Van der Graaf Generator
Van der Graaf Generator are an English progressive rock band, formed in 1967 in Manchester by singer-songwriters Peter Hammill and Chris Judge Smith and the first act signed by Charisma Records. They did not experience much commercial success in the UK, but became popular in Italy during the 1970s. In 2005 the band reformed, are still musically active with a line-up of Hammill, organist Hugh Banton and drummer Guy Evans; the band formed at the University of Manchester, but settled in London where they signed with Charisma. They went through a number of incarnations in their early years, including a brief split in 1969; when they reformed, they found minor commercial success with The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other, after the follow-up album, H to He, Who Am the Only One, stabilised around a line-up of Hammill, Banton and saxophonist David Jackson. The quartet subsequently achieved significant success in Italy with the release of Pawn Hearts in 1971. After several exhausting tours of Italy, the band split in 1972.
They reformed in 1975, releasing Godbluff and touring Italy again, before a major line-up change and a slight rename to Van der Graaf. The band split in 1978. After many years apart, the band united at a gig at the Royal Festival Hall and a short tour in 2005. Since the band has continued as a trio of Hammill and Evans, who record and tour in between Hammill's concurrent solo career; the group's albums have tended to be both lyrically and musically darker in atmosphere than many of their progressive rock peers, guitar solos were the exception rather than the rule, preferring to use Banton's classically influenced organ, until his departure, Jackson's multiple saxophones. While Hammill is the primary songwriter for the band, its members have contributed to his solo albums, he is keen to stress that the band collectively arranges all its material. Hammill's lyrics covered themes of mortality, due to his love of science fiction writers such as Robert A. Heinlein and Philip K. Dick, along with his self-confessed warped and obsessive nature.
His voice has been a distinctive component of the band throughout its career. It has been described as "a male Nico" and would on be cited as an influence by Goth bands in the 1980s. Though the group have been commercially unsuccessful outside of early 1970s Italy, they have inspired several musicians, including John Lydon and Julian Cope; the band formed in 1967 at the University of Manchester, after Chris Judge Smith, who had played in several British rhythm and blues groups whilst a pupil in Oundle School, returned from a trip to San Francisco and, inspired by the bands he had seen, put together a list of possible band names to form a new group. After an unsatisfactory audition they had both attended in response to an advert to form a band, he met fellow student Peter Hammill, playing some of his original songs. Hammill had begun writing songs and poetry at the age of 12 while at prep school, progressed to playing in bands while a pupil at Beaumont College, he was briefly employed as a computer programmer, during which time he subsequently claimed to have written much of the band's early material, before enrolling at Manchester.
Smith was so impressed with the quality of Hammill's original material that the two agreed to form a band together. The band name chosen from Smith's list was based on a Van de Graaff generator, a mechanical device that produces static electricity with lightning-like flashes – the misspellings are accidental. Smith recalls the reason for this may have been that Van de Graaff died in 1967, reported in the media. Among the bands that played the university, including Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, they were impressed by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, recruited an organist, Nick Pearne, to match the format of Arthur Brown's band. Along with two female dancers, the initial line-up was Hammill on guitar and vocals, Smith on drums, wind instruments and vocals, Pearne on organ. According to Smith, the band played as a two-piece, with Smith using a typewriter as a percussion instrument; the band managed to persuade fellow student Caleb Bradley to manage them, by the start of 1968, the band had managed to record a demo tape influenced by blues and jazz, sending it to Lou Reizner the U.
K. head of Mercury Records, who offered the trio of Hammill and Pearne a recording contract in May. At this point, the band had to make a decision whether to stay on at university, or quit their courses and move to London to turn professional. Pearne was not keen to abandon his studies. On arrival in London and Smith met up with trainee BBC engineer and classically trained organist Hugh Banton, a brother of one of their friends back in Manchester; that year, they met Tony Stratton-Smith, who agreed to sign a management contract with them in December. Through him, the band acquired a bass guitar player, Keith Ellis, with drummer Guy Evans joining not too long afterwards; this line-up performed on BBC Radio 1's Top Gear radio show in November, recorded a series of demos for Mercury, before releasing a single on Polydor Records in January 1969. Melody Maker said the single was "one of the best records of the week", but the single was withdrawn under pressure from Mercury, since it violated the contract band members Hammil
Sly Stone is an American musician and record producer, most famous for his role as frontman for Sly and the Family Stone, a band that played a critical role in the development of soul, funk and psychedelia in the 1960s and 1970s. Raised in California as part of a religious family that encouraged musical expression, Stone mastered several instruments at an early age and performed gospel music as a child with siblings Freddie and Rose. In the mid-1960s, he worked as both a record producer for Autumn Records and a disc jockey for San Francisco radio station KSOL, where he played an eclectic variety of black and white artists. In 1966, Stone formed Sly & the Family Stone, among the first racially integrated and female acts in popular music; the group would score hits such as "Dance to the Music", "Everyday People", "Thank You", acclaimed albums such as Stand! and There's a Riot Goin' On. By the mid-1970s, Stone's drug problems and erratic behavior ended the group, leaving him to record several unsuccessful solo albums.
