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OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: Rip This ()
Date: February 27, 2011 15:43

...so bad...he produces the new Lucinda Williams disc and he does an amazing job with the record...the first single Buttercup...is worth the record alone...better songs....you get a better Don Was....free listen on Lucinda's new CD...enjoy while it lasts.......[www.wfuv.org]

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: Rocky Dijon ()
Date: February 27, 2011 16:53

Most of the bitching about Don Was is misplaced resentment toward the Glimmers. There seems to be a belief that somehow Jagger and Richards will miraculously set their considerable egos aside and hire a producer and listen when he tells them their work is not up to par. Countless engineers, producers, and musicians who have worked with them (including band members) have made it clear that anyone coming between the Glimmers must tread carefully.

Every session Don Was has produced for the band has its own distinct flavor. No one would likely mistake a BRIDGEST track for VOODOO LOUNGE or a BANG track for one of the FOUR NEW LICKS. He does not bring the same sound out of the band over and over again. Where there are deficiencies in the material, the fault lies with the two gentlemen who write the songs and call all of the shots and not with the gentleman sitting cross-legged on the studio floor with headphones on looking for all the world like one of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: skipstone ()
Date: February 27, 2011 16:58

Spot on Rocky. All Don can do is attempt to help steer the car. But if the car sucks or has bad steering, he catches the blame.

Maybe people want him to challenge them - maybe he does. Perhaps, in the end, it's like having a turtle for a pet.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: Rocky Dijon ()
Date: February 27, 2011 17:31

Don gave an interview and a talk a couple of years ago in which he voiced the difficult position of being used by both of the Glimmers as a checkmate against the other. At the time, I was sure that by voicing his frustration he would never work with them again and yet he produced the EXILE RARITIES project all the same.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: February 27, 2011 17:37

In 1993 if the car sucked or had bad steering Rick Rubin would send it back to the factory. I'm not sure Was would have the balls to do this... He surely realized he had a long-time gig with the Stones provided he would be a yes-man.

Rubin only lasted one album (WS) but it's a decently-produced lp. In other words RR challenged Jagger, Don Was just polishes the Twins' shoes...

BIG difference!

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: Gazza ()
Date: February 27, 2011 17:57

Quote
dcba
In 1993 if the car sucked or had bad steering Rick Rubin would send it back to the factory. I'm not sure Was would have the balls to do this... He surely realized he had a long-time gig with the Stones provided he would be a yes-man.

Rubin only lasted one album (WS) but it's a decently-produced lp. In other words RR challenged Jagger, Don Was just polishes the Twins' shoes...

BIG difference!

An even bigger difference is that Rubin himself has stated that he has NO wish to repeat the experience.

How people assume they know that Was is merely a 'yes man' at sessions that they didnt personally attend always amuses me.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: StonesTod ()
Date: February 27, 2011 18:00

don was is the root of all evil. so is leavell. matt clifford. billy preston before them. if only they'd leave the stones be the world would be a better place for us all.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: skipstone ()
Date: February 27, 2011 18:04

I'll agree with Leavell to a point and Matt Clifford all the way. But Billy Preston? Nooooooo. That's over the line there.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: Come On ()
Date: February 27, 2011 18:06

Ho Ho Lucindas album is absolutely amazing..what are you talking about Don Was? go and buy this album tomorrow like I'm gonna do...

2 1 2 0

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: StonesTod ()
Date: February 27, 2011 18:06

Quote
skipstone
I'll agree with Leavell to a point and Matt Clifford all the way. But Billy Preston? Nooooooo. That's over the line there.

i'm kidding about it all, just citing common excuses for the bands' ills. the problem with the stones is the stones' fault and nobody else's.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: mtaylor ()
Date: February 27, 2011 18:08

Mick and Keith: Longtime Producer Don Was Dishes On The Rolling Stones’ High-Voltage Chemistry

Fine album though it is, Mick Jagger’s just-released solo compilation serves to remind that nothing the singer has recorded on his own matches his work within the Rolling Stones. The secrets to the Stones’ chemistry are elusive and multi-faceted—tomes have been written on the subject—but no one’s gotten a view of the band’s inner workings quite like record producer Don Was. Beginning with 1994’s Voodoo Lounge, Was has occupied a producer’s seat for each of the Stones’ studio albums. In the following interview, he shares some insight into how the world’s most legendary band achieves its distinctive sound.

What have you learned from watching the Stones work together?

