Harmony (past, present, and future)

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Harmony (past, present, and future)

    The musical concept of harmony was discussed (quite well) in an article I read a few days ago by James Reed in the Boston Globe.

    In summary, Reed posits that harmony, "the intermingling of multiple voices" was a pop music staple in the past, but that in large measure, singers go it alone in pop music today. There was a time when the biggest radio-friendly hits were sung by bands who sang in harmony, and most top-40 hits were by those bands; more recent hits are likely to be about one singer's voice or the song's rhythm -- just think about or look at the songs that chart, and the use of harmony is non-existent.

    Harmony has not completely left the stage, mind you, it just doesn't reside at the top of the charts, which is fine for many of us, because we don't listen to Billboard pop music. Yet ... the harmonies you hear just aren't what they used to be. Or are they?

    Older examples: the Everly Brothers, the Beach Boys, the Mamas & the Papas, the Supremes (and many Motown groups), the Beatles, Sonny and Cher, and of course, CSN&Y, and then, the legendary duo that epitomized the use of harmony, Simon and Garfunkel. Sigh.

    Newer examples are found in: the Milk Carton Kids (and it pains me to say this, but putting them in the same sentence with Simon & Garfunkel overstates their talent); the Chapin Sisters, Fleet Foxes, First Aid Kit, the Secret Sisters, the Jayhawks and many, many more.

    However, most people sing along with songs in unison; they don't harmonize the way they did in the past. ".. in a group, there's a real community feeling when you sing with other people like that, " said Kris Adams, of Berklee College of Music. "It's healing. I think the human voice is something people connect with, more than with instrumental music." I've just scratched the surface here, please be aware.

    Any thoughts? Feel free to post some examples of your favorite songs that feature harmony in all its glory.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    I haven't heard the Everly Brothers type of harmonizing since they died...

     

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from mrmojo1120. Show mrmojo1120's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    Here's a few of my favorite songs with harmony.

    Extreme - More than words

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrIiLvg58SY

    Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse - Cowgirl in the sand (Great version,1970 live at Fillmore East)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pzeYdkSr8s

    Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9rUzIMcZQ

     The Muppets - Bohemian Rhapsody

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgbNymZ7vqY

     

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    In response to mrmojo1120's comment:

    Here's a few of my favorite songs with harmony.

    Extreme - More than words

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrIiLvg58SY

    Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse - Cowgirl in the sand (Great version,1970 live at Fillmore East)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pzeYdkSr8s

    Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9rUzIMcZQ

     The Muppets - Bohemian Rhapsody

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgbNymZ7vqY

     



    ******************************************

    As much as I would like to agree with your choice of Bohemian Rhapsody (Somebody To Love - too) , I can't.

    That is a far greater example of layered over-dubs (to the point that the tape became almost translucent) and studio magic than "true" harmony a la Everley Brothers. - IMHO

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    Beatles - If I Fell

    CSN - Carry On

    10CC - I'm Not In Love

    Crowded House - Weather With You (here's the video)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag8XcMG1EX4

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    I'll throw in for both Fleet Foxes and First Aid Kit...

    ...so harmonious that they become soulful.  And having seen them both live, I can say it's for real.  Wonderful mood music.

    Also plaudits for the great, classic British folk acts: Steeleye Span, the Strawbs (with the etheral voice of Sandy Denny), Fairport Convention, et al.

    Add: The Waterboys, The Beta Band

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    In response to RogerTaylor's comment:

    I haven't heard the Everly Brothers type of harmonizing since they died...

     



    This begs the question if that style of harmony just isn't the trend any longer.   As you mentioned in another comment, over-dubbing took the recording industry by storm, and has no end in sight.   

    The article stressed the harmony omission in regard to the highly popular songs that seem to be making it to the top of the charts, and the more I think about it, and look at the current crop, it's hard to find evidence that refutes the claim.    And it's too bad, because the absence of good harmony in vocals may be one of the reasons that much of the "current" music lacks a rich, enduring quality.   

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    In response to mrmojo1120's comment:

    Here's a few of my favorite songs with harmony.

    Extreme - More than words

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrIiLvg58SY

    Nice choice.  

    I've always loved this song, in fact, I was listening to it intently not long ago.  I heard someone cover it (nice cover version), but it's hard to top the original.   In looking up the band at the time, too, I saw they are about to hit their 30-year anniversary mark, too; had no idea.   



     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    RE: Hfx

    Beatles - If I Fell

    CSN - Carry On

    10CC - I'm Not In Love

    Crowded House - Weather With You (here's the video)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag8XcMG1EX4

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Nice choices, too.   Having just gotten hold of a Crowded House "very best" CD, I can freshly attest and relate to their talents in harmonizing vocals ("Weather With You" is on the CD).    And they do have that lilt toward the Beatles, too.  Great band.    "World Where You Live" is also a great track.   

    NOTE: While I am hesitant to complain about the posting situation right now, I think I spoke too soon re: the BDC site.   Having a heck of a time posting here ...