In 1993, he was inducted into the Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the group. The Stewart family was a religious middle-class household from Denton, Texas. Born March 15, 1943, before the family had moved from Denton, Texas to Vallejo, California, in the North Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, Sylvester was the second of the family's five children; as part of the doctrines of the Church of God in Christ, to which the Stewart family belonged, the parents – K. C and Alpha Stewart – encouraged musical expression in the household. Sylvester and his brother Freddie along with their sisters Rose and Vaetta formed "The Stewart Four" as children, performing gospel music in the Church of God in Christ and recording a single local release 78 rpm single, "On the Battlefield" b/w "Walking in Jesus' Name", in 1952; the eldest sister, was the only Stewart child not to pursue a musical career. All of the other Stewart children would adopt the surname "Stone" and become members of Sly & the Family Stone. Sylvester was identified as a musical prodigy.
By the time he was seven, Sylvester had become proficient on the keyboards, by the age of eleven, he had mastered the guitar and drums as well. While still in high school, Sylvester had settled on the guitar and joined a number of high school bands. One of these was the Viscaynes, a doo-wop group in which Sylvester and his friend Frank Arellano—who was Filipino—were the only non-white members; the fact that the group was integrated made the Viscaynes "hip" in the eyes of their audiences, would inspire Sylvester's idea of the multicultural Family Stone. The Viscaynes released a few local singles, including "Yellow Moon" and "Stop What You Are". With his brother, Fred, he formed several short-lived groups, like the Stewart Bros; the nickname Sly was a common one for Sylvester throughout his years in grade school. Early on, a classmate misspelled his name "Slyvester," and since, the nickname followed him. In the mid-1960s, Stone worked as a disc jockey for San Francisco, soul radio station KSOL, where he included white performers such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in his playlists.
During the same period, he worked as a staff record producer for Autumn Records, producing for San Francisco-area bands such as The Beau Brummels, The Mojo Men, Bobby Freeman, Grace Slick's first band, The Great Society. Stone was influential in guiding KSOL-AM into soul music and started calling the station K-SOUL; the second was a popular soul music station, at 107.7 FM. The current KSOL is unrelated to the previous two stations. While still providing "music for your mind and your soul" on KSOL, Sly Stone played keyboard for dozens of major performers including Dionne Warwick, Righteous Brothers, Bobby Freeman, George & Teddy, Freddy Cannon, Marvin Gaye, Dick & Dee Dee, Jan & Dean, Gene Chandler, MANY more, at least one of the three Twist Party concerts by chart topper Chubby Checker held at the Cow Palace in San Francisco in 1962 and 1963; the concerts were put together by "Big Daddy" Tom Donohue and Bobby Mitchell from the infamous KYA 1260 AM radio station and choreographed by Jerry Marcellino and Mel Larson who went on to produce many Motown artists including Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, some of the top artists of the day.