There’s something in particular that struck me while we were making their last album, A Bigger Bang. We did most of the recording in France, and at the time I was following the NBA, on the Internet. I had also recently read Phil Jackson’s book, Secret Hoops. What started to dawn on me is how a five-piece rock and roll band is in many ways identical to a basketball team. That’s true of the Stones, especially, where you’ve got a center, and two forwards playing guitar, and guards on bass and drums. The Stones are like the Detroit Pistons, who are such a superb team. It’s a joy to watch the Pistons play, because of the interplay that goes on between them. It’s as if you reach a near-utopian condition, or a rare moment when men cooperate because they know it’s in their best interest as a group, and as individuals, to work together. The Pistons are always passing the ball, and they’re extremely generous with one another. The same thing is true of the Stones, when they’re at their best.

So the idea that the chemistry between Jagger and Richards has to do with the tension between them is really a fallacy?

Well, there’s something else I discovered about the Stones. I’ve worked for them for many years now, and what I realized—especially on the last record, because they were really cooperating as a band—is that although people think of them as this sloppy, drunken rock and roll thing, it's not sloppy. What happens is this: Keith Richards is a rhythm guitar player whose rhythm guitar parts are often the melody of the song, just by virtue of the way the Stones write their songs. The rhythm riff for “Start Me Up,” for instance, is also the melody of the song. And that’s true even in instances where Mick might have written the riff—on “Miss You,” for example.

Can you elaborate on how that’s different from the approach most rhythm guitarists take?

If the rhythm guitar player is also playing melody, that’s a pretty unique situation. Normally the rhythm guitar player plays in the holes, where the singer isn’t singing. In the Stones’ case, however, the rhythm guitar player is doing what the lead guitar player normally does, and he’s playing the melody that the singer is singing, simultaneously. However, there’s a little disparity in where they feel the phrasing. Mick is more or less a rhythmically straight up-and-down singer. He’s in the grid, whereas Keith has a more languid approach. That’s how Keith sings, as well. The place where they clash—where it gets a little messy, and they don’t land on the melody at the same time—is what the Rolling Stones’ sound is all about. It’s not messy. Basically it’s a duet—a duet of the melody, by Keith and Mick. And if you don’t have that, you don’t have a Rolling Stones record.

Is some of that also a function of the fact that many of the songs are written in open tunings?

Well, that’s given them distinctive-sounding riffs, but I think it’s really a function of having riffs that are highly musical, that make you want to sing them.

What keeps the Stones hungry to keep making music at this point in their career?

They’re just like every other musician, on every level. They love to play more than anything else in the world. They riff off each other. It’s like a jazz group, really. There’s not enough time to achieve that sort of thing twice, in your lifetime. That’s why they keep going on. I know for a fact that they’re not sitting there thinking, “Let’s go out on tour and make another two hundred million dollars.” They get approached by people who say, “We think you can sell tickets again. Are you willing to go out and play?” They’re actually timid about it. They’re like, “Are you sure people are going to come out? Are you sure they still want to hear this?”

Throughout your production career, you’ve tended to work with people who have really strong personalities. What do such people have in common?

You know, Chris Blackwell from Island Records has a theory that in the case of real stars, you should be able to draw caricatures of them—like the Al Hirschfeld New York Times caricatures. His theory was that you should be able to make cartoon characters out of people like that—people like Bob Marley, for example. And that’s true. If you can’t do that, then you probably don’t have someone who’s a star. And there’s another quality about people like that, too—something Jagger has. It has to do with how far in front of the speakers the voice appears to go. Jagger’s voice jumps out about 20 feet in front of the speakers. You just bring the fader up, with his vocal, and you don’t have to do anything else to it. It’s some kind of gift. Mick and I have talked about this a lot. He’s aware of it, and he has no idea what it is. You can factor in something like frequency response to the voice, but it’s also some kind of crazy vocal charisma. It’s something no vocal teacher can teach.

[www.gibson.com]

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: skipstone ()
Date: February 27, 2011 18:43

Actually, they're sitting there thinking they can make half a billion dollars. It's very simple - go and play places you haven't played in eons and charge a ton of money and just show up. Basically phone it in. It's a very good marketing strategy - call yourselves The Rolling Stones but have a plethora of backing musicians and singers to cover for Keith and Ronnie's guitar playing and charge a lot of money. People eat it up.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: KRiffhard ()
Date: February 27, 2011 18:46

Quote
dcba
In 1993 if the car sucked or had bad steering Rick Rubin would send it back to the factory. I'm not sure Was would have the balls to do this... He surely realized he had a long-time gig with the Stones provided he would be a yes-man.

