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Mistakes left in songs by the arrtist...

Lambchop Flansburgh

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  • 35 years later...

This topic interests me because I love the live feel of leaving a mistake, a pedal squeak (see previous Led Zep post), a phone ringing, a cough. Here are some examples:

Neil Young - Ambulance Blues - Neil plays acoustic on this one. Just as he sings, "Burnouts stub their toes on garbage pails" he buzzes a string on his guitar as badly as a beginner, but leaves it in...I love it.

Bowie- At the very end of "Life On Mars" if played loudly you hear a phone ringing in the background.

Led Zep - The cough at the end of "In My Time Of Dying".

I think it's great to feel confident enough not to over produce the music.

I want you guys to provide some other examples of mistakes that were left in songs.


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The backup singers on Diana Ross & the Supremes' "Love Child" sing the words "tenement slum" in the intro.

But I have had people on other message boards say that this was on purpose! I've always believed that it was a mistake! It really rattles me that the background singers were off cue on this one, on purpose?

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Bob Dylan sings "I was riding on the Mayflower when I thought I spied some land..." in "BD´Dream #115", stops when he realizes that the musicans aren´t playing, and the producer or the sound engineer laughs out loud and says (german accent) "very very vell... OK, take two"... and they start again. They liked it that way so there it is...

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At the beginningof "Good Riddance" by Green Day, it sounds as if Billie Joe starts to play on his acoustic guitar, then misplays the first frame, stops and says, "f*ck", and starts over.

Knowing him, it may have been intentional, but they left it in.

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In the first chorus of Led Zeppelin's "Celebration Day", Plant does mutliple voice tracks to give it a layered sound. It sounds good overall, but he gets the timing wrong on the second voiceover when he says "I'm gonna join the band" so it sounds like he says "I-I'm gonna join the band."

Also, in the Hendrix song "Rainy Day Dream Away" he coughs and sniffles a little at the beginning. I think it could have been purposeful though, since the cough and sniffle are echoed, and it gives the song a rainy day kind of feel.

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These are great..just what i was looking for.

Johnny Winter on the intro of Still Alive and Well utters "I'm hungry, let's do this this f___er. One..T" (right here the bassist or second guitar hits the first note) Johnny says, "Not now..on four..One, two, three, four" Then quite an amazing guitar effort.

I think there are a couple Beatles cuts where background talk by John indicates his hands or fingers are too cold to hit the chords.

Dylan starts laughing in "Rainy Day Women".

I own an odd album called Star Fleet Project which I believe was a British TV show. (Can our UK friends confirm that??) Anyway, it is a collaboration of Brian May and Eddie Van Halen. It is really hot. I can't remember which song it happens, but Eddie breaks a string and an audible "snaap" is heard. He finishes the song on 5 strings.

Any more??

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