Adopting the stage name "Sly Stone," he formed "The Stoners" in 1966 which included Cynthia Robinson on trumpet. With her he started his next band and the Family Stone. Stone and Fred Stewart were joined by Larry Graham, Greg Errico, Jerry Martini, all of whom had studied music and worked in numerous amateur groups. Working around the Bay Area in 1967, this multiracial band made a strong impression. On the first recordings Little Sister's Vet Stone, Mary McCreary, Elva Mouton did backup vocals. In 1968 sister Rosie Stone joined the band. Along with James Brown and Parliament-Funkadelic and the Family Stone were pioneers of late 1960s and early'70s funk, their fusion of R&B rhythms, infectious melodies, psychedelia created a new pop/soul/rock hybrid the impact of which has proven lasting and widespread. Motown producer Norman Whitfield, for example, patterned the label's forays into harder-driving relevant material based on their sound; the pioneering precedent of Stone's racial and stylistic mix, had a major in
Electronics comprises the physics, engineering and applications that deal with the emission and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. The identification of the electron in 1897, along with the invention of the vacuum tube, which could amplify and rectify small electrical signals, inaugurated the field of electronics and the electron age. Electronics deals with electrical circuits that involve active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, diodes, integrated circuits and sensors, associated passive electrical components, interconnection technologies. Electronic devices contain circuitry consisting or of active semiconductors supplemented with passive elements; the nonlinear behaviour of active components and their ability to control electron flows makes amplification of weak signals possible. Electronics is used in information processing, telecommunication, signal processing; the ability of electronic devices to act as switches makes digital information-processing possible. Interconnection technologies such as circuit boards, electronics packaging technology, other varied forms of communication infrastructure complete circuit functionality and transform the mixed electronic components into a regular working system, called an electronic system.
An electronic system may be a component of a standalone device. Electrical and electromechanical science and technology deals with the generation, switching and conversion of electrical energy to and from other energy forms; this distinction started around 1906 with the invention by Lee De Forest of the triode, which made electrical amplification of weak radio signals and audio signals possible with a non-mechanical device. Until 1950 this field was called "radio technology" because its principal application was the design and theory of radio transmitters and vacuum tubes; as of 2018 most electronic devices use semiconductor components to perform electron control. The study of semiconductor devices and related technology is considered a branch of solid-state physics, whereas the design and construction of electronic circuits to solve practical problems come under electronics engineering; this article focuses on engineering aspects of electronics. Digital electronics Analogue electronics Microelectronics Circuit design Integrated circuits Power electronics Optoelectronics Semiconductor devices Embedded systems An electronic component is any physical entity in an electronic system used to affect the electrons or their associated fields in a manner consistent with the intended function of the electronic system.
Components are intended to be connected together by being soldered to a printed circuit board, to create an electronic circuit with a particular function. Components may be packaged singly, or in more complex groups as integrated circuits; some common electronic components are capacitors, resistors, transistors, etc. Components are categorized as active or passive. Vacuum tubes were among the earliest electronic components, they were solely responsible for the electronics revolution of the first half of the twentieth century. They allowed for vastly more complicated systems and gave us radio, phonographs, long-distance telephony and much more, they played a leading role in the field of microwave and high power transmission as well as television receivers until the middle of the 1980s. Since that time, solid-state devices have all but taken over. Vacuum tubes are still used in some specialist applications such as high power RF amplifiers, cathode ray tubes, specialist audio equipment, guitar amplifiers and some microwave devices.
In April 1955, the IBM 608 was the first IBM product to use transistor circuits without any vacuum tubes and is believed to be the first all-transistorized calculator to be manufactured for the commercial market. The 608 contained more than 3,000 germanium transistors. Thomas J. Watson Jr. ordered all future IBM products to use transistors in their design. From that time on transistors were exclusively used for computer logic and peripherals. Circuits and components can be divided into two groups: digital. A particular device may consist of circuitry that has a mix of the two types. Most analog electronic appliances, such as radio receivers, are constructed from combinations of a few types of basic circuits. Analog circuits use a continuous range of voltage or current as opposed to discrete levels as in digital circuits; the number of different analog circuits so far devised is huge because a'circuit' can be defined as anything from a single component, to systems containing thousands of components.
Analog circuits are sometimes called linear circuits although many non-linear effects are used in analog circuits such as mixers, etc. Good examples of analog circuits include vacuum tube and transistor amplifiers, operational amplifiers and oscillators. One finds modern circuits that are analog; these days analog circuitry may use digital or microprocessor techniques to improve performance. This type of circuit is called "mixed signal" rather than analog or digital. Sometimes it may be difficult to differentiate between analog and digital circuits as they have elements of both linear and non-linear
Richard Wright (musician)
Richard William Wright was an English musician, composer and songwriter. He was a founder member and vocalist of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd, performing on all but one of the group's albums including The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Division Bell, playing on all of their tours. Wright grew up in Hatch End and met future Pink Floyd bandmates Roger Waters and Nick Mason while studying at the Regent Street Polytechnic. After being joined by frontman and songwriter Syd Barrett, the group found commercial success in 1967 before Barrett's instability led to him being replaced by David Gilmour and Wright taking over songwriting duties with Waters. A straightforward singer/songwriter, Wright acted as an arranger to Waters and Gilmour's compositions, he began to contribute less towards the end of the 1970s and left the band after touring The Wall in 1981. He rejoined the band as a session player in 1987 for A Momentary Lapse of Reason, became a full-time member again for The Division Bell in 1994.
