For this new edition of Recording of Note we will pay credit to Tears for Fears album The Seeds of Love, released in 1989, and especially WOMAN IN CHAINS, a popular song written by Roland Orzabal.
From the album The Seeds of Love, released in 1989, WOMAN IN CHAINS is a popular song written by Roland Orzabal.
I did like that music early on but rediscover it at the Top Audio Show 2012 in Milan, Italy. We brought the LP and enjoyed playing it all the show.
The song intensity builds up bar after bar.
Legendary drummer Manu Katché opens the song with a subtle hi-hat interpretation.
The hi-hat is going from left to right while bass notes and a keyboard pops out with a recurring gimmick. Meanwhile many percussions are appearing. The timbre of the keyboard is really unique.
Details can be heard in a very wide and deep soundstage. That makes this track very interesting to explore discerning set-ups. Some instruments use a vibrato effect that can be perceived as a turntable speed stability issue.
When the melody is coming with a keyboard flute kind of sound, at the same time you can hear the triangle and deep bass notes. The male voice is almost whispered and is completed by the powerful woman voice, by Oleta Adams.
For this challenging mix, the band turned to the legendary sound engineer Bob Clearmountain. He has worked on so many albums that we cannot list them here, but he is famous for his work with David Bowie, Madonna, Bryan Adams, the Rolling Stones to name a few. He did also several albums for the underrated Jonatha Brooke that I did personally hear at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2002.
His signature is almost always a very clean sound that feels natural even though there is an amazing work to create layers of sounds and instruments like a sculptor would carve a marble block.
On WOMAIN IN CHAINS, when the momentum is building up, you can still hear every details of each instruments.
The chorus comes after more than 2 minutes with a unique guitar atmospheric sound that is kind of addictive. The voices are in multi layers with some phasing effects.
From 3:31 Phil Collins takes over the drum and provide a “big sound” as requested by the band.
While the music is going crescendo the voices still stay very clean and forward. The fretless bass (probably Pino Paladino, credited on the album) delivers an amazing performance.
There is a tension between the very soft almost velvet sound of the vocals while the drums are extremely intense.
The outro is almost like a mirror version ot the song. The instruments are disappearing during a long fade out. There is a unique texture to all the instruments the band and their producer Dave Bascombe have created.
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Thank you for reading and see you next time with a new recording of Note
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- Recording of Note - Woman in Chains
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