Saturday, March 24, 2012


Once again I’m gravitating towards Chicago. This one has been on heavy rotation in the house recently.

I’m reading Greg Milner’s excellent book “Perfecting SoundForever”. I’m almost at the end now and well into digital samplers and Pro Tools territory. AAC and MP3 are a few pages away. In short, a million miles away from the recording techniques (then still mainly focussed on faithful reproduction) that would have been employed when The Five Stairsteps entered the studio in 1967 and laid down this song that would end up as only a B side (!) on their fifth release on the Windy C label.    

This record has a wonderful open sound I think – it’s bursting with “presence”. You could almost believe it hadn’t been recorded in a studio at all, but instead, outside, on a street corner somewhere, or maybe in Grant Park – and the sun would have been shining - and the Burke family would have been holding their heads to the sky.

Yes, I’m really feeling it.

I can’t help thinking we’ve somehow lost something along the way.

(I hope the feeling isn’t too dissipated by conversion to MP3!)


davyh said...

I've just put that book on my Wish List....

Darcy said...

It's a fascinating read. I would advise you to stick with the early chapters where I think he does go on a bit too much about "tone tests".

Anonymous said...

The Stairsteps had great B sides. Their version of The Impressions' "Little Boy Blue," which I think was the flip side to "Baby make me feel so good," was a favorite of mine in the 70s. Any chance you can post it if you have it. Thanks for the great music.


darcy said...

I do have it Ben! It's the B side to Madame Mary. I must dig it out.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Great. It'll be great hearing it again.