No, I wasn't searching for "bitchin' mustaches" on YouTube, but I did just happen to stumble upon this excellent behind the scenes video of Hall & Oates, recording their 1982 double platinum album, H2O. Hosted by one of MTV's original VJs, Mark Goodman, these two 15 minute videos take us into the legendary Electric Lady Studios in NYC and gives us a detailed look into the production process for the song, "Go Solo".
It's pretty amazing to watch how Daryl and John work together, intensely bouncing, melodic and rhythmic ideas off of each other, keeping an incredible focus on the song itself and artfully molding the track throughout the entire process... from deciding on the perfect tempo to squelching out their patented, super-tight background vocal harmonies.
Since this is a pretty lengthy video, I'll highlight a few of my favorite parts:
- - Mickey Curry on drums. One of my pop heroes and he has such a great pocket on this track.
- - Watching them tweak overdub sounds with analogue synth guru, Larry Fast.
- - Daryl stepping up to the mic to lay down the lead vocal. The dude has magic pipes... and oozes soul.
- - Hugh Padgham discussing his thoughts on mixing. Hugh is the one responsible for the classic, "gated" drum sound:
"The whole thing came through the famous "listen mic" on the SSL console. The SSL had put this massive compressor on it because the whole idea was to hang one mic in the middle of the studio and hear somebody talking on the other side. And it just so happened that we turned it on one day when Phil [Collins] was playing his drums. And then I had the idea of feeding that back into the console and putting the noise gate on, so when he stopped playing it sucked the big sound of the room into nothing."