Rubin only lasted one album (WS) but it's a decently-produced lp. In other words RR challenged Jagger, Don Was just polishes the Twins' shoes...

BIG difference!

I'm agree with you. Don Was is a 'yes-man', Rubin is a producer.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: February 27, 2011 19:07

If the artist you produce come up with a weak riff or weak lyrics :

- you're a producer if you tell him he can do better.
- you're a "yes man" if you think every turd can be polished with a bit of studio wizadry... (reverb, EQ, Autotune etc)

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: February 27, 2011 19:08

And like I wrote previously Dylan was smarter than the Stones : he fired Was after one album...

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: Gazza ()
Date: February 27, 2011 19:16

Quote
dcba
And like I wrote previously Dylan was smarter than the Stones : he fired Was after one album...

I doubt thats of much significance. Dylan had writers block and didnt make an album of new material for another seven years after he worked with Was.

Hew re-hired Lanois for 'Time out of Mind', won multiple Grammys and had his biggest hit record in two decades - and hasnt worked with him again since. He's produced his last few albums by himself for the most part.

I dont think he's used the same producer for two records in a row since the 70's.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: StonesTod ()
Date: February 27, 2011 19:28

Quote
dcba
And like I wrote previously Dylan was smarter than the Stones : he fired Was after one album...

fired? huh?

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: KRiffhard ()
Date: February 27, 2011 19:34

Quote
dcba
If the artist you produce come up with a weak riff or weak lyrics :

- you're a producer if you tell him he can do better.
- you're a "yes man" if you think every turd can be polished with a bit of studio wizadry... (reverb, EQ, Autotune etc)

You're a producer if you have the courage to say "sorry, but this song it's not good for this album..", as did Rick Rubin for the awful 'Charmed Life'.
You are not a producer if you're wearing headphones and always say "Yes!Nice one!".

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: StonesTod ()
Date: February 27, 2011 19:38

Quote
KRiffhard
Quote
dcba
If the artist you produce come up with a weak riff or weak lyrics :

- you're a producer if you tell him he can do better.
- you're a "yes man" if you think every turd can be polished with a bit of studio wizadry... (reverb, EQ, Autotune etc)

You're a producer if you have the courage to say "sorry, but this song it's not good for this album..", as did Rick Rubin for the awful 'Charmed Life'.
You are not a producer if you're wearing headphones and always say "Yes!Nice one!".

there's no evidence to suggest don was was a so-called "yes man." wouldn't really matter - my point is that no producer can squeeze blood from a rock. mick and keith haven't generally been writing good (by their former standards) material for over 3 decades - and God Himself as producer wouldn't make a lick of difference....

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: JJackFl ()
Date: February 27, 2011 19:45

Quote
Come On
Ho Ho Lucindas album is absolutely amazing..what are you talking about Don Was? go and buy this album tomorrow like I'm gonna do...

Sure BUY!! But you could also download it and bye it. Or even only download it. Or simply sent Lucinda money and do nothing.
(BTW album is pretty, specially deluxe edition, where second disk are kitchen demos. How pretentious to release this. But Lucinda is nice and lovely and passed so musch/born 1953)

[www.tinydl.com]

[www.fileserve.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2011-02-27 19:45 by JJackFl.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: February 27, 2011 21:41

Thanks mtaylor for that Don Was interview. It was very interesting piece to read. But I honestly need to say: I can't figure if there is given a brandnew genious, deep-going analysis of Mick-Keith colloboration (he made some some very interesting points), or just a ass-kissing fan boy-talk to make sure that he is going to keep his "dream job".

- Doxa



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2011-02-27 21:46 by Doxa.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: Rip This ()
Date: February 28, 2011 01:52

I really sincerely doubt that being in between Jagger and Richards can be an easy gig....no way no how.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: bustedtrousers ()
Date: February 28, 2011 04:15

Quote
Rocky Dijon
Most of the bitching about Don Was is misplaced resentment toward the Glimmers. There seems to be a belief that somehow Jagger and Richards will miraculously set their considerable egos aside and hire a producer and listen when he tells them their work is not up to par. Countless engineers, producers, and musicians who have worked with them (including band members) have made it clear that anyone coming between the Glimmers must tread carefully.

