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Personnel on River Deep - Mountain High

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Matt, Mar 6, 2002.

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  1. Matt

    Matt New Member Thread Starter

    I finally found my answer:

    River Deep - Mountain High

    Published by Mother Bertha Music, Inc. and Trio Music Co., Inc. (BMI)

    Produced by Phil Spector
    Engineered by Larry Levine
    Recorded at Gold Star Recorders, Hollywood

    Saxes: James Horn, Plas Johnson
    Fender Bass: Carol Kaye
    Guitar: Barney Kessel
    Piano: Lawrence Knechtel
    Drums and Band Leader: Earl Palmer
    Guitar: Donald Peake
    Piano: Harold Battiste
    Drums: James Gordon
    Upright Bass: James E. Bond, Jr.
    Percussion: Frank Capp
    Trumpet: Roy V. Caton
    Percussion: Gene Estes
    Other instruments: Robert Gerstlauer and John Ewing
  2. Bob Lovely

    Bob Lovely Super Gort Staff


    Thanks for sharing this information on a mostly unappreciated recording. I wish I could find a high quality, well-mastered version other than the version contained in the Phil Spector box set. The mono version contained in the set is pretty lifeless to my ears--like it cannot breath. I am sure the multi-track master is a work of art as a listening experience.

  3. indy mike

    indy mike Forum Pest

    Perhaps we could persuade our mastering friend Steve to weigh in with some comments about the Spector box and why it sounds the way it does...
  4. lennonfan

    lennonfan New Member

    baltimore maryland
    there's a Mofi stereo cd version of that album, but it suffers the same dense echo problems that the mono does. It is a real classic, tho.....love it;)
  5. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host


    That "deep echo" is a trademark of Phil Spector's "Wall Of Sound" production techniques. Ya don't want to be messin' with that!
  6. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    The stereo version of River Deep Mountain High is well remastered on the Spanish import CD on Alvorado which also features the Sonny Charles & The Checkmates, Ltd. "Love Is All We Have To Give" album which does feature Black Pearl.
  7. lennonfan

    lennonfan New Member

    baltimore maryland
    Steve, maybe you misunderstand me. I'm completely aware of Phil's echo laden works and have been for years;)
    I like them but the problems I refer to are the ones caused by overloading a track with hundreds of instruments (wall of sound) which creates this sort of dense whole, then applying liberal echo to the proceedings winds up reducing the dynamic range and detail (which, in itself would be debatable as to whether Spector wants you to hear 'detail' or a 'basic overall sound'. I think more modern consoles and tracks could have made for a better overall mix of symphony for kiddies;)
  8. Bob Lovely

    Bob Lovely Super Gort Staff


    And I would add over use of compression as compounding the problem. In all honesty, Spector's "Wall of Sound" has not "aged" well. While most of his musical productions are works of art, his recording techniques have left a legacy of great hits that, for the most part, sound awful. I can only imagine what the originall multi-tracks sound like. I have to assume that Spector tailored his recordings the way he did to sound "big and full" for AM Radio.

  9. Angel

    Angel New Member

    Hollywood, Ca.
    Boys, that's the Wall Of Sound in a nutshell.

    Lottsa musicians, some on mic, some off, way too much compression, three or four layers of echo, smash it all down and----Perfect for a 45 RPM single made to be played on AM Radio.

    So, since that sound is in stone, there isn't much we can do about it now. But I have to say, that the STEREO version of "River Deep Mountain High" that was remixed in the 1970's from the 4 track (right, Steve? :cool: ) has MORE echo added, this time in stereo. THAT layer is totally not needed and should have never been added, IMO.

    No, the mono is the way to go. You can't have the entire wall of sound coming out of just the left channel with a vocal in the middle and some strings on the right. It reduces the "wall" to a parody. Also makes your head feel like imploding on headphones.
  10. Bob Lovely

    Bob Lovely Super Gort Staff


    Thankfully not all the music from that period was recorded that way. Ironically, numerous AM radio stations used to add reverb or echo and even more compression to their broadcasts during the 60's and early 70's in order to give their broadcasts that "big sound". My father was a broadcast engineer during the time and he was always frustrated by station managers who wanted to compress the "life" right out the sound. Spector's recordings were even further over-processed during their "hit" runs.

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