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Heard the album... [Thread contains spoilers]

Discussion in 'A Matter Of Life And Death' started by The Saint, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    Dave does some solos on Rock in Rio which I find more impressive than the ones in the 1980s. Hallowed & Trooper e.g.

    About that long note, I thought it's just a "cool" trick, done for variation. I don't think he is not able to do the fast stuff anymore. Now if he'd do long notes in more solos, then something is really going on.
     
  2. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    The Trooper solo was pretty good. Rock in Rio would be one of his finer moments.

    To me the long note just sounds lazy. I never said that he isn't able to do fast stuff anymore. With improvisation it's about creativity, and many of his recent solos have little to none.
     
  3. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Ancient Mariner

    I think your (Mosh) definition of "improvisation" is pretty narrow & you singularly fail to understand what guitar improvisation actually is. Whether it sounds good or not, is another matter entirely.

    Adrian is the only guy who does literally no improvising live. Both Janick & Dave are guitarists who do improvise live; Janick probably the most. This is the reason, as you earlier state, why they're so hit & miss --including on albums. The very fact that you (& others) think Dave's "lazy" long note (e.g. on NotB live) is just that, lazy; says everything. Big bends & mad sustain feels cool to do --the only criticism you should be making is that it doesn't sound good (in your opinion) & that this (& only this) is a misjudgement; particularly if they just throw all this stuff on a studio album, when more thought should (not my opinion) have gone into it. None of this has anything to do with ability.
     
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  4. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    I haven't even given any definition of improvisation. What the hell are you talking about?

    Bends are cool but not when you do it night after night in the same spot. It's not even improv anymore at that point. Nobody wants to hear someone improvise the same solo over and over again. And I am saying that it doesn't sound good. It sounds lazy. You can't use improvisation as an excuse for poor soloing. There are plenty of players out there who can improvise and make a good solo out of it every single time.
     
  5. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Ancient Mariner

    You've been talking pretty exclusively about solos. Solos are improvisations. (We could mention non-solo improvisation too.) From the comments you've made, I think you misunderstand improvisation i.e. why people do it, what's involved, & your expectations of what it should sound like (--particularly the last.) Maybe you're not really talking about improvisation at all.

    Maiden, as a band generally, do not improvise heavily live. Adrian does so the least (playing leads pretty much note-for-note); Dave, again, stays quite close to the original(s) (sometimes), but certainly adds more (good or bad; opinion); & Janick has certainly (historically) departed the most from (some) original(s) --particularly when playing Adrian's. They stick close (note wise) to the originals. The originals are improvised leads. However they do little live improvisation of solos.

    You say "nobody wants to hear the same improvise solo over and over again" --I cite this as an example of your failure to understand improvisation. If someone improvises a lead (let's forget how improvised it is) for studio & then plays this pretty much note-for-note live, then they are not improvising, in any true sense, live. If someone plays a lead differently, but plays this new/alt. lead pretty much note-for-note night after night --then this, again, is not true live improvisation. Your sentence is fundamentally contradictory i.e. it contradicts itself.

    This "nobody wants to hear the same solo" comment applies to who? The only person who this really applies to is Adrian. Unless you mean that Dave departs from the original(s) & plays something else; but that he then repeats this new/alt. version night after night (as cited above) --& that you think the new/alt. version is poorer. Fair enough. Again, not a very good example of live improvisation though.

    Some improvisation involves stock phrases/runs; Dave's "lazy long note" (if we assume he played this night after night) is not a very good example of improvisation, in the wider context of guitar improvisation. A better example would be Dave's playing of leads on the Early Days tour --where some of the leads (by note) sound nothing like the originals. There was quite a lot of improvisation going on there. (Whether he did this different every night, I don't know.)

    You say there are "plenty of players out there". I'm curious: who are you thinking about in this regard? I just think overall you're being incredibly unfair. You're criticising Dave & Janick for improvising live (fair enough --you don't like the result). But comparing them to Adrian is a mistake, as Adrian doesn't really improvise live. So where's the comparison?

    If you want to talk about how finished (& good) an improvisation sounds on an album --then this is something else entirely. Here the criticism might have some foundation...
     
  6. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    I agree with most of this although I'd like to add that Adrian hardly improvises in the studio either. According to Steve (interview, 1983) 6 out of 8 times he works out his solo before recording. Perhaps you meant/said this but I wasn't sure when reading:
    So this sentence applies more to Dave and Janick than to Adrian.

    Hell yes.
     
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  7. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Ancient Mariner

    Yes & no.

    If you take improvisation in the strictest sense of the word then none of Adrian's leads are improvised in the studio; since they are (if this is accepted as fact) fully worked out, before they are recorded. I'd imagine almost every metal guitarist does this. Hardly any lead work sounds like it was recorded entirely spontaneously. However, in a looser sense, they are still improvised guitar leads over a rhythm section; they still involve the free development of notes in whatever key the rhythm part is in, built around scales & modes --anything goes, but with rules (i.e. in key). In this sense all of Maiden's lead/solo work can still, in my opinion, be fairly referred to as "improvised".

    According to early interviews (i.e. for NotB, etc) Dave didn't have leads worked out at all & just played those off the cuff. This is true improvisation. However, once cut to vinyl, these still became, evidently, fixed entities; as Dave still plays many of them pretty close (to the studio recording) live. Janick's also don't sound that polished. Adrian's sound very worked out. I don't know if playing their leads live, as they were recorded, is something they feel that fans want to hear, or just something that's easier. But it's pretty clear these strictures (at times) are something both Dave & Janick yearn to break free from. I don't see much evidence that Adrian yearns to lay down some live improvisations. Not a criticism, just an observation.

    I also think all three guitarists (& Steve) just have a totally different view of what leads are (from each other & from fans); what they should sound like; & how important they are. In Shirley's diaries it described how Steve didn't even feel he needed to be in the studio for the recording of the lead work; Dave (as discussed) probably doesn't (fully) work leads out, before recording; Janick probably doesn't pre-plan them either; live, Janick "butchers" Adrian's leads (i.e. plays something different); & live, Dave is "lazy" (i.e. plays something different). The expectation that these should sound: exactly like the did on the album & that albums leads should be fully worked out musical masterpieces --are expectations that are never going to be met. Not because anyone is incapable or has lost something (or some such rubbish); but because (besides Adrian) nobody is trying/aiming to do this.
     

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