This is the second part of the Hal Blaine collection.
Blaine obviously was a polished and imaginative drummer. He appeared on countless songs we now regard as classics, from The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” to Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You, Babe” to The Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreaming” and The Byrds’ “Mr Tambourine Man” to The Association’s “Never My Love” to The Supremes’ “The Happening” to Dean Martin’s “Everybody Loves Somebody” and the two Sinatras’ “Something Stupid” to the Carpenters’ “Close To You” to Neil Diamond’s “Song Sung Blue” to Barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were” and so on. He drummed for artists as diverse as Count Basie, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Steely Dan and, er, The Partridge Family.
Blaine was also an innovator in percussive sound effects. That big banging sound in Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer”, after the “ley-la-ley”, is Blaine sitting at the bottom of an elevator shaft hitting a snare drum (a better story has it that it’s the sound of a refrigerator landing at the bottom the elevator shaft). To “Bridge Over Troubled Water” — as much the opus of Wrecking Crew keyboard man Larry Knechtel as it is for Art Garfunkel — Blaine contributed not only the beautifully judged drums but also the distant percussion sounds by slamming snow chains on to the cement floor of a microphone storage room (coming in at 3:05).
On Dean Martin’s “Houston”, featured on Volume 1, Blaine spontaneously used a glass ashtray, its content of old cigarette butts hurriedly emptied, for a drum to create the sound of a hammer hitting an anvil.
Herb Alpert’s “A Taste Of Honey” was saved by the drummer, at least in Blaine’s version. Apparently the recording just didn’t want to come right until Blaine’s bass drum beats after the slow intro signaled the introduction of the horns.
Incidentally, Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco’s son Denny has produced an excellent documentary on the session collective his father was part of. It was completed, but could not be released because there were not enough funds for the licensing of the music. A kickstarter.com appeal was successful, so it can now be seen on very limited release. More money is needed for a DVD release; US citizens can make tax-deductable contributions. Read more about the film and upcoming screenings, and how to make a donation or buy merchandise HERE.
As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, and includes home-skinned covers.
1. Meat Loaf – Whatever Happened To Saturday Night (1974)
2. Mama Cass – It’s Getting Better (1969)
3. Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass – A Taste Of Honey (1965)
4. Jackie Lomax – Baby You’re A Lover (1969)
5. Harpers Bizarre – Come To The Sunshine (1967)
6. Tommy Roe – Dizzy (1969)
7. The Crystals – He’s Sure The Boy I Love (1962)
8. Sam Cooke – Another Saturday Night (1963)
9. Connie Francis – Where The Boys Are (1960)
10. Lorne Greene – Ringo (1964)
11. Mason Williams – Baroque-A-Nova (1968)
12. The Monkees – A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You (1967)
13. Paul Revere & the Raiders – Hungry (1965)
14. Love – Andmoreagain (1968)
15. Neil Diamond – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother (1970)
16. America – Don’t Cross The River (1975)
17. Harry Nilsson – Foolish Clock (1977)
18. Steely Dan – Any World (That I’m Welcome To) (1975)
19. Tanya Tucker – Lizzie & The Rainman (1975)
20. Rosanne Cash – Baby, Better Start Turnin’ Em Down (1979)
21. Leonard Cohen & Ronee Blakley – True Love Leaves No Traces (1977)
22. Albert Hammond – Down By The River (1975)
23. Captain & Tenille – Honey Come Love Me (1975)
24. Ray Charles – A Girl I Used To Know (1966)
25. Gerry Mulligan – The Lonely Night (1965)
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Previous drummer collection:
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 1
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 2
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 1
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 2
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 2
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 1