    Thanks to anyone who contributes to this thread.   I didn't mention it yesterday, but posting a thread took quite a few submissions, reloads and deep breaths.   In other words, it was a PITA.  :)

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from jesseyeric. Show jesseyeric's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    Just an opinion, but I really believe that you have to break harmonies out into separate categories: Studio and Live, especially once you get past 1966-67.

    Roger brings up Queen and Bohemian Rhapsody and I would agree that there is major studio magic there. However, Queen should certainly be counted as a great live harmony band. Having seen them close to a dozen times, you can truly here the blending of Mercury, Taylor and May, especially during the accoustic set that they would do. Def Leppard, in their youth and to some extent today are still a very strong vocal group live. Joe's voice has weakened as he approaches 50, but there are 4 very distinct voices that blend well when performing live.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

    RE: Hfx

    Beatles - If I Fell

    CSN - Carry On

    10CC - I'm Not In Love

    Crowded House - Weather With You (here's the video)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag8XcMG1EX4

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Nice choices, too.   Having just gotten hold of a Crowded House "very best" CD, I can freshly attest and relate to their talents in harmonizing vocals ("Weather With You" is on the CD).    And they do have that lilt toward the Beatles, too.  Great band.    "World Where You Live" is also a great track.   

    NOTE: While I am hesitant to complain about the posting situation right now, I think I spoke too soon re: the BDC site.   Having a heck of a time posting here ...

    Thanks to anyone who contributes to this thread.   I didn't mention it yesterday, but posting a thread took quite a few submissions, reloads and deep breaths.   In other words, it was a PITA.  :)



    *********************

    What does "PETA" have to do with this thread?  Undecided

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from gerbs. Show gerbs's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    In response to RogerTaylor's comment:

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

     

    RE: Hfx

    Beatles - If I Fell

    CSN - Carry On

    10CC - I'm Not In Love

    Crowded House - Weather With You (here's the video)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag8XcMG1EX4

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Nice choices, too.   Having just gotten hold of a Crowded House "very best" CD, I can freshly attest and relate to their talents in harmonizing vocals ("Weather With You" is on the CD).    And they do have that lilt toward the Beatles, too.  Great band.    "World Where You Live" is also a great track.   

    NOTE: While I am hesitant to complain about the posting situation right now, I think I spoke too soon re: the BDC site.   Having a heck of a time posting here ...

    Thanks to anyone who contributes to this thread.   I didn't mention it yesterday, but posting a thread took quite a few submissions, reloads and deep breaths.   In other words, it was a PITA.  :)

     



    *********************

     

    What does "PETA" have to do with this thread?  Undecided



    Oh so that's what it is! And here I was getting ready to whip up some hummus since it blends harmoniously with the pita.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

    In response to RogerTaylor's comment:

     

    I haven't heard the Everly Brothers type of harmonizing since they died...

     

     



    This begs the question if that style of harmony just isn't the trend any longer.   As you mentioned in another comment, over-dubbing took the recording industry by storm, and has no end in sight.   

     

    The article stressed the harmony omission in regard to the highly popular songs that seem to be making it to the top of the charts, and the more I think about it, and look at the current crop, it's hard to find evidence that refutes the claim.    And it's too bad, because the absence of good harmony in vocals may be one of the reasons that much of the "current" music lacks a rich, enduring quality.   



    Quite a few of the 'new folkie'-type artists harmonize often...albeit with varying results.

     

    And speaking of harmonies, is it just me, or does the Eagles' harmonizing on the intro of "Seven Bridges Road" hit anyone else like cat claws on a chalkboard...?

    I love country- and folk-rock of all stripes, and yet this song is just excruciating to me.  I can't explain why...it just sounds so...phony....

     

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    PITA : Pain in the A-S-S.    PITA is the correct spelling, I didn't make a typo.   When I said creating a thread was a PITA, I meant it.  

    A standard acronym, luvs, and nothing new.   {#emotions_dlg.wink}

     

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    Quite a few of the 'new folkie'-type artists harmonize often...albeit with varying results.

    And speaking of harmonies, is it just me, or does the Eagles' harmonizing on the intro of "Seven Bridges Road" hit anyone else like cat claws on a chalkboard...?

    I love country- and folk-rock of all stripes, and yet this song is just excruciating to me.  I can't explain why...it just sounds so...phony....

    Agree, there are (still) many bands / groups / duos who are doing nicely with harmony.   

    I'm not convinced the quality is there in many cases, however; as you said, they have varying results.   This is especially true when you go at it by basis of comparison, which isn't perhaps, a very good (or fair) idea.   Not sure.  

    I feel like harkening back to something Hfx has said a number of times, and that's that it's hard to surpass the quality *overall* of the better music of the "past" (70's, 80's, or even earlier as it pertains to harmony), and perhaps, that's true of the song-writing as it pertains to vocal harmonies, too; without good songwriting, you're done.  

    It was hard to summarize the article, but the main issue was that the crop of top hits for many years, don't feature harmony, and that we see more and more of them sung by solo artists.  Adele, Pink, Lady GaGa, Taylor Swift,  Rihanna, Beyonce, Carly Rae what's her name, Justin Timberlake, the list goes on.   Beyonce had Destiny's Child (decent harmony), now she has nothing.   Just examples.   But many, many.