Sessions with Wright during this period were released on the album The Endless River. Away from Pink Floyd, Wright recorded two solo albums, including a collaboration with Anthony Moore on Broken China, formed the duo Zee. After rejoining Waters and Gilmour as Pink Floyd for Live 8 in 2005, he became part of Gilmour's regular solo touring band, singing occasional lead on songs such as "Arnold Layne", before his death in September 2008. Overshadowed by bandmates Barrett and Gilmour, Wright was the quietest and most reserved member of Pink Floyd, his contributions have sometimes been overlooked, but his death brought a reappraisal and recognition of his talents. His jazz and improvisation influences and keyboard performances were an important part of the Pink Floyd sound; as well as being a prominent player of the Farfisa and Hammond organs and the Kurzweil synthesizer, Wright sang in the band and took the lead vocal on Pink Floyd songs such as "Time", "Remember a Day" and "Wearing the Inside Out".
Wright, whose father was head biochemist at Unigate Dairies, grew up in Hatch End and was educated at the Haberdashers' Aske's School. He taught himself to play guitar and piano at age 12 after he was recuperating from breaking a leg, his mother encouraged him to play the piano. He took private lessons in musical theory and composition at the Eric Gilder School of Music and became influenced by the trad jazz revival, learning the trombone and saxophone as well as the piano. Uncertain about his future, he enrolled in 1962 at the Regent Street Polytechnic, incorporated into the University of Westminster. There he met fellow musicians Roger Waters and Nick Mason, all three joined a band formed by classmate Clive Metcalf called Sigma 6. Wright's position in the band was tenuous to begin with, as he did not choose a definitive instrument, playing piano if a pub had one, otherwise settling on the trombone or rhythm guitar, he moved in with Waters and Mason to a house in Stanhope Gardens and they began serious rehearsals to become a professional group.
Although Mason and Waters were competent students, Wright found architecture of little interest and after only a year of study moved to the London College of Music. He travelled to Greece for a sabbatical, their landlord, Mike Leonard, purchased a Farfisa organ and replaced Wright in the band. However, the organ became Wright's main instrument. Through a friend, he arranged the fledgling group's first recording session in a West Hampstead studio, just before Christmas 1964. Guitarists Bob Klose and Syd Barrett joined the band. Pink Floyd had stabilised with a line-up of Barrett, Waters and Wright by mid-1965, after frequent gigging that year became regulars on the underground live circuit in London. While Barrett was the dominant member, writing most material, singing most lead vocals and playing lead guitar, Wright played a supportive role, playing keyboards and singing, with occasional lead, writing his own material; as the most qualified musician, Wright was responsible for tuning guitars, would tune Waters' bass for him in concert.
On, he had a Strobotuner to tune guitars silently during gigs. In the band's early days, before acquiring a full-time road crew, Wright was responsible for unloading the gear at the end of each gig. While not credited for vocals on The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, he sang lead on Barrett-penned songs like "Astronomy Domine" and "Matilda Mother". Examples of his early compositions include "Remember a Day", "See-Saw", "Paint Box" and "It Would Be So Nice". Wright was close friends with Barrett, at one point the pair shared a flat in Richmond. After Barrett left the group in 1968 owing to mental health issues, Wright considered leaving and forming a group with him, but realised it would not have been practical. Following Barrett's departure and replacement by David Gilmour, Wright took over writing duties with Waters but became less involved as a singer and songwriter as the band's career progressed, his organ playing remained an important part of the band's live set, including "Interstellar Overdrive", "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" and "Careful with That Axe, Eugene" and he contributed musical themes for film scores.
