Inside the music - A closer listen

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J. PUPSTER

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This wonderful forum of ours is full of information and tales of what titles are the Best or Worst, Top 10's or song & mix analysis; being dissected with wave forms and Spectrograms... etc. etc. However there is very little seen here about the music itself (or maybe I've just passed over it somehow.)

Regardless, I was working on an Up-mix the other day of an LP rip of the Chris Rea album "The Road To Hell"; and since by doing this kind of work you tend to get very intimate with the music. This reveals aspects of it you never noticed before or just casually spaced out on. So I'm working on the last song on the album- Tell Me There's A Heaven, a beautiful but heartbreaking song about Chris' daughter watching some disturbing news on the T.V. and the effect it had on her. I never paid the song any attention in my younger earlier years, as I was fixated on the more popular songs like "Texas" and "Daytona." Tell Me There's a Heaven did reach No. 24 in the UK Singles Chart in 1990.

While listening closely to the up-mix I noticed an interesting instrument or effect while the orchestration was playing, but very subtle, maybe a marimba, accordion, synthesizer, percussion instrument of some kind; I just don't have the musical & instrument knowledge apparently to figure it out. I did learn a few potential key elements to the making of the song- Chris Rea has some Italian heritage in him (I felt the orchestration was sounding like an old Italian folk/classical style to build a sense of extreme sadness and tragedy.) The orchestration was arranged by Max Middleton (some of you may know of him?) And the drums percussion was performed by Martin Ditcham -if it was being made by a percussion instrument of some kind. I did a lengthy search in Google and discogs etc. and looked at the liner notes on the CD, but found nothing about it.

Hopefully some of you talented and experienced musicians, or perhaps those of you that know classical music intimately might know what this is and help mitigate what has become a kind of knowledge brain worm for me trying to figure this out (it's probably something very simple?)

And hopefully others here will share some of their known or unknown quirky musical aspects of a song that thrills you, or peaks your interest, or just makes you sit up and feel something. It could be just a time signature, or effect or unusual instrument played that blows your skirt up? That's the bottom line about music anyway, is it not?

Here's a little short clip of the song so you all can hopefully hear what I'm hearing.
 

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quadsearcher

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I'll check it out. My grail was to find the name of the percussion instrument that goes boiiiinngg! Hard to describe in words, but found in funk, fusion, disco, and party music in general. Flex-a-tone.
The flexatone (and reggae) . The Funkadelic song is the clearest example of how I've heard flexatone.

The Rea clip sounds like string synth, maybe some real strings, and acoustic guitar.
 
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popshop

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Great song, great voice. I'd say timpani, providing the low rhythm/tone happening in various places. Could be midi, but I'd guess it was real timpani. There are also more typical timpani rolls.
 

J. PUPSTER

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I'll check it out. My grail was to find the name of the percussion instrument that goes boiiiinngg! Hard to describe in words, but found in funk, fusion, disco, and party music in general. Flex-a-tone.
The flexatone (and reggae) . The Funkadelic song is the clearest example of how I've heard flexatone.

The Rea clip sounds like string synth, maybe some real strings, and acoustic guitar.
I was listening to some Marimba vs. Xylophone vs. Vibraphone vs. Glockenspiel tonight off youtube and the mid-bar Marimba sounded more earthy and similar but still not right, I think it could be some kind of string synth program by good ol' Max Middleton. But I keep going back to the fact in my foggy memory of hearing this sort of thing from old Italian music; like it's produced from a group of string instruments somehow (originally.)
 

rustyandi

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This wonderful forum of ours is full of information and tales of what titles are the Best or Worst, Top 10's or song & mix analysis; being dissected with wave forms and Spectrograms... etc. etc. However there is very little seen here about the music itself (or maybe I've just passed over it somehow.)

Regardless, I was working on an Up-mix the other day of an LP rip of the Chris Rea album "The Road To Hell"; and since by doing this kind of work you tend to get very intimate with the music. This reveals aspects of it you never noticed before or just casually spaced out on. So I'm working on the last song on the album- Tell Me There's A Heaven, a beautiful but heartbreaking song about Chris' daughter watching some disturbing news on the T.V. and the effect it had on her. I never paid the song any attention in my younger earlier years, as I was fixated on the more popular songs like "Texas" and "Daytona." Tell Me There's a Heaven did reach No. 24 in the UK Singles Chart in 1990.

While listening closely to the up-mix I noticed an interesting instrument or effect while the orchestration was playing, but very subtle, maybe a marimba, accordion, synthesizer, percussion instrument of some kind; I just don't have the musical & instrument knowledge apparently to figure it out. I did learn a few potential key elements to the making of the song- Chris Rea has some Italian heritage in him (I felt the orchestration was sounding like an old Italian folk/classical style to build a sense of extreme sadness and tragedy.) The orchestration was arranged by Max Middleton (some of you may know of him?) And the drums percussion was performed by Martin Ditcham -if it was being made by a percussion instrument of some kind. I did a lengthy search in Google and discogs etc. and looked at the liner notes on the CD, but found nothing about it.

Hopefully some of you talented and experienced musicians, or perhaps those of you that know classical music intimately might know what this is and help mitigate what has become a kind of knowledge brain worm for me trying to figure this out (it's probably something very simple?)

And hopefully others here will share some of their known or unknown quirky musical aspects of a song that thrills you, or peaks your interest, or just makes you sit up and feel something. It could be just a time signature, or effect or unusual instrument played that blows your skirt up? That's the bottom line about music anyway, is it not?

Here's a little short clip of the song so you all can hopefully hear what I'm hearing.
I have said on another post that Nothing to fear and Fool if you think It,s over
Great decoding with Surround master
 

J. PUPSTER

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I have said on another post that Nothing to fear and Fool if you think It,s over
Great decoding with Surround master
Ron, yup there’s lots more Rea to enjoy in faux surround. I’ve even got this box set of his called “Blue Guitars” which I like, a massive collection of Blues music Chris did encompassing different eras and regions of Blues music. Some folks were highly critical of that release because some of the tunes have that scratchy old record sound implanted on them for effect (I’m not that crazy about it either) but a lot of those songs are very good and would Up-mix or decode well to surround.

 
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