23 votes
Accepted

How are backward messages created on tracks?

I would say this is "famously claimed" :-) -- I'd be surprised if this was found to have been intentional. But of course, the rumor of Stairway's hidden message spread throughout popular culture, and ...
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  • 601
22 votes
Accepted

What are the historical roots of auto-tune?

Was Cher's Believe the first production to use auto-tune as a noticeable effect? Yes, at least in mainstream big-production music. Was Cher's Believe the first production to use auto-tune at all? ...
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  • 4,282
19 votes
Accepted

Why do many vinyl albums place sides I and IV on one record and II and III on the other?

Many phonographs were able to play multiple records in sequence with a mechanism that would hold one or more records on the turntable, and one or more additional records elevated on the center post. ...
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  • 372
11 votes
Accepted

What is the longest recorded version of "Freebird", by Lynyrd Skynyrd

The original, unedited and full version ends just after 10 minutes, however there is a "demo" version that plays up to eleven minutes and nine seconds, and there are various live albums that feature ...
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11 votes

What are the historical roots of auto-tune?

tl;dr Yes, Cher's Believe is the first use of the autotune effect as we know it. Auto-tune, the product vs autotune, the effect The product Auto-tune was the first pitch correction plugin created ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Before the days of downloads, were 'single' releases ever really only one song?

Yes. Many times. Just google "B/W Same" (which means "Backed With Same") and you'll find many images of singles marked this way. An example of this can be found here. Singles were typically ...
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  • 7,051
8 votes

What is the longest recorded version of "Freebird", by Lynyrd Skynyrd

14.58 is listed as the time for an alternate version on the expanded One More from the Road disc. The Southern By the Grace Of God version is 14.51.
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8 votes
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Songs with a backwards instrumental solo

I imagine this question is impossible to answer in full, but there are few examples I can think of off the top of my head or I was able to find fairly easily via Google. Guitar "Give It Away" by the ...
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  • 4,403
7 votes
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Non-stylistic reasons for whole-song fade out

There is no one technical reason for this, but there are some things that deal with the technology/requirements of the time when whole song fade outs were more popular. Quoting from this NPR article ...
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7 votes
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Pictures from the recording of Pink Floyd's On the run

It's not sampled or looped. "On the Run" was created entirely using a VCS-3. No crazy tape tricks beyond a few overdubs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccBoypwQ9zA EDIT: Thought I might expand ...
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  • 842
7 votes

Why are vinyl records sometimes off pitch?

The reasons you suggest do happen. And other causes are possible too. Perhaps the recording session itself wasn't on-pitch (maybe the band was playing for many hours and didn't re-tune in the middle)...
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7 votes

Why did fans used to buy "bootleg" recordings of live concerts?

You are used to highly produced music which is created primarily for studio recording, and then reproduced live on stage for fans who demand an exact copy of the recording. But there are bands, and ...
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7 votes

Is there deliberate marketing that tries to persuade people to prefer vinyl records over CDs?

This might come across as a tad cynical ;) Personally, I feel it's that people, given sufficient peer pressure, can easily be convinced to fool themselves. No need for marketing pressure. Most people ...
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  • 7,088
6 votes
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Why does a clean nylon-guitar appear to be chorussed, on a cassette player?

The most likely cause is that the cassette play heads are worn or out of alignment, causing phase-discrepancies. It is likely affecting the entire recording, but is most noticeable at frequencies ...
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  • 7,088
6 votes

Before the days of downloads, were 'single' releases ever really only one song?

One of the most unusual cases is the song American Pie, by Don McLean. The album version is listed as being 8:33, making it the longest number 1 song in history, but at that length, it took up both ...
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  • 626
6 votes

How is/was this guitar vocoder effect achieved?

That would be a Talk Box (the track referenced in your questions is listed on the Wikipedia page). The gadget works by having a small loudspeaker linked by plastic tube to the musician's mouth, ...
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  • 481
5 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to extract supposed backward/subliminal messages from a song without the master?

The song "Another One Bites the Dust" turned backwards does indeed sound very much like "decide to smoke marijuana" or "It's fun to smoke marijuana." Turning the record backwards with your finger ...
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5 votes

Before the days of downloads, were 'single' releases ever really only one song?

no, singles had 2 sides, (A-side and B-side) so there would be at least 2 songs. I say "at least" because some B-sides might have 2 songs. And some B-sides have become famous in their own right - ...
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  • 4,920
5 votes
Accepted

Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells - John Peel version

It's on Soundcloud, though I can't find it anywhere to buy. https://soundcloud.com/johnpeelarchive/mike-oldfield-john-peel
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  • 7,088
5 votes
Accepted

What was the first music recording reproduced for sale in any format?

It would have been an Edison or Columbia wax cylinder, ca. 1895 or so. The first few years of the phonograph were mostly about using it as a dictation machine, so it was sold with blank wax cylinders. ...
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  • 2,091
4 votes

Before the days of downloads, were 'single' releases ever really only one song?

I've seen also singles where in the A side is the original song and on the B side is an instrumental version. Another thing could be, that on the A side is a cover version or a remix and on the b ...
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  • 539
4 votes

Is it possible to extract supposed backward/subliminal messages from a song without the master?

It should make no difference if it is a true backwards message. The only difference between the studio master and a purchased copy would be that the master has a slightly better sound quality. The ...
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  • 41
4 votes
Accepted

Who recorded Rusty Dusty Blues for the first time?

Louis Jordan also recorded it in 1946 ( http://www.discogs.com/Louis-Jordan-And-His-Tympany-Five-Louis-Jordan-And-His-Tympany-Five/release/4552135 ), but to the best of my knowledge, the Count Basie ...
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4 votes
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Splitting a single FLAC file into songs with a Cue sheet?

I've discovered a solution which works quite nicely; Foobar2000. The application itself is available here: https://www.foobar2000.org/FAQ I discovered this via google on a messageboard. I'll add ...
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  • 7,051
4 votes

The Beatles' song "Yellow Submarine" sounds slightly off-tune on YouTube

(as pointed out in the comments, thanks @Wheat @Tim) This video does not actually appear to be the Beatles, although it is billed as though it were. As far as I can tell, there's no version with the ...
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