Who was the first guitarist with "singing" overdrive?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by tribalfusion, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. tribalfusion

    tribalfusion Member

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    I posted this in another thread but probably it is best on its own:

    When does the SINGING lead tone emerge?

    Is there any credible singing lead tone before Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton of any real note?

    I don't mean buzzy distortion or growling guitar like Link Wray and others but gain used for a more singing lead tone (like early Beck and Clapton did for example)

    Who were the first guys to do this and preferably do it well?

    Thanks!
     
  2. shg

    shg Senior Member

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    For me Clapton was it. Not so much the Beano phase, although that is a beautiful tone. But Fresh Cream, Spoonful in particular, that's just sex for the ears.
     
  3. tribalfusion

    tribalfusion Member

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    This has always been my impression but I was wondering if I had missed something.

    I also wonder which of the earlier blues players came the closest...some of them say they were told to clean up their sound when recording etc.
     
  4. Lespaulsignature 74

    Lespaulsignature 74 Silver Supporting Member

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    Leslie West also comes to mind. He definitely had some singing leads going on in the late 60's early 70's.
     
  5. LarryN

    LarryN Member

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    I agree. I bet there were lots of earlier players discovering how good pushed amps sounded.

    I'm not sure where Bloomfield fits the timing, but he's in.

    I think Buddy Guy is somewhere in the mix, though I don't recall exactly what his tone was like back then or how "singing" it was. Humbuckers through a Marshall/Celestions as opposed to weaker humbucker Guild/Strat through Bassman. He influenced many major electric players back then. He met with the same resistance in the studio Clapton did, when he wanted to record distorted. I think Clapton stood up to Gus Dudgeon, but I think Guy was lorded over by Leonard Chess at first.

    Fresh Cream, I agree is amazing in that regard. Beck caught my ear early on with the Truth album. What a feisty player he was on that with those descending slides and overall killer instinct.

    Good thread. It's about what's responsible for this continuing mania.

    VERY good call on Leslie West. That mother has an amazing tone and feel on the guitar. Todd Rundgren was playing some pretty lethal Claptonesque guitar in Philly back in 66 or 67 as well.
     
  6. tribalfusion

    tribalfusion Member

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    Nice post...Buddy Guy was indeed one of the guys whom I had in mind who mentioned being told to clean up his sound. I don't know how early Bloomfield and West were doing it but my impression was that Clapton had an impact on both of them in this regard actually so I imagine they were posterior to him.

    Are there any recordings of Rundgren playing that way back then as well?
     
  7. LarryN

    LarryN Member

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    Clapton was the reference point, but luckily they brought their own thing to the party.

    Todd's band then were Woody's Truck Stop and later The Nazz. There are some Youtubes, but I'm not sure of his style on them. I'm going to listen to some tomorrow. I do remember "Black Mariah" from Something/Anything ('72) having a cool thing. Check it out.
     
  8. RR59CMS

    RR59CMS Member

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    The Snake ~ Harvey Mandel
     
  9. FlyingVBlues

    FlyingVBlues Gold Supporting Member

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    Mike loved the tone that Clapton got on the Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton album, and especially loved his vibrato. He didn’t care for anything that Clapton did with Cream. The one influence that Clapton had on Mike was the use of a Les Paul with humbuckers. Mike played a a Tele and a ’64 Goldtop on the first two Butterfield albums. After the Butterfield Blues Band toured the UK in late 1966 and Mike heard Clapton live he sought out and acquired in a trade with Dan Erlewine his ’59 Les Paul. It wasn’t until Mike started the Electric Flag in 1967 that he started using a more singing lead tone.

    FVB
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  10. Baxtercat

    Baxtercat Member

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    Bluesbreakers LP ['65/'66?] was the 1st I heard. [def. before Mandel, Leslie, etc.]
    I had Bloomfield/Butterfield LPs early on but the tone wasn't quite as saturated.
     
  11. seiko

    seiko Member

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    Man, Elmore James really gets no respect does he?

    He was using vastly different gear than the people that followed -- probably a Kay acoustic and some sort of DeArmond pickup or two, amp unknown -- but he was definitely working on a singing slide tone from his earliest recordings in 1952.

     
  12. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    This isn't the first one, but it is the one that stands out to me.
    Randy Bachman got a very wonderful sound in the Guess Who. It was a very high gain sustain without all the fuzz.
    From what I have read someone made an overdrive unit for him that got that sound, I think it might have been his dad.
    The fact that the guy is a creative genius at melodies on top of being able to get that sound makes him the one that stands out for me.


    His sound on the first few Mountain albums is still to this day my all time favorite guitar sound.
    The live side of "Flowers of Evil" still blows me away.
     
  13. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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  14. tribalfusion

    tribalfusion Member

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    I certainly respect it, it just isn't what I intended with my query for various reasons. I would be curious to know how that was received at the time in any case.
     
  15. tribalfusion

    tribalfusion Member

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    This is consistent with what I had read as well....thanks for the information.
     
  16. dlguitar64

    dlguitar64 Member

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    Django could get a singing sound on an acoustic.In 1936.
     
  17. LarryN

    LarryN Member

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    Peter Green jumped right on the bandwagon in the best way.
     
  18. Tiny Montgomery

    Tiny Montgomery Supporting Member

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    For some reason, I don't think that's remotely what the OP was talking about...

    Clapton almost seems obvious, and may well be the earliest example of what's being discussed here. BB got that kind of "singing" quality earlier on, but with a more clean tone, so I'm not sure he qualifies...
     
  19. Bobbyoso

    Bobbyoso Member

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    To me, it's Charlie Christian.
     
  20. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    Wrong. It's called a Herzog and was made by the late, great Gar Gillies.

    http://www.garnetamps.com/herzog.htm

    http://www.garnetamps.com/history.htm

    I'm going with Elmore James too...
     

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