Diamonds (w/ "the Girls")

Posted by: floyd jane

Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/25/13 04:32 PM

Long story.

Since getting BIAB (last year) I have wondered if I could use it to "enhance" some older recordings I have.
Most of the time, it's best to start over and re-record songs completely using BIAB.
But there are a handful of old recordings that have some little bit of magic that I would hate to lose.
Stuff that I cannot necessarily recreate. But, I have new ideas for them..

Such is the case with this song. It was recorded in 1980 in a studio in Philadelphia. (Ah... the good ol' days)
It has an organ part that I like and the BIAB organs don't have the "bite" that this does. (would love to see some like this in BIAB!)
And the guitar can't be found here either (ditto!).
It is a bit different than what you may have heard from me before.

I have the original 24-track tape and a 1/4" master mixdown (15ips) - and nowhere to play either.
Which leaves me a very worn and terribly "hissy" cassette tape. I wanted to bring it back to life.
And I wanted to add a sax - thought it needed "something more" than what was there originally.

I recorded the cassette to my computer and did my best to remove some hiss.
I loaded it into ACW in BIAB to capture the chords and tempo/timing the best I could.
The original recording was done "live" with drums, bass, guitar and organ and my acoustic. So the timing was "iffy".
I managed to get it into BIAB to generate the sax parts (We'll fix it in the mix...)

To brighten the vocal I doubled it (singing with myself from 33 years ago!).
I added some harmonies - the original had none.
Then added sax parts - snippets here and there - building parts from the sax generated by BIAB.

I thought it would be nice to have some "chick singers" in the chorus.
So I asked Joanne (jo131) and Josie (Sundance) and Janice (Janice & Bud) if they would be my backup.
They all agreed. Ya gotta love this place, dontcha?
We'll call them "the Girls" - since they constitute the entire female population of the PG forum.

Before it was all said and done, I added a siren as well....

So a WHOPPING BIG THANK YOU to Joanne, Josie and Janice for helping me out on this! Y'all are the best!

Hope you enjoy this. As always... comments encouraged.

RealTracks in song: ~1054:Sax, Alto, Soloist SmoothJazzCool Sw16 075


b-19, bingo
somebody hit it rich
the pool halls and the penny arcade
applaud the winners and make their pitch
but somewhere on this dark friday night
there's a winner who's yet unsung
the police sirens and the warehouse alarm
are screaming at the top of their lungs

diamonds, cool diamonds
the warehouse has been hit
it's bad luck to cast your shadow in the moon
keep to the dark until the hounds forget

now you come around here boasting things
that no one ought to hear
if you insist on talking so loud
someone's gonna put you out on your ear
you think you're so cool because you pulled it off
i hope you tied the ends up neat
man, this stuffs gonna make us both rich men
as soon as it hits the street

repeat chorus

leave word with the blue man
if you plan on coming back
i'll leave a light on in the back room
and a window up a crack
there's a game every night until three or four
bring some dough and we'll let you play
show some sense kid, don't get greedy
we might even let you stay

repeat chorus

Have at it...

Posted by: MarioD

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/25/13 04:44 PM

All I can say is WOW !

If you hadn’t told me I would have thought that this was totally recorded today! Outstanding work on bringing an old tape recording into the 21st century!

You can’t beat the sound of a B3 can you?

I really liked the vocals. Your lead vocal was outstanding and the ladies did a fantastic job backing you up.

This is a keeper for sure!
Posted by: Mac

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/25/13 04:52 PM

Very Good Job!

B3 and Philadelphia are synonymous, aren't they?

But then, so are the sirens, right? ... *grin*

Posted by: Noel96

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/25/13 05:14 PM

Hey Floyd,

Now that's what I call "completely re-defining the word outstanding". Gosh you're a hard act to follow! There's no way I can possibly post anything in the forum now for a week or two smile At the moment, I'm sitting here, nodding my head and thinking, "Even 33 years ago you were writing exceptionally high quality songs. So much talent!"

I don't know where to begin. Maybe it's time to call on the language of mathematics to help me.

The groove = very + engaging = (toe tapping)^2
Younger floyd = great voice + !
Older floyd = still + great voice + !!
Joanne + Josie + Janice = 1,000 x wow
Use of BIAB = (incredible + impressive) x 10^6

After listening to this song, I can see that you're much more adventurous with genres than you've led us to believe with the songs that you've posted to date!

I'm thoroughly enjoying my 3rd listen now. This music is really cool stuff. And you've show us all how to use BIAB in an incredibly inventive way.

All the best,

P.S. Is it a co-incidence that "The Girls" sound incredible and that their names all begin with "J"? Spooky!
Posted by: JoanneCooper

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/26/13 03:47 AM

Hi Floyd
The final version sounds GREAT!

