My (and Your) Favorite Minimoog Solos

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Esus
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Re: My (and Your) Favorite Minimoog Solos

Post by Esus » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:58 pm

Syn303 wrote:i knew that, but does it really matter, a moog is a moog, still basically a mono synth, modular or mini.
Probably splitting hairs, but I disagree. AFAIK, the Mini was the first production synth to include pitch and modulation wheels (their influence on everything else synth is obvious). IMO, the wheels gave the Mini an amount of expressivity that pots and ribbons couldn't (pardon the pun) touch. Ever try to pitch bend a Mark I or II Odyssey? I don't remember if there was even a center detent. And I think PPM was a joke. George Duke was the only guy I ever heard that could really work out on an Oddy.
The Mini pitch and mod wheels actually changed the way keyboard players viewed synths. When you started seeing guys like Jan Hammer, Gary Wright, George Duke, et. al., with cut keyboards trading 4s with the guitar player, that really freed keyboardists.
I own a Moog modular and a Source, and I can tell you that the performance approach to each is light years apart.

My 2¢

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Re: My (and Your) Favorite Minimoog Solos

Post by SamSamba » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:34 am

Chick's Minimoog solo on "The Duel Of The Jester & The Tyrant" on the Romantic Warrior album is INSANE. :o I'm even more impressed after listening to it along the transcription. (Which you can find in here, by the way: a digital copy of Keyboard's July 2008 issue - http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newbay/kb_200807/)

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Re: My (and Your) Favorite Minimoog Solos

Post by Micke » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:12 pm

Yeah, that's an awesome Minimoog solo by Chick Corea.

On a side note, I noticed that he's credited with playing an Oberheim 8-voice on this song/album. Considering
that it was recorded in Jan-Feb '76 it's gotta be one of the first recordings (if not the very first?) of the 8-voice.
I reckon it was one of the prototypes or pre-production units because afaik the first 8-voice shipped in May
of that year, three months after "Romantic Warriors" was recorded.

This album, alongside Peter Gabriels's first album PG I ('76), is also one of the first I know of to feature the Polymoog synthesizer and again it must've been a pre-production unit because the fully revised production version of the PM didn't appear until Oct/Nov '76.

The first recording of the Polymoog (presumably the prototype) is probably Patrick Moraz's album "The Story Of I" which was recordedin Sep/Oct 1975. I know that Keith Emerson was using the Moog Apollo polyphonic synth (sometimes referred to as the first Polymoog) as early as '73 on the "Brain Salad Surgery" album and tour, but only one Apollo was built and it never went into production. Besides, it was a primitive design that didn't have the ability to sustain tones (it created
only percussive sounds).

Sorry for the rambling (LOL)
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Re: My (and Your) Favorite Minimoog Solos

Post by Esus » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:35 pm

Micke:
I think Jan Hammer used a Polymoog on "Oh Yeah?", and I'm also thinking that album was released in '76.
If so, is it possible that it was also a pre-production Poly?

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Re: My (and Your) Favorite Minimoog Solos

Post by Micke » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:23 pm

I wasn't aware of that Jan Hammer used a Polymoog by the time of that album, are you sure?

I thought his next album "Melodies" (1977) was the first to feature the PM (alongside an Oberheim 4-voice, Minimoog/SEM,
Rhodes, Mellotron and Freeman string symphonizer). I'm pretty sure he didn't carry a PM during the 1976 tour with Jeff
Beck but maybe he used one in the studio (?). If so, it's very likely it was one of the pre-production units.

Larry Fast also had a pre-production polymoog and first used it on tour with the band Nektar in the spring/summer of '76 and then on Peter Gabriel's debut album (rec. in the fall of '76). The first Synergy recording of the PM is "Cords" (rec. fall
'77 through spring '78).
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Re: My (and Your) Favorite Minimoog Solos

Post by Esus » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:44 pm

Micke wrote:I wasn't aware of that Jan Hammer used a Polymoog by the time of that album, are you sure?
IIRC, the liner of the 12" vinyl listed the usual array of keyboards (including) the Polymoog and an Oberheim SEM/Minimoog combination that "sounds a lot like a guitar" (their quotes). Cut 2, One to One, features what I'm assuming is the Poly from about :38 on. I'll check my CD liner tonight...