    Today I took a look at the Top Hits on WERS ATM, and again, the contention was proven there, with about 30 songs.   Surprising number by solo artists, and of the groups, the harmony was absent on most.   It's just not a trend, it's weak, I am tellin you.   ;-)

    In our recent convos re: Americana / folks / roots -- there you have it.    Still, it's hard not to question the quality and if it's as good as it once was.    As I said in my OP, you don't compare anyone to Simon and Garfunkel unless you prepare yourself for serious backlash.  

    Maybe the festival you'll be attending soon will feature bands that are good with harmony.   I feel as though I'll be paying some attention, after the focus in the article.  

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    In response to jesseyeric's comment:

    Just an opinion, but I really believe that you have to break harmonies out into separate categories: Studio and Live, especially once you get past 1966-67.

    Roger brings up Queen and Bohemian Rhapsody and I would agree that there is major studio magic there. However, Queen should certainly be counted as a great live harmony band. Having seen them close to a dozen times, you can truly here the blending of Mercury, Taylor and May, especially during the accoustic set that they would do. Def Leppard, in their youth and to some extent today are still a very strong vocal group live. Joe's voice has weakened as he approaches 50, but there are 4 very distinct voices that blend well when performing live.



    You're right re: studio and live.   Great points all around.  

    The Byrds.   They had some gorgeous vocal harmony going on.  

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    In response to yogafriend's comment:

    In response to jesseyeric's comment:

     

    Just an opinion, but I really believe that you have to break harmonies out into separate categories: Studio and Live, especially once you get past 1966-67.

    Roger brings up Queen and Bohemian Rhapsody and I would agree that there is major studio magic there. However, Queen should certainly be counted as a great live harmony band. Having seen them close to a dozen times, you can truly here the blending of Mercury, Taylor and May, especially during the accoustic set that they would do. Def Leppard, in their youth and to some extent today are still a very strong vocal group live. Joe's voice has weakened as he approaches 50, but there are 4 very distinct voices that blend well when performing live.

     



    You're right re: studio and live.   Great points all around.  

     

    The Byrds.   They had some gorgeous vocal harmony going on.  




    ***************

    Funny, playing in my car today? The Best of...The Byrds!

     

    and, uhm, err...PITA or Peter?

    This is what I hear...

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slMg5TnHIjY&playnext=1&list=PL65F2931DE32813A0

     

     
  18. This post has been removed.

     
  19. This post has been removed.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    Ya know, I'm gonna throw out The Eagles as a "harmonizing band"...have a listen to this...LIVE

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wGTLcKQc_c

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    Some nuggets from the early days

    The Association - Never My Love, Cherish

    The Lettermen - Put Your Head on My Shoulder

    Jan and Dean - Dead Man's Curve

    The Searchers - Needles and Pins

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    I Like the Christian Life - The Louvin Brothers

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebvAzFIpvzY

    Crying In the Rain - The Everly Brothers

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caO4AO_g83E

    Keep On the Sunny Side - The Carter Family

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbmQQ4RfzVE

    Looking For An Echo - The Persuasions

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmqqFBMsKR4

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    In response to devildavid's comment:

    I Like the Christian Life - The Louvin Brothers

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebvAzFIpvzY

    Crying In the Rain - The Everly Brothers

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caO4AO_g83E

    Keep On the Sunny Side - The Carter Family

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbmQQ4RfzVE

    Looking For An Echo - The Persuasions

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmqqFBMsKR4



    I figured you know a few.  :)

    BTW, the Persuasions reminded me that I failed to mention one of the best traditions in vocal harmony:   A capella.   I'm a big fan of modern a capella, especially performed by some of the new, as well as some of the venerable, college groups.    They are keeping the tradition alive, and doing it proud.  

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from LloydDobler. Show LloydDobler's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    For me, one of the greatest examples of harmony is "Because" from Abbey Road. John, Paul and George overdubbed 2X so it sounds like nine voices.

    And this one will  throw you for a loop: "If I Should Fall," by Barenaked Ladies.

    Yoga, you mentioned S&G ... so many choices, but "Mrs. Robinson" and "The Boxer" stands out to me.

     

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Harmony (past, present, and future)

    In response to LloydDobler's comment:

    For me, one of the greatest examples of harmony is "Because" from Abbey Road. John, Paul and George overdubbed 2X so it sounds like nine voices.

    And this one will  throw you for a loop: "If I Should Fall," by Barenaked Ladies.

    Yoga, you mentioned S&G ... so many choices, but "Mrs. Robinson" and "The Boxer" stands out to me.

     



    Been trying to get back into a comment box -- finally made it.   

    RE: S&G - I am shamelessly biased.   They are at the top of the heap with the Beatles as far as I'm concerned.  

    I was going to post "The Boxer", too, so I'm with you, Lloyd.   A masterpiece.

    A few other S&G standouts, that bring it home in harmony:

    Scarborough Fair

    The Only Living Boy in New York 

    Somewhere They Can't Find Me  

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-IY1g2LARs

     
Sections
Shortcuts

Share