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In the studio (not live) version of Men at Work's Down Under, what are those percussion instruments in the intro (the first three seconds)? It sounds for all the world like really well-tuned iron pipes. (I'm interested in sourced answers rather than speculation.)

3

They're certainly not rim-shots but it's definitely a mix of two different sounds. The first is the sound of the tom-toms on the drum kit (not played on the rim). The second sound is indeed similar to tuned metal (pipes) but are more probably tuned water bottles (like shown in the official videoclip with the music of the studio recording).

Citation form Colin Hay (lead singer):

"It was just a little bass riff with some percussion that he played on bottles which were filled with water to varying degrees to get different notes."

This is not conclusive because we still don't know if this is used in the studio but it certainly is an indication.

  • 1
    "the video of the studio recording" What video are you referring to? The music video certainly isn't a video "of the studio recording." – T.J. Crowder Feb 15 '16 at 7:21
  • OK, I see what you mean: I had to write: the video with the music of the studio recording... – dev1001 Feb 15 '16 at 7:26
  • A video of the studio recording would have been awesome, as that would be the kind of sourced information I was looking for. But we all know music videos have nothing to do with reality. – T.J. Crowder Feb 15 '16 at 7:27
  • I wasn't implying that the video I am pointing to uses the same instruments. I just referred to it because that video uses the music of the studio recording the O.P. is referring to (the live versions don't use the mentioned sound). – dev1001 Feb 15 '16 at 7:30

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