’80s and up to today, you will notice they always start with that signature rhythmic riff.
Instead, here, we have that messy (yet powerful) “C notes followed by an A note with vibrato” lick. Why only during this night? Why didn’t we ever hear it again ever since?
Plus, the solo as a whole on the “IYWB” live album is considerably “more primitive” (structure-wise) than either the final studio take or the later live versions. So, we can assume it was an earlier outtake, perhaps even from the same day.
What about the vocals? Well
Rumours say that many backing vocals were also re-recorded for the album. Some cite “Rock n Roll Damnation” as one of these tracks. I’d dare to say that “High Voltage” could be another example. After all, being as good as they are at guitar and bass, Malcolm and Cliff are not exactly good singers.
It’s important to remember that it was a common thing for the band to use “instrumental” versions of their songs as playback during TV promo clips, while Bon would do his vocal performance right at the spot.
The first assumption we can make is that, most probably, the vocal track of “Rosie” was also especially recorded for this version. The very demanding “she’s got it all” line just after the intro is the same as the original studio track, so maybe Bon couldn’t get that line right during this possible 1978 session, forcing them to re-use the LP version line.
Another possibilty is that the vocals also could be LTRB session outtakes.
The shorter ending can be explained as well: seemingly, it was chopped off.
You can hear Bon’s wail stopping exactly at the same time as the band changes from the G# note to the closing A chords. A coincidence? Maybe not.
This fact may suggest that the vocal track really is from the LTBR sessions, because if it was recorded for the IYWB album, maybe the final “Rosieeeeee” wouldn’t stop so suddenly.
Another thing is that Angus’ transition from the G# note to the closing “mini-solo” doesn’t sound very natural either. Usually he would play a longer solo, building up until it reached that boiling point.
Of course. this is only speculation of my part, though.
Another giveaway? This time it’s Phil Rudd who gives us a clue. Listen to the final drum fill (first, the “live” version, then the studio one and, finally, the two together):
I never thought I could manage to do this, but it was easier than I thought. I just had to adjust the speed and cut the end… well… This is the final evidence:
It’s amazing, but the quieter part of the solo is also the EXACT SAME take as the studio one. Just note how the guitars are perfectly in synch and the palm mutes happen at the exact same time.
So… Is the whole album “FAKE”??
No. Quite not. It’s a very common thing for bands to “edit” their live performances before releasing them. As controversial as this fact may be, it’s more common than we usually would like to imagine.
The other detail is that “Rosie” is the ONLY track that has a slightly higher pitch, so this fact itself says quite a lot. .
So, all in all, this was not the “Whole Lotta Rosie” the audience at Glasgow heard.
The question now is: Why was this done? Perhaps something happened with the original recording? Or maybe they didn’t perform it well? Maybe we will never know.
But simply using the sped up studio track with a different vocals and solo is beyond anything I could ever imagine. They could have replaced it with “Dog Eat Dog” instead, or even use the extended “Rocker” solo to fill in the missing time. Yet, this is what we got instead.
But then again, Rosie has always been a fan-favourite, so maybe they couldn’t let the album go without it.
On the bright side, we got an amazing “Alternate Studio Take” to listen to.
Speakers are extremely important when we are talking about tone. They give the amp its “voice” and so, in order to get the right sound, you will need to use the right speaker. So, what should I get to achieve the tone I want? Well, now that’s a tricky question.
This article will be a (maybe not so) small post about the history of Celestion, as well as a brief description of each model they produced over the years. Of course, this won’t cover every one of them. I’ll simply feature the ones that I think are the most popular and most widely used models.
Let’s start, shall we?
Early years and the G12 AlNiCo
Celestion started as a manufacturer of speakers for general use (radio, TV, etc.) back in the 1920s. In 1947, it was bought by British Rola and, one year later, production moved to Thames Ditton.