He made significant contributions to Pink Floyd's long, epic compositions such as "Atom Heart Mother", "Echoes" and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". On 1973's The Dark Side of the Moon he composed the music for "The Great Gig in the S
The Nord Stage is a digital keyboard or stage piano, manufactured by Clavia Digital Music Instruments of Stockholm in Sweden. There have been five editions of the instrument as of 2017 – these are the original Nord Stage in 2005, the Nord Stage EX in 2008, the Nord Stage 2 in 2011, the Nord Stage 2 EX in 2015, the Nord Stage 3 in 2017; the Nord Stage follows the success of earlier keyboard instruments from Clavia, contains similar emulations of vintage electromechanical keyboards such as the Hammond Organ and electric pianos as found on the Nord Electro 2, with additional functionality including a weighted piano-like keyboard on certain models, a synthesizer section based on the Nord Lead, a more versatile organ section and extended effects processing. The Nord Stage is multitimbral, which means it can play more than one sound at once, either by splitting the internal keyboard or connecting an external MIDI controller; the Nord Stage 2 has the ability to play samples, allowing it to reproduce the functionality of a Mellotron or Chamberlin.
Individual samples can be downloaded from Clavia's website, a community has developed that provides new instruments and sounds. By 2005, Clavia had found commercial success with the Nord Lead synthesizer, which emulated analog synthesis, the Nord Electro virtual electromechanical keyboard, which emulated the Hammond Organ and Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos; the goal of the Nord Stage was to combine these two technologies together into a flagship instrument. The Nord Stage was unveiled in April 2005 at the Musikmesse music instrument convention in Frankfurt, Germany. A full-range, 88 weighted key version, the Stage 88, began shipping in July 2005. An expanded version, the Nord Stage EX, was released in November 2008, it included an increased memory size. A revised edition, the Nord Stage 2 appeared in September 2011, containing an improved synthesizer model and sampler functionality, as seen in the Nord Wave; the three models of the Stage 2 are the HA-88, containing 88 weighted keys, the HA-76, containing 76 weighted keys, the SW-73, containing 73 semi-weighted keys.
An updated model, the Stage 2 EX, with extended memory capacity, was announced in 2015. The Nord Stage 3 series was announced in April 2017, it features doubled memory for increased sample memory. It features the Lead A1 synth engine and the C2D organ engine; the models for the Stage 3 are the Nord Stage 3 88, with 88 Hammer Action keys, the smaller and lighter HP 76, with 76 Hammer Action Portable keys, the Compact, with 73 semi-weighted waterfall keys and, like the Electro 5D, physical drawbars for the organ section. Like all other Nord keyboards, the Stage's metal panel is bright red, the Stage features similar red wood panels to the Nord Electro; the Nord Stage is divided into three sound groups, the Organ Section, the Piano Section, the Synthesizer Section. Each section can be played independently or divided into specific key ranges, blended with independent volume controls; the Nord Stage Organ Section provides physical models of three electric organs – the Hammond B3, the Vox Continental, the Farfisa Compact.
Instead of physical drawbars, the Organ section features "drawbuttons" with a set of red LED strips to indicate the position of each drawbar from 0 to 8. For the Hammond and Vox organ emulations, pressing the "down" button illuminates more LEDs to visually emulate a drawbar being pulled out, while pressing the "up" button does the reverse. Since a real Farfisa organ selects sounds via rocker tabs instead of drawbars, the drawbuttons behave as tabs when the Farfisa emulation is selected on the Stage; the standard set of Percussion and Vibrato settings as found on each of the three organs are available, a rotary speaker emulation, including speed selection and overdrive, is available. The Organ section is polyphonic; the Piano section uses samples of electromechanical pianos. The Stage's 128 MB of internal memory allow multiple sample sets to be installed. While additional sampled piano sets are available as free downloads from Clavia's website, the Stage ships with Yamaha C7 and Steinway Concert Model D grand pianos, Svenska Pianofabriken and Yamaha M5J upright pianos, Yamaha CP80 Electric grand piano, Rhodes Piano, Wurlitzer Electronic Piano, Hohner Clavinet samples.
The Clav EQ buttons allow users to adjust the sound of the Clavinet. Acoustic Piano sounds are stereo samples, which can be switched manually to "Mono Mode", can be played at 40-note polyphony; the Stage Synthesizer combines wavetables with FM operators. Featuring filter and envelope controls, the Synth Section's timbre knob allows users to move through different sound groups. A number of programs are available to store sounds under three categories -- Pad or Bass; the Synth includes a 2-band EQ, a glide function, a unison function, used to thicken the sound. The Synth Section is 16-note polyphonic; the Nord Stage 2 introduced the additional capability to act as a sampler, playing back pre-recorded instrument sounds. Samples can be downloaded from both Clavia's and other third party websites, installed using a software application running on a PC or a Mac. Amongst the samples included as standard with the Nord Stage 2 are those for the Mellotron and Chamberlin tape-based keyboards, which have been licensed to Clavia.