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Re: My (and Your) Favorite Minimoog Solos

Post by ninja6485 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:46 pm

zoomtheline wrote:Journey to the centre of the earth is where I fell in love with the Minimoog sound and this was before I was even aware of synthesizers so my favourite usage of it is Rick Wakeman on this album purely for nostalgia as a kid.
i love how it just explodes after the spoken word parts on the second side! turtles fighting iguanas in a beer mug...classic.

the first time that i heard a moog that i was aware of as being a moog was on amorphis tales from the thousand lakes album. and the beginning of "the way" on tuonela hits so strongly! not exactly a solo however.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: My (and Your) Favorite Minimoog Solos

Post by Micke » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:13 pm

Esus wrote:
Micke wrote:I wasn't aware of that Jan Hammer used a Polymoog by the time of that album, are you sure?
IIRC, the liner of the 12" vinyl listed the usual array of keyboards (including) the Polymoog and an Oberheim SEM/Minimoog combination that "sounds a lot like a guitar" (their quotes). Cut 2, One to One, features what I'm assuming is the Poly from about :38 on. I'll check my CD liner tonight...
You're absolutely right, I just checked the liner notes for "Oh Yeah" and it does indeed list the Polymoog as well as Oberheim 4-voice! I can't find any recording date, but I have a feeling it was recorded around the summer of '76 seeing that Hammer went on a lenghty tour with Jeff Beck late in that summer. So it was most likely a pre-production Polymoog after all.

Btw, have you heard Jan Hammer's Melodies? I have tried to find a copy of that album but to no avail.
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Re: My (and Your) Favorite Minimoog Solos

Post by Esus » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:57 pm

Micke wrote:have you heard Jan Hammer's Melodies? I have tried to find a copy of that album but to no avail.
Yeah, another excellent one. I had the vinyl, but never got the CD. Wounded Bird Records (woundedbird.com) had it for a while, but they're apparently OOS. I did find it on Amazon:



A tad pricy, though. :shock: The last time I shelled out that kind of dough was for a Tony Williams Blue Note disc.

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Re: My (and Your) Favorite Minimoog Solos

Post by haj » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:35 pm

Sy Borg in Joe's Garage (Disk1) by Frank Zappa! Well, I'm not sure if it's minimoog! I don't even remember who was playing the fantastic solo!

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Re: My (and Your) Favorite Minimoog Solos

Post by Villi » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:22 pm

sqweebking wrote:This song is one of my favorite uses of a Minimoog, solo bit @ 4:45 its hypnotizing to me.
Awesome track, but isn't that a sync lead?

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Re: My (and Your) Favorite Minimoog Solos

Post by Naive Teen Idol » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:39 pm

I sort of find it amusing that 90% of the solos cited here have been "Jan/Chick/etc. play the Minimoog like a guitar" solos.

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Re: My (and Your) Favorite Minimoog Solos

Post by Micke » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:13 pm

haj wrote:Sy Borg in Joe's Garage (Disk1) by Frank Zappa! Well, I'm not sure if it's minimoog! I don't even remember who was playing the fantastic solo!
Peter Wolf played that solo on a Minimoog I think. Peter did most of the keyboard parts on "Joe's Garage".
His keyboard setup at the time included a Hohner clavinet, Rhodes, Minimoog, EML-101 w/polybox, Oberheim
dual-manual 8-voice and grand piano.

Frank Zappa had a big E-mu modular system and a Yamaha CS-80 but I'm not sure if those saw
any use on this album.
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Re: My (and Your) Favorite Minimoog Solos

Post by Micke » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:57 pm

@Esus:

I did some research on when Jan Hammer recorded "Oh Yeah" and it turns out it was recorded in March or April
of 1976, even a bit earlier than I thought! This means that he must have had access to one of the pre-production
Polymoogs because according to the revision chart pulished in Forrest's A-Z, the fully revised PM had to wait until
June '76 before it finally went into production.
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Re: My (and Your) Favorite Minimoog Solos

Post by Esus » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:38 pm

When I was working retail music in the mid-to-late '70s, I sold a few Polymoogs. They were great--when they were working. One kept frying chips because of static discharge, and the owner had it in our shop more than in his studio.
Needless to say, it wasn't a positive experience for either of us.
Maybe Moog shouldn't have released them so soon. ;)

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