Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Things One Finds On Three Inch Reels of Tape...


I'm slowly plowing through a large mountain of reel to reel tapes, which I've bought here and there and everywhere, over the years. The pile actually tends to get bigger before I can make it smaller, if you know what I mean.

I was quite taken with this performance, which was the only thing notable on a three inch reel that I recently listened to. Everything I know about can be seen in the copy of the tape package, above. I would assume this was a vanity recording, or at least at the edge of such a definition - perhaps a band who was making a professional quality tape in the hopes of securing some sort of contract.

I'm not sure I'd call this good, but I do find it fairly compelling and very interesting:

5 comments:

Captain Suburbia said...

Perhaps this fits into the "home recording" category. Was it recorded at 3&3/4 ips by any chance? Because it just sounds, well...bad. 2 minutes of EQ tweaking made the lyrics (most
ly) understandable, which anyone, however lowly, in a recording studio would understand, and do. This just sounds like they grabbed 2 very average microphones and went for it.


Also, I can imagine the conversations between the band members...

Drummer: Me and the bass player were talking, and um, well...we think we should have our own microphone

Singer: No. We already talked about this, and we decided. You guys are really loud anyway, and look, the guitarist has to put his amp on the piano to share a microphone. Besides, there's only 2.

D: But 2 months ago my cousin George made a tape like this. You can only hear the drummer when he belts the toms, and you can't hear the bass player at all.

S: Would you shut up? We've only got five minutes before we have to pack up, and I haven't even had a chance to warm up my voice properly for that arpeggiated wail I go into before the piano solo. I might still cock up the third note!

Captain Suburbia said...

Having thought a bit more though, you're right. It's the 3" reels that turn up the real (or reel, if you'll excuse the dreadful pun) gems. When I went through my parents reels, all the 5" and 7" ones were just records they'd taped so they didn't have to turn them over or whatever. But tucked away on a 3" reel, among recordings made by holding a microphone up to the radio, was a recording of my mum singing and playing guitar with her long dead cousin. Wow, was I popular that night...!

Bob Purse said...

Hey there,

Thanks for your comments. I think it's a studio job, but perhaps just made for the band (or singer) in question. The tape box does have the name of the song on it, along with the name of a studio. "Aardvark Recording Studio" might be a joke, but I'm guessing it was some cheapo setup of the day.

You should post that recording that you found!

Bob

Captain Suburbia said...

Just on this again, I was listening to our local oldies station on saturday night, and what came on, but "The Letter" by The Box Tops.

I had absolutely no idea that it was a number one hit in 1967, or that a whole lot of other artists had covered it. Shows how much I know...

Sammy Reed said...

This song isn't working now.