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Production Review - Bryan Adams at Abbey Road

Bryan Adams is a great singer with a very successful career. But he has an irritating mannerism. You can hear it in this review of 'Sgt. Pepper - It Was 40 Years Ago Today'...


The TV show Sgt. Pepper - It Was 40 Years Ago Today offered a fascinating insight into The Beatles, Abbey Road, and the recording practices of the 1960s. The Beatles' engineer Geoff Emerick recorded some of today's hot bands using original 1960s equipment.

It's interesting to hear other people sing Beatles songs. None of the Beatles were technically perfect singers, but their performances are so definitive they are difficult to emulate and impossible to better.

Bryan Adams however seemed determined to sing in his own style with no concessions to 'Beatleishness'.

There is no doubt that Adams has a great voice. During the course of his career he has fried his vocal chords to a charred cinder, giving him a very distinctive sound.

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He also has the ability to hit his notes spot on, where many singers have the irritating habit of sliding up to them.

Take a listen to this...

Sounds good doesn't it?

But it's only a short extract from the song. If you had to listen to the whole thing you would become irritated by Adams' own habit.

Listen to the ends of the phrases. Every time he comes to the end of a phrase, the pitch drops. Not just some times, not for artistic effect, but every time. Yes it's a habit. A bad habit and very irritating.

Now this is just an observation, and Adams' sales figures clearly indicate that the public likes what he does.

But it's often worth considering whether there is any aspect of a vocal performance that detracts from the overall quality, and perhaps could quite easily be fixed, once pointed out.

If you get the chance, Sgt. Pepper - It Was 40 Years Ago Today is essential viewing for anyone interested in recording. Perhaps you could encourage the production company (Hart Davies Television) to release it on DVD!

By David Mellor Thursday November 30, 2006

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