"Born to Run" and the Wall of Sound

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Kenneth Burns
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"Born to Run" and the Wall of Sound

Postby Kenneth Burns » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:31 am

It's said that in recording "Born to Run," Bruce Springsteen had in mind Phil Spector's celebrated Wall of Sound. "Born to Run" is a stereo record, and what I'm wondering is, isn't a Wall of Sound really only a wall of sound in mono? Because it seems to me that "Born to Run" is mixed in what you might call faux mono. In the title track, there's definitely stuff happening on the right and left, but mainly I hear a busy arrangement of many instruments mixed at or near the center. Voilà, Wall of Sound. Right?

Kyle Motor
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Re: "Born to Run" and the Wall of Sound

Postby Kyle Motor » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:27 am

I'd always assumed it was more the instrumentation. The multiple saxes playing a chord, the xylophone doubling the guitar & piano hooks, etc. Original "Wall of Sound" recordings were in mono because they were singles in the early 60s, and AM radio was mono.

For a true Spector Wall of Sound, you'd need at least two drummers playing at the same time, and all those instruments need to be tracked while playing live in the same room.

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