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Sgt Pepper: The Beatles Failure

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they wanted to produce an album that could not be performed live...

 

[video=youtube_share;msYTb-F1jlI]

 

this is actually quite well done

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Have you seen the Fab Faux do the Abbey Road medley? Its quite remarkable.

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Posted (edited)
Have you seen the Fab Faux do the Abbey Road medley? Its quite remarkable.

 

Fab Faux tours every year.

They played Sgt Pepper live in its entirety last year.

In past years they’ve done Rubber Soul and Abbey Road; every song; in order.

This year they’re performing the white album beginning to end (again).

No Beatle haircuts, boots or collarless jackets; just great studio musicians faithfully performing these iconic collections.

Edited by RogueGnome
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Have you seen the Fab Faux do the Abbey Road medley? Its quite remarkable.

 

I did see a video of them doing that in a studio setting. At first I was questioning why they would go through such effort to do something that has already been done. As the music progressed, however, I became much more appreciative and yes, it is quite remarkable.

 

That music has become like classical music where we go to the symphony to hear the works of the masters being performed, as written, by highly skilled musicians.

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Posted (edited)

That music has become like classical music where we go to the symphony to hear the works of the masters being performed, as written, by highly skilled musicians.

 

I have always failed to see the difference between "classical" and pop music as the stark line that so many people seem to envision. From my perspective, the only substantive differences are the "born on" date and the fact that the only old music that we still losten to is the 10% that isn't garbage.

 

For example, I see Paganini as the rough equivalent of a Steve Vai or Miles Davis; Mozart is a bit like a Michael Jackson. How are Strauss' waltzes functionally different from modern dance music, or a Mussourgsky work terribly different from a Steely Dan album?

 

On second thought, there is a third difference - the performers. "Classically trained" players focus on very precise execution of existing works, while most people who perform contemporary material focus on stylistic authenticity and creativity/improvisation. The truly top players can do both, but most of us are specialists in one or the other.

 

In short, the stuff that still gets covered by high level players 20 years or more after release is generally just the best of breed from a given period, and this is completely independent of when it was written.

 

JMO, YMMV.

Edited by SteinbergerHack
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Have you seen the Fab Faux do the Abbey Road medley? Its quite remarkable.

 

Will Lee!

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Posted (edited)

 

I have always failed to see the difference between "classical" and pop music as the stark line that so many people seem to envision. From my perspective, the only substantive differences are the "born on" date and the fact that the only old music that we still losten to is the 10% that isn't garbage.

 

For example, I see Paganini as the rough equivalent of a Steve Vai or Miles Davis; Mozart is a bit like a Michael Jackson. How are Strauss' waltzes functionally different from modern dance music, or a Mussourgsky work terribly different from a Steely Dan album?

 

On second thought, there is a third difference - the performers. "Classically trained" players focus on very precise execution of existing works, while most people who perform contemporary material focus on stylistic authenticity and creativity/improvisation. The truly top players can do both, but most of us are specialists in one or the other.

 

In short, the stuff that still gets covered by high level players 20 years or more after release is generally just the best of breed from a given period, and this is completely independent of when it was written.

 

JMO, YMMV.

 

The other difference I see is that music written before the recording era is open for interpretation while contemporary music much less so.

 

These Beatles acts are usually judged by how faithfully they can reproduce the original recording.

Edited by Vito Corleone

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I have always failed to see the difference between "classical" and pop music as the stark line that so many people seem to envision. From my perspective, the only substantive differences are the "born on" date and the fact that the only old music that we still losten to is the 10% that isn't garbage.

 

For example, I see Paganini as the rough equivalent of a Steve Vai or Miles Davis; Mozart is a bit like a Michael Jackson. How are Strauss' waltzes functionally different from modern dance music, or a Mussourgsky work terribly different from a Steely Dan album?

 

On second thought, there is a third difference - the performers. "Classically trained" players focus on very precise execution of existing works, while most people who perform contemporary material focus on stylistic authenticity and creativity/improvisation. The truly top players can do both, but most of us are specialists in one or the other.

 

In short, the stuff that still gets covered by high level players 20 years or more after release is generally just the best of breed from a given period, and this is completely independent of when it was written.

 

JMO, YMMV.

 

If you had wasted your college education on a music degree, then you'd understand!

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Posted (edited)

If you had wasted your college education on a music degree, then you'd understand!

