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What's the oldest electronic "Hit"?
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Kruge



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:27 pm    Post subject:  What's the oldest electronic "Hit"? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey again, sorry I'm a bit quiet atm, but I've got some things to do that take up my time, and right now I'm a bit sick as well.

What, would you say, is the oldest piece of electronic music ever conceived as a "hit", a tune to gain popularity to a wide range of people? I think I found a pretty good candidate myself, but maybe someone has an even older tune. Wink

mind: I don't mean the oldest electronic piece of music altogether. I mean the oldest one people were exposed to and generally liked.

Ok, my entry is:



(it's a long mix of all the existing official versions of the Doctor Who intro, from 1963 up to today's incredible incarnation, give it some time, the first few years used the same tune, then it gets more interesting Smile - the finale gives me the goosebumps, both musical and from loving the show).

The title tune of the 1963 BBC TV series of Doctor Who, by now history in itself. I myself was aware of this capturing melody long before I learned about the fantastic TV series behind it (it almost never aired in Germany except a very short run on VOX in the 90s).

I dare to say this is THE very first electronic tune people where whistling to themselves. And it sure has left it's footprints over the years, was covered over and over and eve became a number in the charts along the way.

Here's my favorite cover of the tune, done by Orbital:


Last edited by Kruge on Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:56 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Flu I guess? Half the world seems down with flue here ...

Anyway, 1957, Tom Dissevelt & Kid Baltan - Song of the 2nd Moon?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSoAzONw-a4



I'm not sure what they did to the music in this clip, it doesn't sound right.

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Kruge



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A bit of flu, a bit of crohn's and a bit of very bad mood because of some personal issues with some good friends... Razz

Anyways: That tune sounds nice, but I honestly never have heard of it or the composers before, so there's something I need to check into. Smile

In what way, do you suggest, it gained hit status? Was it in some charts or did it otherwise gain wider popularity (like the Doctor Who theme obviously by being the title tune of a popular TV show)?

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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kruge wrote:
... In what way, do you suggest, it gained hit status? Was it in some charts or did it otherwise gain wider popularity (like the Doctor Who theme obviously by being the title tune of a popular TV show)?
Indeed, and that's the difficulty about the item 'hit'. In Hungary Raaymakers Song of the Second Moon (about the sputnik) was the leader music of a popular science program, for over 30 years. This was announced by somebody on the old NM list, some years ago. I told this Raaymakers and his agent went to work at once.
The TV show was the only program without any communist propaganda, so it was indeed very popular. People in Hungary will frown when you are talking about Dr Who Smile
Anyway, Song of the Second Moon is six years older then Dr Who...

BTW Jan, it is not a Kid Baltan song, I believe...

Wout

Last edited by Wout Blommers on Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Crohn is a nasty one, be well soon!

Well Wout answered the question already.

Wout Blommers wrote:
BTW Jan, it is not a Kid Baltan song, I believe...


Could be .. I never know such thing, just copied it from youtube ... the song was used as a djingle for pirate radio stations I think? It's a bit from before my time .. I was born in '57 ... Tom will know the details .. and an earlier hit probably as well Laughing

(oh and Dick Raaijmakers = Kid Baltan of course)

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Wout Blommers



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
Crohn is a nasty one, be well soon!

Well Wout answered the question already.

Wout Blommers wrote:
BTW Jan, it is not a Kid Baltan song, I believe...


(oh and Dick Raaijmakers = Kid Baltan of course)
Yes, I meant Dissevelt, of course... Embarassed
We better rename this thread: old, sick people... Wink

Wout
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Kruge



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ok, that sure qualifies it as a popular tune for me. Smile Thanks for the background info. Smile

And you're right - Doctor Who, especially in the olden days, is a very British phenomenon, not known globally as much as it is today (thanks to the new series by BBC Manchester - Kudos guys!). Actually "global popularity" like we know it today (meaning ppl at least in Europe and the US know it) wasn't that usual back then. Wink

Now, if I wanted to nitpick: (don't take it too seriously though):

Mind you: I like the second moon tune. But listening to it, I can not imagine me whistling the tune on my way to a shop or so, like I do with the Doctor's theme. Wink

PS: http://whomix.trilete.net/?wmid=info - maybe I'll have to undust my keybords after all... Wink

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kruge wrote:
Mind you: I like the second moon tune. But listening to it, I can not imagine me whistling the tune on my way to a shop or so, like I do with the Doctor's theme. Wink
Okay! A hit is only what you think it's a hit Very Happy Well, that was an easy discussion... Wink

Wout

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Kruge



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wout Blommers wrote:
Kruge wrote:
Mind you: I like the second moon tune. But listening to it, I can not imagine me whistling the tune on my way to a shop or so, like I do with the Doctor's theme. Wink
Okay! A hit is only what you think it's a hit Very Happy Well, that was an easy discussion... Wink
Wout
Smile


XD

Well, as I write, it's definitely a qualified candidate imho. Smile Back to the nitpicking. That's why I'm looking for the earliest possible popular electronic tune out of interest: Many of the early electronic music was experimental in it's nature down to the bone, and while there is a lot of very interesting music out there, I can't see anyone but the few interested in historical electronic experiments listen to any of those tunes and actually enjoy them. Not even today, when ppl are much more used to synthetic sounds.

Those old tunes lack many of the elements that in my opinion are essential to make music accessible to a wide range of listeners:

A clear structure, a theme, preferably repeated, that is the fingerprint of the tune... It's hard to put into words what one takes for granted when listening to music. Basically we're used to music that follows historically developed rules. Is arranged in 3/4 or 4/4 rhythms, uses a certain tonality, all that.