Good job. Thoroughly enjoyed learning this song and doing the backing vocals.
Posted by: gibson

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/26/13 06:17 AM

Not bad!!!!In fact re-read MarioD's comments as he said my exact thoughts. I do like the ska beat. And to think most of that is over 30 years old.
BIAB is one hell of a programme, it is amazing what it can do if you think "outside the box"
There sure is some talent on this forum!!!

Well done

ps catchy flippin' song as it is revolving around my head now!!
Posted by: boehm

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/26/13 10:12 AM

Hi Floyd,

yes, Mario has brought it to the point.
Congrats to you and the J-Girls.
It's all been said. Let's go back listening.

Posted by: Scott C

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/26/13 10:30 AM

Amazing. Music is timeless. Wow what a great song. Thanks for sharing. Cool singing to a younger version of yourself. The ladies sound awesome as well.
Posted by: ROG

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/26/13 11:08 AM

Hi Floyd.

What a brilliant engineering job to start with a cassette and end up with this.

When the track started with that relaxed reggae/ska beat, it immediately put me in mind of Roxanne by the Police, but it very quickly developed into something else. It's a great song with excellent lyrics and "The Girls" are exactly what the chorus needed. Having access to backing singers of that quality opens up all sorts of possibilities and I hope you'll be using them again.

One minor point - I think I'd have preferred a raunchy tenor sax, rather than the jazzy alto. I felt it was just a bit too smooth to compete with the B3. Can you do that with RTs?

Mix quality was spot-on, as usual.

Posted by: dani48

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/26/13 11:27 AM

Hi, Floyd & ( "The Girls")

BINGO ! This is my favourite Floyd song
so far ! :)) Superb in every aspect and
what a harmonizing group you have ! :))
Congrats to everyone involved !::)

Posted by: bluage

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/26/13 12:52 PM

"floyd jane"...

Sounds like Bob Marley met "Steely Dan", and then invited the boys from "America" to contribute their melodious vocal harmonizations! Made me wanna get up and strut that funky stuff.

Cool beans!

Posted by: Frankp

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/26/13 03:44 PM

Do folks really strike it rich playing bingo? Really!

I love this. And the old joined with the new, so cool you could do this.

The chorus... man that's what a chorus should sound like. Great collaboration.

What is "ACW"? All that came from BIAB is the sax, right?

Speaking of which, nice interplay between the organ and sax before the last verse. And I dig that little tag way out in the distance.

Thanks for posting this, I'm listening again.
Posted by: Steve Young

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/26/13 05:04 PM

Wow! I really can't think of any way to express how good this is that hasn't already been said. Outstanding job! Hard to believe the foundation of this is a 33 year old cassette tape!

Very impressive!

And the help of the 3 Lady J's - just makes it over the top!

Very cool!

Posted by: gruverider

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/26/13 10:58 PM

man that sax and organ together - "the sweet spot"! and all of the vocals rock!
Posted by: Guitarhacker

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/27/13 10:06 AM

cool stuff... loved the reggae beat in this...

BB is such an amazing piece of software in that, it can take an existing song and create the template to allow one to do all sorts of new things....I've used the chord capture to add parts to songs for other folks....

very nice work.
Posted by: C J Lane

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/27/13 12:49 PM

Hi Floyd,
Wow -- What they all said.

As a newbie here I can see the bar is set pretty high. Keeps your interest, that's for sure.

Thanks for posting.

Posted by: floyd jane

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/27/13 05:10 PM

This has been a fun one so far... a little more background...
The original recording was done at Veritable Recoding in Ardmore, PA. A very nice room. All wood as I recall. The band was a local group named "Wood & Wire". Nice guys (for the little bit of time I spent with them). A little while ago, I saw mention of someone (an artist or songwriter - I don't recall) whose bio mentioned they were in a Philadelphia band called "Wood & Wire" about that time - but I can't for the life of me remember who it was...

We did 4 songs. I had envisioned this having a feel similar to Springsteen's "Spirit In The Night". After a practice run through, the piano player and I were discussing some chord change ideas for the chorus. The bass player and guitar player were fooling around with a pop-reggae beat - a la Police. By the time we got back to them, the drummer had joined in. So for kicks we tried it that way. The piano player said "Ooohh! Wait!, walked to the back of the room and throw a tarp off a B3. Voila! And away we went....
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/27/13 05:23 PM

Mario - thanks for dropping by for a listen. I appreciate the kind words. I was surprised at how the whole thing turned out.. but, I did add a bunch of stuff in hopes of covering up that original hiss...

