Unrescuable Schizo feature: Check out our FAVORITE 30 SONGS OF THE 2000S.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The strings are driving me nuts!

I just watched VH1 Classic's documentary on the making of Metallica, the group's self-titled 1991 release, aka The Black Album, and it was fascinating. It was one of those great tales - arrogant metal band thinks it knows it all, then a producer comes along and says their previous material was crap, and says he can make the next album better, and the skeptical band agrees, but they can't get used to the new producer's methods, and they despise the recording process, and it takes way too long to finish, but ultimately they realize the record was far better than anything they had done before.

The most fascinating part was how this producer, Bob Rock, got the band to agree to put strings on "Nothing Else Matters." Once they got over their initial shock, they liked the sound so much that years later they ended up doing an entire concert with an orchestra.

I'd say about 99% of the time, strings make songs better, but there's one recent example of how strings totally ruin a song. "Hey There Delilah" by the Plain White Ts is a beautiful ballad that is the best song of 2007, so far. Released more than a year ago, the song was ignored until a more stripped-down version gained new life this spring.

I wasn't aware of the original version until I heard it recently, and I was shocked by how horrible it is! The unnecessary strings really make it schlocky and unlistenable. But the version with just guitar and voice is so poignant. Just another lesson on the importance of good production.

Some radio stations have, regrettably, begun playing the strings version. I was going to post a YouTube clip of the video, but all the videos on YouTube also have strings. The music video On Demand does not have strings! How come no one has posted that version! Gah!!

The only video clip I could find without strings is a live performance. Whatever, it will do:

No comments: