Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
nobodyinparticular

This is a question.

Recommended Posts

His own?  I mean,  if you compare it to other songs on that album.  "Breakdown" is in an affected accent but I think of "American Girl" as his own voice.  He maybe has some McGuinn-like inflection to what he's doing, but their voices are quite different to my ears.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 One could make an argument that Tom was just trying to find his voice on the first album. When I think of those first two records, they do sound different compared to the rest of his catalog. They seem more youthful, raw, unpolished...in a good way. I love the sound of those two records! The band has said that they were just figuring out how to make albums at the time, and they really didn’t know what they were doing in the studio. And I agree, Tom’s voice sounds different and a lot of those songs. I think that some of the charm with American girl, the way it sounds, his phrasing, inflection, and the way he sings it. I think Breakdown is an amazing song for a first album. like that one came out of nowhere.  Actually, that’s the first thing I noticed, when I heard Surrender ‘77, first track on an American Treasure.  I noticed how unique or different (youthful) Tom’s vocal sounded on the track. And it instantly reminded me of the early Heartbreakers sound, which I love. Think about Springsteen‘s first two albums as well, Greetings and the E Street Shuffle-they sound nothing like Born to Run. That album is a quantum leap for Bruce’s sound and singing voice… Just thinking about thunder road alone and that vocal “performance.” Maybe the same could be said for Tom… And how the Heartbreakers really came into their own by the third album. Just like BTR, Damn the Torpedoes was a quantum leap for the band.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎11‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 8:21 PM, Shelter said:

^

right. and quantum leap in these cases spells i-o-v-i-n-e.

not that it has anything to do with singing style. just a thought.

In the case of DTT, Iovine indeed could have been the catalyst of a quantum leap. He and Tom seemed to have been quite close, they talked a lot during that period and everything; it's probably hard to overestimate Iovine's (and Yakus') influence on the sound of DTT and Hard Promises, including Tom's vocal style. Maybe he got more confidence through Iovine.

I guess it's hard to figure out how to sing on the first recordings you do. Mostly, especially in those days, singers performed live, not paying too much attention to exactly how they sing, before they got a record deal. Even on demos, you still would have said, well, this is only a demo, on a proper recording I would make sure to get it right.

And then, all of a sudden (even if it actually wasn't THAT sudden, but it may have been like Christmas... "all of a sudden" it's here and you don't have any presents), Tom struck gold, got his record deal, along with the right band, and was faced with the situation that his vocals were put on albums that were distributed internationally. And that, I imagine, can throw you a little. So he experimented a bit, maybe being ashamed of how he sounded naturally.

It's true, Petty's vocals on the first two albums sound odd, but intriguingly so. Not being a native speaker, I couldn't have pinpointed what it was. But if you guys say it's the accent that's a bit strange, that makes sense to me. I always thought it was Tom's... colloquial language at the time, if you will, he used on Breakdown. Now I've learned it's some kind of a fake Spanish Accent! :lol:

Maybe what he was doing was trying to get into a certain character for each song. I don't know.

Having said that, I really like the way(s) he sings Breakdown and American Girl. It makes you listen up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bands often say there's a huge jump to go from a) playing live to b) getting a good sound on recordings. Sometimes that can be partly why sometimes a band might be great live but just never go beyond singing locally... And sometimes new bands can't afford much money so can't invest in a brilliant sound engineer / mixing / hours in the studio.  And sometimes time's an issue so they just have to make something and get it out there.  

Gosh I wish I could remember where it was that I read this but I'm sure you'll have all read similar things about their early years' live sound.:)

  • ...Mike Campbell said it was amazing when they were putting together the Live Anthology & listening to old recordings. 
  • That he was impressed by how good the young Tom's voice sounded, right on pitch and so on.
  • That back at the start they couldn't actually hear themselves (when they were playing live) as they didn't have monitors  at the side of the stage.  (Different now of course with being able to hear themselves in their ear-pieces)
  • Also that he also loves how Tom's voice sounds as he matured.  Richer, fuller and more resonate, I think were the words he used. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On December 3, 2018 at 5:14 PM, Big Blue Sky said:

And sometimes new bands can't afford much money so can't invest in a brilliant sound engineer / mixing / hours in the studio. 

I'm guessing to some degree the newer technology has made independent bands able to get their music recorded properly without spending thousands in a studio. in the past yeah, no access to a good studio was probably a huge factor.

On December 3, 2018 at 5:14 PM, Big Blue Sky said:

That back at the start they couldn't actually hear themselves (when they were playing live) as they didn't have monitors  at the side of the stage.  (Different now of course with being able to hear themselves in their ear-pieces)

Impressive they could play so well.

On December 3, 2018 at 5:14 PM, Big Blue Sky said:

Also that he also loves how Tom's voice sounds as he matured.  Richer, fuller and more resonate, I think were the words he used. 

I agree. It's sometimes jarring to go back to those older records after being used to Tom singing them in live concerts post-Stan. I remember being shocked at how short Breakdown is compared to live versions...but that drumming is so good on it. Anyway, I much prefer Tom's later voice to the early days though I still like it too.

It seemed he pretty much set a good public example of how to age gracefully in the context of a rock band. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...