 

I got the first two years of a music degree, and qualified for a minor but didn't request it on my diploma.

 

FWIW, in my current playing, I ride the border between the two. Both my horn bands and my theater gigs have some degreed players who have studied performance, and many of them (not all, but most) cannot improvise to save their lives. We also have "untrained" players who always think in terms of making music, rather than in terms of following the chart/score. Players with both are rare and incredibly valuable.

 

Anecdote - about a year ago I was directing a theater gig, and I gave the instruction that we would do a playoff based on one of the "rock" numbers from the show, play the head, then two verses through with soloists each 12 bars, then the last 4 bars of the score as an "outro". The drums, bass, guitar and keyboard played it perfectly as described without even looking at the score; the concertmaster (lead violin), asked me if I would chart the playoff so that the string section could follow it. Different ways of approaching music - not good or bad, just different.

Edited by SteinbergerHack

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I saw McCartney himself play Sgt. Pepper live (the first time he had ever done so in the USA) way back on Thanksgiving day in 1989...

 

[video=youtube;erx8K9mxI-0]

 

And minor point of correction - I don't think they ever intended for the album to be impossible to perform live - they merely realized that it would be impossible for them to perform some of their songs from the Revolver (and after) period live due to the cost of taking the LSO on the road with them and the technological limitations of the time.

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I saw McCartney himself play Sgt. Pepper live (the first time he had ever done so in the USA) way back on Thanksgiving day in 1989...

 

[video=youtube;erx8K9mxI-0]

 

And minor point of correction - I don't think they ever intended for the album to be impossible to perform live - they merely realized that it would be impossible for them to perform some of their songs from the Revolver (and after) period live due to the cost of taking the LSO on the road with them and the technological limitations of the time.

 

Was that at the LA Forum? I went to that show as well. Don't remember which night I was there, but it still stands as my most amazing concert experience ever. Realizing it was f'n Paul McCartney playing Sgt Pepper's was unreal.

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Was that at the LA Forum? I went to that show as well. Don't remember which night I was there, but it still stands as my most amazing concert experience ever. Realizing it was f'n Paul McCartney playing Sgt Pepper's was unreal.

 

Yes, it was at the Forum in LA. They did more than one night there on the Flowers In The Dirt tour, but it was the opening night (for the American leg of the tour) that I saw them - Thanksgiving evening, November 23. I still have the ticket stub around here someplace... and yes, it was awesome to see McCartney playing Sgt. Pepper's live, along with some other Beatles songs I hadn't heard him perform live previously. It was one of my best concert experiences ever too, although I had also seen Wings previously on the Wings Over America tour - June 21, 1976 - which was also at the Forum. Ringo came onstage at one point, and the place went absolutely NUTS. :lol:

 

 

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Yes, it was at the Forum in LA. They did more than one night there on the Flowers In The Dirt tour, but it was the opening night (for the American leg of the tour) that I saw them - Thanksgiving evening, November 23. I still have the ticket stub around here someplace... and yes, it was awesome to see McCartney playing Sgt. Pepper's live, along with some other Beatles songs I hadn't heard him perform live previously. It was one of my best concert experiences ever too, although I had also seen Wings previously on the Wings Over America tour - June 21, 1976 - which was also at the Forum. Ringo came onstage at one point, and the place went absolutely NUTS. :lol:

 

 

Yeah, I may have seen the Friday show, but I can't remember now. Couple of friends and I drove from Vegas to see the show and spent what, was then, a ridiculous price for tickets. LIke $60 or something to sit on the main floor lol.

 

 

 

 

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The following Christmas (1990) my aunt bought me the album from the tour (Tripping The Live Fantastic), which I hadn't heard yet, and one of my cousins asked if we could put it on while we were all hanging out on Christmas day. And when the recording of Sgt Pepper came on, within about two or three seconds of it starting, I looked over at everyone and said "that was recorded the night I was there." They grabbed the CD jacket and checked, and sure enough, it was.

 

One listen, and I could accurately identify something I had heard only once, over a year earlier, within two or three seconds of the playback... :0

 

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I have always failed to see the difference between "classical" and pop music as the stark line that so many people seem to envision. From my perspective, the only substantive differences are the "born on" date and the fact that the only old music that we still losten to is the 10% that isn't garbage.

 

For example, I see Paganini as the rough equivalent of a Steve Vai or Miles Davis; Mozart is a bit like a Michael Jackson. How are Strauss' waltzes functionally different from modern dance music, or a Mussourgsky work terribly different from a Steely Dan album?

