Who Hit The Wrong Note In Unchained Melody?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by PolkaHero, Feb 7, 2017.


  1. PolkaHero

    PolkaHero

    Jan 5, 2002
    Michigan
    I'm aware that Phil Spector produced this legendary Righteous Brothers song, and I'm pretty sure he used "The Wrecking Crew" for studio musicians when this was cut in March of 1965. Most bassists are aware of a wrong note at 2:15 of the track (see video below for reference). Bassist hits a G instead of A. . .so who was it? The legendary Carol Kaye who could do no wrong? Whenever I hear this song on the radio I cringe every time that part comes around! Can't believe they didn't fix that back in the day. . .

     
  2. consectaneus

    consectaneus

    Sep 23, 2016
    I believe CK played rhythm guitar on that one, not bass.
     
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  3. viribus

    viribus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  4. consectaneus

    consectaneus

    Sep 23, 2016
    I guess it says a lot about me and a tin ear, but I listened at 2:15 about a half dozen times I still can't make out a wrong note. Time to go back to kazoo I guess.
     
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  5. dtripoli

    dtripoli

    Aug 15, 2010
    CA
    Great, thanks. I never noticed it until you pointed it out. lol
    That said, perhaps it was a slide up to the note because they recovered ever so quickly.
    I'm sure out of the 628,487 notes we play as a bass player yearly, we're bound to make a mistake here and there.
    Back when this was recorded it was on tape and probably with multiple musicians playing at once.
    Not so easy to just "fly in" the correct note like in ProTools nor Logic nor cheap to do.
    Besides, as sterile and digitally correct as today's music is, it's refreshing to hear the human touch even when it's wrong.
    As I recall, pre-digital age, I regularly heard slight mistakes on albums and songs.
    I remember when everyone thought this entire lead solo was one long mistake or something...
    Starting at 1:18
     
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  6. viribus

    viribus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    I'm kinda wondering about the reason for creating a thread specifically about CK playing a wrong note. Which apparently she didn't do in this case. There are other threads here about mistakes in recordings and no shortage of examples.

    Mistakes on recordings

    Just saying. :D
     
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  7. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    home
    Agree. And in the interests of fairness I think the thread title really needs to be ammended. :rolleyes:
     
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  8. PolkaHero

    PolkaHero

    Jan 5, 2002
    Michigan
    But no threads specifically for this song! My band might be playing this (if our vocalist can hit all the high notes), and this was a very obvious mistake I noticed. I doubt if CK would have let this mistake slip by Phil Spector or vise versa! It's a track with such great production and vocal performance the wrong note really sticks out like a sore thumb especially considering the simplicity of the line. I mean he (I guess it was Ray Pohlman then?) hit every Am chord before this in the song then botched it right before the musical climax of the song?!
     
  9. PolkaHero

    PolkaHero

    Jan 5, 2002
    Michigan
    To what? Is CK hanging around on here and will I feel her wrath?:D

    Edit: Happy now?
     
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  10. viribus

    viribus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    Thank you for changing the title. :)

    I've done some googling and can't find anything about who the musicians were for that session, except for CK playing guitar. There are claims that Phil Spector didn't like the song so he made it a "B" side with no producer credit on the record. DJs liked it and it became a huge hit. Then Spector started claiming he produced it.

    Heck it has its own webpage for licensing: http://www.unchainedmelodypublishing.com/index.php
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
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  11. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    home
    Very. :woot:

    Nice to see we're all doing our part to help prevent the propagation of alternative facts. ;):thumbsup::laugh:
     
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    home
    It's an eminently forgettable bassline either way. Anybody hanging around the studio could have played it IMO. Even Phil himself.
     
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  13. PolkaHero

    PolkaHero

    Jan 5, 2002
    Michigan
    #5 richest song based on royalty payments! I think "Happy Birthday", "White Christmas", and "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" (more Righteous Brothers!) are the top three songs for royalty payments although I believe the copyright for HB just expired this year.
     
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  14. corinpills

    corinpills

    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    Maybe, but as part of one of the all- time great pop arrangements. I've seen a lot of bands play that song and they never do it justice. That song has been around since the early 50s and this version is just out of this world.
     
  15. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    home
    WIth Happy Birthday it's not so much anything expired as it was ruled by the courts to be an invalid copyright claim on the part of Warner/Chappell. Story here.
     
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  16. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    home
    To each their own I guess. Not my cuppa. It's overproduced, over emotional and maudlin to my ears despite my generally liking the Righteous Brothers...

    Considering the number of copies it's sold, and the number of requests that get made for it at gatherings (and the number of times I've played it), I'm well aware I'm in the minority in my negative opinion on that particular song.

    I will agree however that most groups don't do it what justice they could. There's something about it (like the Etta James classic I'd Rather Go Blind) that seems to bring out the worst examples of wretched excess by many vocalists.

    What can I say? I don't care for it. But I wouldn't mind having been the person who wrote it. It makes a lot of people happy at weddings. And a royalty check is a royalty check, regardless of what you've earned it for. :laugh:
     
  17. ShadowImage

    ShadowImage Guest

    Jan 12, 2016
    50 years later and someone is nitpicking a recording over one note :dead:
     
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  18. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    Now when I screw it up I'll just say, "That's how it is on the record."
     
  19. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    I highly doubt that.
     
  20. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Supporting Member

    Wall of Sound, and all that.

    I mean, Spector ain't famous for his light touch.
     
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