If you’re fascinated by the world of vintage synthesizers, you’re gonna love this.
First, Jim points us to Collectors Weekly, which talks about the rise of the synth sound:
In the summer of 1970, after popping into a pub for a pint, rock keyboardist Keith Emerson sat down at his enormous Moog modular synthesizer in London’s legendary Advision recording studio and noodled a few improvised notes. His goal was to add some electronic punch to the end of a mostly acoustic-guitar number called “Lucky Man,” written by his singer-guitarist bandmate, Greg Lake. As his fingers ran up and down the synthesizer’s keyboard, Emerson played along to the bass, drums, vocals, and guitars already recorded by Lake and drummer Carl Palmer. Their contributions were lovely, imbued with the traditional rhythms and melodies of folk music and warmed by the human voice. In contrast, Emerson’s notes were otherworldly, rising and falling in syrupy sweeps, as if propelled through a rollercoaster of resonant tubes.
Emerson would later say he was just fooling around, and that he definitely did not expect his first take to be his last, but Lake and sound engineer Eddie Offord liked what they heard so much, they deemed Emerson’s work on “Lucky Man” done.
The following year, in 1971, Pete Townshend of The Who patched a few simple chords played on a regular Lowrey organ through an EMS VCS 3 synthesizer to produce the bouncy, almost shivering, sequence that introduces and closes “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” And by the summer of 1972, Pink Floyd would use an EMS Synthi AKS, as well as the VCS 3, on just about every track of its “Dark Side of the Moon” album, cementing the synthesizer’s reputation as an instrument that knew how to rock.
On a related not, a very rare Doctor Who synth has been restored…
…while another non-working model has been put up for sale on eBay for just £70,000. (Via Tom)