Users can create t
Muscle Shoals Sound Studio
Muscle Shoals Sound Studio at 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield, Alabama was formed in 1969 by four session musicians called The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section who had left Rick Hall's nearby FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals to create their own recording facility. The group closed the Jackson Highway studio in 1979; the old studio has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since June 2006. It was restored in the early 2000s and was sold to the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation in 2013; this group completed a major restoration and the location reopened on January 9, 2017. The Alabama Avenue location ceased operations in 2005; the concrete block building at 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield was built around 1946 and was a coffin show room. It was converted to a recording studio in 1969 when a group of musicians called the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section decided to start their own operation in competition with the FAME Studios owned by Rick Hall. Over the years, artists who recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio included The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Willie Nelson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Joe Cocker, Levon Helm, Paul Simon, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, Tamiko Jones, Cat Stevens.
Cher's sixth album was titled 3614 Jackson Highway and this became the informal name for the studio in 1969. The studio at this location closed in 1979, the recording facility was moved to new premises at 1000 Alabama Avenue; the Jackson Highway building had been restored and open for tours in 2013 when the documentary Muscle Shoals raised public interest in a major restoration of the studio. The Muscle Shoals Music Foundation was formed in 2013 to raise funds to purchase the building and to complete major renovations. In June 2013, the owner sold the property to the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation, without the historic recording equipment. A large grant from Beats Electronics provided an essential $1 million; the state tourism director said in August 2015 that the 2013 Muscle Shoals film had significant influence. "The financial support from Beats is a direct result of their film." Additional donations were made by other individuals. As as August 2015, tours were visiting the restored studio on Jackson Highway.
It was closed when major restoration work started in September 2015. Muscle Shoals Sound Studio reopened as a finished tourist attraction on January 9, 2017, owned and operated by the foundation; the interior is reminiscent of the 1970s, with paraphernalia. There are plans to allow artists to record in the studio; the Alabama Tourism Department named Muscle Shoals Sound Studio as the state's top attraction in 2017 before the Jackson Highway studio reopened. The four founders of the studio, Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins, Jimmy Johnson and David Hood, affectionately called The Swampers, but known as the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, were one of the best-known "house bands" or session musicians, they are referred to as "The Swampers" in the lyrics of "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd and appear on the cover of Cher's 1969 album 3614 Jackson Highway. They worked for Rick Hall, the founder of FAME Studios and they are recognized as having crafted the "Muscle Shoals sound" in conjunction with Hall.
After leaving Rick Hall's FAME Studios, the four musicians partnered with Jerry Wexler who provided start-up funding to found Muscle Shoals Sound Studio at 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield. The first hit to the studio's credit was R. B. Greaves' "Take a Letter Maria". By December 1969, the Rolling Stones were recording at this new location for three days; the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section was the first group of musicians to own a studio and to run their own publishing and production companies. They provided musical backing and arrangements for many recordings, including major hits by Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, the Staple Singers, they had first worked together in 1967 and played sessions in New York and Nashville before doing so at FAME. Their initial successes in soul and R&B led to more mainstream rock and pop performers who began coming to record at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, including the Rolling Stones, Bob Seger, Elton John, Boz Scaggs, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Dr. Hook, Elkie Brooks, Millie Jackson, Julian Lennon, Glenn Frey.
The studio at 3614 Jackson Highway closed in April 1979, becoming an audio visual retailer and an appliance store until 1999. The subsequent owner did some renovations and retained the old recording equipment, allowing for tours of the property; the recording facility was relocated to updated and larger premises at 1000 Alabama Avenue in Sheffield in 1979. This location operated until it was closed and sold in 1985 to Tommy Couch's soul and blues label Malaco Records, based in Jackson, which bought the publishing rights held by the Muscle Shoals Sound. Malaco used the Sheffield studios for its own artists, including Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Bland and Little Milton, as while continuing to operate its own facility in Jackson; the Rhythm Section, minus Beckett, worked with other studio musicians at Malaco Records and at other studios. In 2005, Couch decided to close the Malaco studio on Alabama Avenue b
The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other
The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other is the second album by the British progressive rock band Van der Graaf Generator, released in February 1970 on Charisma Records. It was the group's first album to be released in the UK and the only one to chart in the top 50 in that country; the songs on the album were composed by group leader Peter Hammill but arranged and rehearsed by the whole band. The lyrics covered a variety of themes including relationships with friends and apocalyptic catastrophes, while the music ranged from ballads such as "Refugees" to unusual and aggressive playing on "White Hammer" and "After the Flood"; as well as a brief commercial success, the album was well received by critics and continues to be praised. Although this is the second album in the Van der Graaf Generator catalogue, it was the first to be released in the UK, the band considered it their first proper album; the earlier The Aerosol Grey Machine had been written and recorded as a solo record by singer and main songwriter Peter Hammill for Mercury Records.