Mac - nice of you to come by... there was a lot of good music happening in Philly around that time - but, then there was a lot of good music everywhere... The sound that they were able to capture from that B3 was heavenly! And.. I can't believe you were the only one to mention the sirens - that's my favorite part!

Noel - I like your Math! I SO enjoy reading your comments on songs! I was sort of searching through different styles back in those days.. and if you read the "story" above this, you will see that the band had something to do with where this one landed... We also did a flat-out rock-pop song, a "Billy Joel style ballad" and a sort-of country song...
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/27/13 05:38 PM

Joanne - thanks for being a part of this. Glad you had fun with it!

Alyn - thanks for the listen and the comments. BIAB is a truly amazing thing. Nothing else like it or even close. Always good to get one to "stick in your head"!

Guenter - appreciate you dropping by...

Scott - Thanks for your kind comments. It was interesting "singing with myself from 30 years ago". I'm sure The Girls all appreciate it, as well...

ROG - if I can impress you with the "engineering" of a song, then I must have done something right!... Like I said in the above story, the sound on this came from the band fooling around with a Police feel - so that makes sense... Regarding the sax.. the one I used was the only one that came close to fitting the song - I tried them all - it all depends on the song. I've done some where several saxes work and just fall right into place. But I don't think anyone ever said "Hey let's add a sax that would go with reggae!" - You never know... it may show up in the next version...
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/27/13 05:57 PM

Dani - thanks for the kind words. Hopefully, I can add something in the future that will be a "next new favorite" - always trying to get better...

bluage - that's not a bad group of groups to mix together to see what falls out! Thanks for the listen...

Frank - I think the people who play bingo HOPE that they will strike it rich. And I think some of them feel like they do - they have some pretty big pots these days! I use to play golf at the TPC course here in Tampa with a group that included a guy who owns most of the bingo in the area. He plays golf in $600 pants! So there is a lot of money there somewhere!
Thanks for all the nice things you said. I'll talk a little about ACW in a bit (further down) - it's a cool part of BIAB - I've only used it a few times - and I'm sure there are others here who can that about it better than I can... (I'm being called to supper - so I'll have to do that later).
SO glad you like that little interplay between the organ and sax - that one took a bit of looking to find (the sax bit). And nice to know someone caught the tag...
Posted by: Danny C.

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/27/13 07:45 PM

You guys killed me . . . but in a good way!

You should all be very proud.

Posted by: F.M.M.

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/27/13 07:49 PM

hi Floyd and ladies awesome job buddy its all been said here marioD nail it thanks for sharing this is totally different from you well done eric
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/28/13 06:07 PM

Steve - Glad to have you come by for a listen. If I can impress you than I can be satisfied that it all worked! Thanks.

Lawrence - thanks for that.

Herb - thanks for the listen.

C J - good to have you come on by for a listen! Let's hear something from that trumpet, man!!!
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/28/13 06:11 PM

Danny - .. in a good way - well, glad for that! appreciate the listen..

eric - thanks!
Posted by: Achordocaster

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/29/13 03:39 PM


I guess I'll just second everything that's already been said!

I can't believe that started with a hissy cassette... Wow, absolutely outstanding!

Posted by: tommyad

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/29/13 09:12 PM

Floyd, a little late here. Really cool groove. The B3 kills it! The sax works great even in the distance of the siren. Sounds of Philly. The girls did a great job. Hard to imagine no harmonies at one time. Great story of how it came about in the studio. As usual a great listen. Thanks, Tom
Posted by: Janice & Bud

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/30/13 09:26 PM

Janice enjoyed the challenge and the idea of singing with folks from far way places.....

I enjoyed the minuscule part I played in engineering her vocals.

Most of all we just enjoyed the revitalization of a great tune and discovering the early floyd jane vibe smile

Fun ALL the away around and another example of what Mr. Jane can do -- not just the singer/writer thing but also strong productions.
Posted by: Pat Marr

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/31/13 02:20 AM

the title
DIAMONDS (w/ "the girls")

sort of threw me for a loop because around here "the girls" is a euphemism for that part of the female anatomy which is located approximately halfway between the neck and the navel.

Thought maybe the song was going to be about... um, never mind.

But even though it wasn't about that, I still liked it.
Posted by: Sundance

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 10/31/13 11:24 PM

Cool song that really holds your attention and like that Glen Frey sound. Amazing the sound you got starting out with an old cassette. Doing harmony with the other two J's was a fun experiment.
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: Diamonds (w/ "the Girls") - 11/01/13 07:49 AM

Greg, Tom, Pat - thanks guys - for the listen and the nice comments

Josie - Janice (& Bud) - and Joanne - Big Thanks one more time for helping out with this...