Audiences that won't shut up during live recordings
Electrode Los Angeles 3,019 Posts
edited February 2013 in Strut Central
I was reminded of this since Mom sometimes tells me this story about how she, as a teenager, provided background vocaIs with a dozen others during a Lou Rawls recording. It made me think of how funny it is when hoots, hollers and table conversation are audible on live albums. Examples: Monk's "It Club" session has a phone ringing in the background and there's a guy rambling to someone else ("oh wow! yeah, it sounds like that....Sure..") while Cal Tjader is playing on "Live At The Funky Quarters". Any others?
My fave though is a King Crimson show in the Great Deciever box set. They were prone to lots of super quiet passages, so the audience seems to wait for some visual cue that a song is actually over because there alawsys seems to be a second or two of silence between the song ending and the audience applauding and cheering. Anyway during this brief moment of silence at the end of this particularly intense piece of improvisation, one guy, who I suppose was really feeling it, bellows "Far out!" in a "I'm on something" kind of voice. It's hilarious.
Honestly, I've noticed that more on comedy records. Most live recordings I've heard have the crowd response in the right places. Gene Chandler's "Rainbow '65" or Little Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips - Part Two" wouldn't be the same without that rowdy Regal Theater audience egging them on. But with comedy records, it really gets in the way, especially after the eighties. It makes you admire the comedians that much more for not letting it fuck with their rhythm. That first Eddie Murphy LP (self-titled) was recorded in a small club, and you can hear everybody trying to get in on the act.
"Oh, the music's stopped..."
This was effectively a bootleg, so perhaps the usual live album conventions don't really apply. This was actually the first Velvets album I ever heard, when I was about 12 or 13, and I found all the background chat fascinating. I didn't learn until much later that it was Jim Carroll you heard ordering Pernod and trying to score.
What ever happened to enjoying the concert?
Even worse than "just" filming the concert are those romantic crowd participation where the screen lights have replaced cigarette lighters.