The Rubettes were a British pop group of studio musicians assembled in 1973. Their songs were influenced by doo-wop and 1950s American pop. Doo-wop is a genre of rhythm-and-blues and rock-and-roll vocal music that was popular in the 1950s and ’60s. The term doo-wop is derived from the sounds made by the group as they provided the background harmony for the lead singer. In this song the lead singer starts the melody using a vocal technique called falsetto. When a male singer sings in the soprano or alto range, he is singing falsetto. The voice type is known as countertenor.
Things to listen out for:
- The pizzicato (plucked) strings
- A spoken middle 8 section
- The “Wall of Sound” recording technique
Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound technique was one of the first attempts to use the recording studio as an instrument in its own right. This was created through the use of large ensembles of musicians. Echo chambers were then used to produce the final rich and booming result that came across well through the radios and jukeboxes of that era. The Beach Boys often used Wall of Sound arrangements. You can hear this in their classic hit ‘God Only Knows’ on a previous blog post: https://hayesmusic.blog/2020/04/04/daily-listening-saturday-4th-april/