googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: Rock And Roll Soul

Rock And Roll Soul

The late great Ray Charles was once asked what Soul was and responded by telling a story; After performing his signature hit, Georgia On My Mind, a fan came up to him, complimented him on his performance and said, “Man, you must really dig that girl,” referring to ‘Georgia”. “That’s soul,” Charles said.

What he meant was that soul was the level of believability a performer brings to a song. Back in the Fifties you could see plenty of popular entertainers who would sing the saddest love songs all the while having big, fake smiles on their faces. Did they even listen to the words they were singing? Some singers sang everything as though it was breaking their heart and that wasn’t appropriate either.

John Lennon was one of the best rock singers for bringing a level of ‘acting’ to his singing. Songs like I’m So Tired actually sound like he’s tired. I’m Only Sleeping sounds like he’s sleepy, he even yawns. His sighing in the song Girl accents his yearning and he sang Tomorrow Never Knows trying to simulate the sound of monks singing on a mountain top.

Help! is a song where the chorus sounds like someone shouting out for help. Each time he sings the word help the music modulates higher giving each time a growing urgency before the final scream of HELP at the end. The descending guitar lines between the shouts for help add to the sinking feeling of desperation and finally cascade into a falling arpeggio that ends at the verse.

Eric Clapton’s solo on George Harrison’s classic, As My Guitar Gently Weeps actually sounds like the guitar is crying due to Clapton’s sustained soulful finger vibrato. This level of involvement in a song and its meaning seems not to exist anymore.

One of the best examples of soul actually comes from an instrumental song. The surf song, Pipeline from the Chantays actually sounds like it’s underwater. The double picking bass string slide at the start simulates the experience of a wave crashing, the bass line is the thumping of a heartbeat caught in the curl and the electric piano melody line has a reverb effect and is played mello enough to sound like something being heard from underwater.

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