 

On second thought, there is a third difference - the performers. "Classically trained" players focus on very precise execution of existing works, while most people who perform contemporary material focus on stylistic authenticity and creativity/improvisation. The truly top players can do both, but most of us are specialists in one or the other.

 

In short, the stuff that still gets covered by high level players 20 years or more after release is generally just the best of breed from a given period, and this is completely independent of when it was written.

 

JMO, YMMV.

 

Meh...

 

Classical music is just Heavy Metal prior to electricity.

 

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And minor point of correction - I don't think they ever intended for the album to be impossible to perform live - they merely realized that it would be impossible for them to perform some of their songs from the Revolver (and after) period live due to the cost of taking the LSO on the road with them and the technological limitations of the time.

 

You are correct.

 

It was probably more about removing the restriction of "how are we going to play this live?" while they were producing a recording.

 

 

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Was that at the LA Forum? I went to that show as well. Don't remember which night I was there, but it still stands as my most amazing concert experience ever. Realizing it was f'n Paul McCartney playing Sgt Pepper's was unreal.

:D

I wouldn't go to the Forum because that's where the Lakers play.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Speaking of Sgt Pepper from start to finish, check this out:

[video=youtube;C4rluR_AhII]

Edited by Hoot Owl
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I got the first two years of a music degree, and qualified for a minor but didn't request it on my diploma.

 

FWIW, in my current playing, I ride the border between the two. Both my horn bands and my theater gigs have some degreed players who have studied performance, and many of them (not all, but most) cannot improvise to save their lives. We also have "untrained" players who always think in terms of making music, rather than in terms of following the chart/score. Players with both are rare and incredibly valuable.

 

As you say, the players with both are valuable but I don't think they are all that rare. I know lots of players who are competent with both approaches.

 

Chet Atkins described it well when he said "teach them how to play then teach them how to read" - which is my philosophy when teaching.

 

 

Anecdote - about a year ago I was directing a theater gig' date=' and I gave the instruction that we would do a playoff based on one of the "rock" numbers from the show, play the head, then two verses through with soloists each 12 bars, then the last 4 bars of the score as an "outro". The drums, bass, guitar and keyboard played it perfectly as described without even looking at the score; the concertmaster (lead violin), asked me if I would chart the playoff so that the string section could follow it. Different ways of approaching music - not good or bad, just different.[/quote']

 

You mention string section. Charts are useful and very efficient when you want to get an ensemble to play together.

 

 

I have a friend on island who is a highly trained classical piano player. Whenever we need someone to walk in and read complex parts we hire her and she nails it on the first try. Once, the two of us were backing up a singer at a Christmas concert and she was sight reading Vince Guaraldi parts, including transcriptions of his solos. At one point I asked her what key the song was and she replied "I don't know but it has three flats."

 

Although our approaches are quite different, she and I have mutual respect - I admire her ability to sigh read and she my ability to improvise.

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:D

I wouldn't go to the Forum because that's where the Lakers play.

 

 

Do the Lakers still play basketball? :D

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Do the Lakers still play basketball? :D

Two of them do. The rest, not so much.

 

 

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It was probably more about removing the restriction of "how are we going to play this live?" while they were producing a recording.

 

 

Exactly.

 

And remember, live performances were no picnic for them at the time when they stopped doing them - the crowds, the screaming, the inability to go out and see the towns they were visiting, the threats from the wives of foreign leaders, etc. etc. Not to mention the fact that the PA systems of the day couldn't keep up with the SPL levels from the crowds - they often couldn't even hear themselves as they were playing. They felt live performances were too restrictive, and they wanted to focus on working in the studio, which was a far more creative and less restrictive musical environment for them... and without the necessity of having to perform the new songs live, they felt free to try new things, without having to worry about how they were going to perform them live.

 

 

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the technology to do something like Sargent pepper live didn't exist as they were recording it.

 

Only if they wanted to do the entire album in a note-for-note reproduction style.

 

But certainly they could have played a few of the tracks off the new album and a lot of older ones just like the rest of their tours if that's what they wanted to do.

 

 

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But certainly they could have played a few of the tracks off the new album and a lot of older ones just like the rest of their tours if that's what they wanted to do.

 

 

They retired from touring in August of 1966. Paperback Writer was the newest song they played on that final tour.

 

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