Originally Posted by Womble
I really don't think anyone's trying to have a go at your abilites. Rick wasn't launching a genuine bid for your gig, he just said he thought it would be a fun one! And X22 wasn't suggesting that 22 years ago you were unable to copy parts exactly, I think he was wondering why you (or Al) now feel you have to. Correct me if I'm wrong, X22.
With the exception of the first album (which was very accordian-based) we've always tried to copy the original version of the songs we parody - it's not a new concept with Al. The truth is, we're all far better at it now than we were 22 years ago. Or even 10 years ago. Did we really think that Eat It sounded just like Beat It? No, we knew it wasn't quite there. But we've improved to the point where Al is routinely accused of taking the orignal artists' tracks and singing over them, to the latest - a snippet of Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" - to which many fans thought it was so cool that Led Zep allowed us to use a sample of their song. The point being, we recorded the excerpt ourselves.
But to cite something from early 1985 - a polka medley no less, which is not intended to sound like the songs included in it - and tell me that a part is "nothing close" is rather unfair. But I don't mind explaining it.
Also, Al's meticulous nature does not just apply to the parodies, nor is it limited to the original songs we record.
As to why Al's parodies are intended to sound like the original.... it's funny that way. The gag is when the listener hears the intro of a song on the radio, and then it turns out to be Al's version. Stan Freberg often did the same thing, and now that I think of it, it all makes sense - Freberg is Al's biggest hero in the world of satire.
Part of what's difficult here, is that explaining my gig and the way Al expects us to work, is not something easily done in a few sentences, or paragraphs, or posts, or threads. There's a lot more to the way we make music than most people would imagine. There are people who truly don't get what's so hard about the gig... it's just a comedy band, right?
Yeah, sure it is.
I just got off the phone with our studio engineer of 24 years, and he asked how the tour rehearsals are going, and what new programming hell I'm going through. Of course he knows firsthand what's involved in the albums, but I explained about adapting some of the material for live performance, and coordinating sequences and samples with video. He said I should write an article for Mix Magazine.
He's probably right. The more I think about everything I do with Al, the more I realize what a unique position I'm in. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that some people don't quite understand it.