The Muscle Shoals Sound

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I just finished watching on Netflix a movie, Muscle Shoals, which is the history of the Muscle Shoals sound, a recording sound started by a guy named Rick Hall and Fame studios. Muscle Shoals is a small town in Alabama, USA. Below is a partial list of the people who have recorded there. if you haven't seen this movie you owe it to yourself to check it out. You will not be disappointed.
 

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barryabko

Senior Member
I just saw it last night. It's just AMAZING that a small handful of musicians played on so many songs that were not only huge commercial hits but songs that also became classics in every sense of the word. Well worth watching!
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
One group who split from Rick Hall said at one time they made 50 records in one year. That's one a week.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
I just finished watching on Netflix a movie, Muscle Shoals, which is the history of the Muscle Shoals sound, a recording sound started by a guy named Rick Hall and Fame studios. Muscle Shoals is a small town in Alabama, USA. Below is a partial list of the people who have recorded there. if you haven't seen this movie you owe it to yourself to check it out. You will not be disappointed.
Saw it on PBS a couple weeks ago, then watched it again on NETFLIX.

Superbly done documentary, brought tears to my eyes, that's when you know its good.

If you haven't seen it, its a must see, 5 stars.


Check this out on on YouTube also, interview with the director.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
It's a great film. I highly recommend it. The Swampers were every bit as amazing as the Funk Brothers from Motown and the cats from Stax.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
+1

The segment on Aretha Franklin alone is worth the time spent viewing the flik. I love her term "greasy".
 

Stefan Brodsky

Senior Member
Caught it on one of our PBS stations a few weeks ago. Agreed, very well done. My initial thoughts were that wallets were taped onto snare batters during recording sessions there, e.g. Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin, but after listening more closely to "Mustang Sally" and "Chain of Fools" it didn't appear to be so. I get confused with the Memphis recordings of Otis Redding where if you listen to tracks e.g. "Mr. Pitiful" and his original version of "Respect", you definitely can hear a highly muffled snare. Not sure whose brilliant idea (NOT) that was, but I prefer the Muscle Shoals snare sound.
 
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AZslim

Senior Member
I just watched this. I had no idea about it. It blew me away. It's sad that kind of recording is dead or dying.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
Music played & recorded live has so much more life to it than the track-by-track stuff.
Thats what defines a good studio musician tho, a group of them together can sound really good doing tracks, its a skillful art.
 

FreDrummer

Silver Member
Didn't the ABB record there, too (not just Gregg and Jaimoe).

Then there's that famous line, "Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers...And they've been known to pick a song or two (Yes they do)"
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Loved the story about how Greg took Duane horse riding, and despite being warned, Duane fell off the horse and broke his fretting arm. He was very pissed off at Greg for insisting they go horse riding. Days later Greg dropped off some medicine (in a Coricidan bottle) and a Taj Mahal record. (which included "Statesboro Blues") After hearing and being inspired by Taj's album, Duane emptied the tablets from the Coricidan bottle, slipped the bottle over his finger, and played slide for the first time. (because he couldn't fret) The rest is history.

Sometimes good things come out of bad circumstances.

I had no idea The Swampers gave Jimmy Cliff his sound. TBH, I knew not a thing about them, but now I've come to realize that I've been pretty heavily influenced by Roger Hawkins. WHAT a great feel that guy has. Even Wilson Pickett mentioned how good he was. He did the drumming on Aretha's "Respect" and Pickett's "Land of 1000 Dances" for cripes sake...Holy crap man did that guy have the grease. My newest hero for sure.
 

73Rogers

Member
I knew not a thing about them, but now I've come to realize that I've been pretty heavily influenced by Roger Hawkins. WHAT a great feel that guy has. .... My newest hero for sure.
X2! While I was watching, I thought about how many of his grooves I went to school on over the years. What a body of work he has.

While we're on Netflix music docs, also check out "Beware of Mr. Baker".
 
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