Every session Don Was has produced for the band has its own distinct flavor. No one would likely mistake a BRIDGEST track for VOODOO LOUNGE or a BANG track for one of the FOUR NEW LICKS. He does not bring the same sound out of the band over and over again. Where there are deficiencies in the material, the fault lies with the two gentlemen who write the songs and call all of the shots and not with the gentleman sitting cross-legged on the studio floor with headphones on looking for all the world like one of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.

This is true, Rocky, I think it does come down to Mick and Keith more than anyone else. It's not all Don's fault, he is a bit of a scapegoat for many of us. But, as producer of their albums, if he is responsible for how they sound, then he is also guilty of consistently producing albums with that modern, generic, lifeless sound that is so prevalent these days. I think his work on the new Exile songs continues to prove this.

And I think there is at least some truth in people saying Was is more of a go-along with guy, instead of one who truly challenges the Stones to do their best. That's likely what they want, and there is nothing wrong with Was making his living as such. But it makes me wonder, what is his true function as their producer.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2011-02-28 10:54 by bustedtrousers.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: Midnight Toker ()
Date: February 28, 2011 04:22

Say goodbye Don. He should have insisted on more Jagger/Richard harmonies .

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: February 28, 2011 11:11

Don Was:

What started to dawn on me is how a five-piece rock and roll band is in many ways identical to a basketball team. That’s true of the Stones, especially, where you’ve got a center, and two forwards playing guitar, and guards on bass and drums. The Stones are like the Detroit Pistons, who are such a superb team. It’s a joy to watch the Pistons play, because of the interplay that goes on between them. It’s as if you reach a near-utopian condition, or a rare moment when men cooperate because they know it’s in their best interest as a group, and as individuals, to work together. The Pistons are always passing the ball, and they’re extremely generous with one another. The same thing is true of the Stones, when they’re at their best.

Don is bullshitting - "lip service" - in regards to A BIGGER BANG - there was none of five-piece chemistry left there in those sessions (there probaly weren't even five musicians at the studio together once), but this is what he is actually referring to:





"Beast of Burden" happens to be the song Dressmann uses in their telly-ads this week, and for that reason I checked some cool youtube-versions of it. The one above is maybe one of the greatest captured Stones six and half minutes ever. The "ancinet art of weaving" is in total fire there - the 'sraightest rhythm section of the world" as solid as ever but swinging like a hell, and Jagger's isnpired frontmanship.... Can it be any better?

- Doxa



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2011-02-28 11:13 by Doxa.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: whitem8 ()
Date: February 28, 2011 11:18

Fantastic Doxa! Such a great groove on this one and another reason why I love the 78 tour stuff. Man do Some Girls Deluxe up right by releasing all this show on DVD!

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Date: February 28, 2011 11:20

If I'm not mistaken, Rubin is the kind of producer that never touches the knobs on the mixing desk. He is just being around for a while, disappears and comes back with very radical ideas. In other words, an eccentric who doesn't gel with Jagger.

I read somewhere that he forced the members of Red Hot Chilli Peppers to listen to Dazed And Confused for an entire day, without even touching their instruments.

Although he's weird he's probably the best rock'n'roll producer around.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: skipstone ()
Date: February 28, 2011 17:38

Jagger recorded Charmed Life for Wandering Spirit?

It's a good thing he didn't put it on the album - it would have completely RUINED it. What a horrible song. Rubin should've kicked Mick's ass for doing such a piece of shit.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: Rocky Dijon ()
Date: February 28, 2011 18:13

That's the claim and it's what the credits to THE VERY BEST OF MICK JAGGER claim, but the lead vocal does not sound like it's from the early '90's. It sounds much more recent. Ashley Beadle produced the final result and I'm pretty sure Will i. Am plays the keyboards at the beginning. I also believe some of Jeff Beck's acoustic guitar from "Just Another Night" is sampled in the middle of the song. One of the extended dance mixes starts with dialogue that I believe is sampled from Mick's dreadful RUNNING OUT OF LUCK film. I'm not positive about this and I loathe and detest "Charmed Life" despite a nice rhythm guitar track from Mick and nice harmonica work toward the end.

Re: OT: Don Was isn't
Posted by: skipstone ()
Date: February 28, 2011 22:15

Rocky, ya must have a bit stronger conviction about ya because when I heard that track I was disgusted. It made me not buy Mick's hits album. If I ever see it used I'll get it - just for Too Many Cooks actually. With it had Ruthless People on it.

@#$%&.

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