I believe it is fascinating, how long it took electronic music from it's earliest days to finally arrive at that point, except for singular tunes like DrWho. I guess this is what actually made Kraftwerk so special and revolutionary - they were by far not the first to make electronic music, but they were the first to consequencially make electronic POP music, that finally had a chance to be recognized as "music" by "the masses".

It's maybe a bit like the difference between an e-guitar solo by Jimmy Hendrix and "She loves you" by the Beatles. Wink

I guess it's partially because the first electronic musicians usually were the engineers who built the first machines, not classically educated musicians. A second reason might be, that the makers thought because of this revolutionary new instrument they had to invent/explore revolutionary new styles of music as well. What do you think? Am I making any sense at all with this whole line of thought?

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seraph
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:00 pm    Post subject: Re: What's the oldest electronic "Hit"? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kruge wrote:
I mean the oldest one people were exposed to and generally liked.




Wink

see also this thread

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Kruge



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:18 pm    Post subject: Re: What's the oldest electronic "Hit"? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

True, Popcorn. Smile

But we're allready in 1957 or 1963. Wink

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:28 pm    Post subject: Re: What's the oldest electronic "Hit"? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kruge wrote:
True, Popcorn. Smile

But we're allready in 1957 or 1963. Wink


But at least you could whistle it Laughing

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Damn it now it's stuck in my head Twisted Evil

Noodle time ..

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:
Damn it now it's stuck in my head Twisted Evil

my antidote to eradicate from my brain those those hellish melodies is to start whistling "Donna Lee"
Shocked


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
my antidote to eradicate from my brain those those hellish melodies is to start whistling "Donna Lee"


I can't whistle that fast Shocked but just listening works Cool

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Looked up Popcorn on Wikipedia. Apparently Hot Butter covered it off some guy called Gershon Kingsley, who wrote it in 69. Didn't know that...

Anyway, if we're talking globally, Popcorn is a better contender than the Doctor Who theme (though I agree it's nice. I actually recently got the opportunity to watch some episodes from the first series - I think they were called simply "The Daleks" - and especially the music was really, really good! More solid interesting stuff than, say, the Tom Baker series, IMO).

I'm also thinking about "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys, with the theremin-like riff.

/Stefan

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

"Theremin-like"?

I believe it was a theremin, actually. And I remember when that came out on the radio, man we listened to that a lot, but then again, the Beach Boys vocals were good too.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Blue Hell wrote:

I can't whistle that fast

mental whistling, that is Exclamation Cool

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

EdisonRex wrote:
"Theremin-like"?

I believe it was a theremin, actually.



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I remembered hearing something that they didn't feel they had good enough accuracy on the Theremin. Looking at the wikipedia article on Beach Boys it says they used an "Electro-Theremin" or Tannerin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electro-theremin), which seems to be a modification on the theremin concept.

/Stefan

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A ribbon controller. Ah. That makes sense.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Antimon wrote:
Looked up Popcorn on Wikipedia. Apparently Hot Butter covered it off some guy called Gershon Kingsley, who wrote it in 69. Didn't know that...

Anyway, if we're talking globally, Popcorn is a better contender than the Doctor Who theme (though I agree it's nice. I actually recently got the opportunity to watch some episodes from the first series - I think they were called simply "The Daleks" - and especially the music was really, really good! More solid interesting stuff than, say, the Tom Baker series, IMO).

I'm also thinking about "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys, with the theremin-like riff.

/Stefan


About the music done for the very early Doctor Who:







History left and right. XD

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kruge wrote:
I guess it's partially because the first electronic musicians usually were the engineers who built the first machines, not classically educated musicians. A second reason might be, that the makers thought because of this revolutionary new instrument they had to invent/explore revolutionary new styles of music as well. What do you think? Am I making any sense at all with this whole line of thought?
It's certainly a misunderstanding the first electronic musicians were engineers. They were trained musicians, at least here in The Netherlands and in Germany and certainly most in France. Can't tell about Great Britain... Do they have an educational system at all Twisted Evil 'Course they have and of course they are educated musicians!
It's nice to study the way the WDR was organized: musicians weren't allowed to touch any equipment, which was the work of the engineers. How Stockhausen started his career over there... Pure fun Smile

Anyway, the most important part about the electronic music in the early days was the way how the music would reach its audience. France believed in the theater and music auditoria, Germany thought it would be the radio and here in Holland they believed the record player would do it... In the end it appeared to be the music and dance hall. There for the first time large amounts of people seem to enjoy total electronic music.

BTW the difference between France and Germany, Musique concrete and Stockhausen, simple said, is the difference between surrealism and serialism. Over here it was purely commercial(ism) Smile

In this mail I wrote:
Stockhausen started his career over there...
Musicians weren't allowed to use electronic equipment. When Stockhausen wanted to use tone generators he was told these were only to preform measurements and were not musical instrument and not allowed to be in the studio. The building was electrical completely modular, so there were cables going though out the whole building.
The engineers modified a tape recorder - the arrangement 'erase head, recording head and play back head' was changed in 'play back head, erase head and recording head' and the playback signal was mixed to the recording signal, an early set up for sound on sound. Karl Heinz phoned to the cellar, where the generators were located, asking for a particular signal, which was send upstairs and recorded. Then a new signal was ask and mixed using the sound on sound system to create a kind of additive synthese.

Wout
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Kruge



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread



You got to love this clip if you like the Doctor. Smile

BTW: Notice how the music changes to the oldfashioned synth-style when the older Doctor has his speach? Smile Too cute. Smile

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

that's great!

I ended up watching it twice.

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