It wasn’t until the 1950s that Celestion developed their first guitar dedicated speaker: the G12 AlNiCo T530 (a.k.a. “Blue”), basically a modified version of the CT3757 radio speaker. These first speakers went through quite a few changes (also appearing in different colours like silver, chrome and red – also with different codes) during the early years, but they remained with a low (in today’s standards) 15w (20w in latter versions) power handling and with both 8ohms and 15ohms options. It was used in Vox and early Marshall amps. With the 100db sensitivity, it was a very “loud” speaker. It was also bright, lively and had a more restrained bottom end. It’s probably more suited for Blues with clean or lightly crunchy tones.
Let’s start with a simple little thing. Most of you probably already know, but it’s worth to clarify this to the “newbies”, alright? (just joking! ;P)
The old Celestions from the late 60s and early 70s had a green plastic back cover and this is why they were nicknamed “Greenbacks” (no sh*t, Sherlock!), but “Greenback” does not refer to any specific model. It’s simply a “generic” name that was given to the speakers of this period, similar to how “Plexi” is a name to all the pre-1969 Marshalls. In other words, both the G12M and G12H can be called “Greenbacks”. Not only that, but also their many variations, such as the 55hz “bass” cones and etc. But I will explain everything in details shortly. The bottom line is: be careful when using the name “Greenback”. (more…)
That question has been haunting me for quite a while.
Yet, I guess I still couldn’t find an answer even though I’ve been thinking about it through and through.
Why music is what it is? Why it can move people in such a way? Why simply playing a guitar can mean so much for someone?
I don’t know.
Music comes from notes. Notes are sounds. Sounds are waves. It’s simply the air vibrating around us. Isn’t it so weird? How exactly these somewhat random vibrations can turn into such a beautiful thing? HOW?
Why can music mean so much for someone? I repeat that question.
Vibrations. That is the key word. It can mean a lot of things. But let’s take the literal meaning for now.
When we grab a guitar, what do we do? We hit the strings and make them vibrate. What else? Why do we do that? What do we expect from it?
And now I’m not taking only the literal meaning of the word. Yes. We expect vibes. Good or bad, smooth or aggressive, sad or cheerful… We want to feel something. But is it just that?
Playing a guitar also means manipulate the “vibrations”. We want to control them. We want to feel the strings under our fingers, feel them crash against each other when doing a bend, make the vibrations get out of control when doing a vibrato and, at the same time, try to keep them under your power. That’s it.
We want to have our emotions under our power. This is why.
We want to yell to the world that we are not passive. We can speak. Some speak through words, some through images, movies, stories, romances… Some speak through war, through violence. But we speak through “vibrations”.
We want to hear ourselves speaking. We want to hear our own “vibrations”.
We want to touch the strings and wait until the vibrations come back at us. We want to feel every bit of this new magic world our minds and hands created. We want to taste every bit of it: to hear the translation of the feelings that are singing inside our mind.
Now… Why do we love gear then? We love collecting guitar, amps, pedals, gadgets… Why? Just because of the happiness of getting something new (“old”, in a few cases – lol)? Like buying new expensive clothes, a big luxury car?
Because we want to get the sounds we have in our mind. And gear is what allows us to do that. Gear is our weaponry. Guitars are like our swords. They stimulate us to get better. It boosts our confidence like a spell. When we hold a great guitar, it’s like it gives us a nod and tells us that it won’t let you down.
And we also want to have something more “physical” to put our love into. We want to attach ourselves physically with music. This is why we love gear. It’s the only “tangible” part of the equation.
And music isn’t only about notes and gear. It’s about rhythm too. Rhythm is measured by beats, right?. Ever wondered why the steady and repetitive percussive sounds can be so meaningful too? Why do we groove?
Because our heart beats too.
It can change its pace, but it never stops beating. If it stops, it’s because it’s the end.
The very same happens to music.
If we hear music, if we can feel it, love it, even though it is just vibration, we can know for sure that we are alive, because we are experience the very “true” magic. .
So… Music is life?
Life is music?
Music is magic?
It is everything.
Back to my first question: “Why?”
No. Not “why”. There’s not a “because” to answer that.
It simply IS.
So, just groove along with it. 😀
What was this? I’m not sure myself. Just felt like writing it. 😛