Through a deal worked out by manager Tony Stratton-Smith, the album was released under the Van der Graaf Generator name in exchange for a release from the group's contract. The group began rehearsals for a new album in September 1969. Hammill wrote most of the songs and presented them to the band as finished pieces he could play along to, but arrangements were worked out by everyone in the group organist Hugh Banton and new member, saxophonist David Jackson, the whole group improvised several pieces together. Banton had a background as a church organist, he found his enthusiasm for modern French classic music combined well with Hammill's songwriting."Darkness" got its title from being written on 11 November 1968, was the first piece to feature Jackson's Roland Kirk influenced double horn section, playing alto and tenor saxophone simultaneously. "Refugees" was written by Hammill for ex-flatmates Mike McLean and Susan Penhaligon, while "White Hammer" was about the Malleus Maleficarum and witchcraft in the Middle Ages.
"Whatever Would Robert Have Said?" Referred to Robert J. Van de Graaff, the inventor of the Van de Graaff generator that the group took their name from. Jackson wrote the music to "Out of My Book" on piano, completed by Hammill on guitar; the final track, "After the Flood" was a science fiction number that showed the fallout of an apocalyptic flood, featured a twelve tone figure arranged by Jackson and a variety of different mood and style changes. The lyrics quoted Albert Einstein expressing his concern about the arms race between the US and the Soviet Union that led to the Cold War. Stratton-Smith founded Charisma Records in late 1969, signing Van der Graaf Generator as one of its first acts; the album was recorded over four days at Trident Studios, from 11 to 14 December 1969 with producer John Anthony. Stratton-Smith kept a "hands-off" approach to recording. Drummer Guy Evans recalled that Anthony was "a good organiser" who recognised Hammill's intelligence and artistic capabilities. Trident had some of the most advanced studio equipment at the time.
Anthony added sound effects from the BBC sound library at the start of "Darkness" and fed Hammill's voice through tremolo and distortion boxes for a section of "After the Flood". Mike Hurwitz played cello on "Refugees". Banton was credited writing the part, but not given an actual songwriting credit, he arranged a nine-piece orchestra for a re-recording of the track, released as a single. Gerry Salisbury played cornet on "White Hammer"; the band was well rehearsed and completed recording allowing bassist Nic Potter time to overdub electric guitar onto some tracks. The album was released in the UK in February 1970. Stratton-Smith asked Shel Talmy to remix it; the first pressing of the album was released with Talmy's mix, but the band were unhappy and convinced Charisma to allow Anthony to remix it, which appeared on all subsequent releases. The sleeve dedicated the album to "L & M, without whom everyone would have been much happier", a criticism of Lou Reizner and Mercury Records; the first US issue of the album was released by the Probe Records division of ABC Records in 1970.
It featured a different cover than the U. K. version. The title is taken from artist John Minton: "We're all awash in a sea of blood, the least we can do is wave to each other."To promote the album, the group played "Darkness" and "After the Flood" on a session for BBC Radio 1. These recordings were released on the box set The Box. In April 1970, the group performed "Darkness" and "Whatever Would Robert Have Said?" for the German television show Beat Club with Jethro Tull appearing on the same show. The album was the first by the band to reach the top 50 in the UK. Critical reception was favourable. In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, the album came #15 in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums". François Couture, reviewing the album in AllMusic, described Hammill's distorted delivery of the word "Annihilation" in "After the Flood" to be "one of the scariest moments in the history of British prog rock". Jackson decided not to play "White Hammer" to a friend while his children were present, afraid they would be frightened by the music.
All songs written except as noted. (Published by Strats