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Loverboy - Take Me To The Top phat intro

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:42 pm
by pognoot
I'm surprised that no one else has posted anything on this song. The synth intro is one of the phattest in synth recording history. It's HUGE!! Listen with headphones, it goes from mono to wide stereo and gets progressively phatter with each note played. To my ears, the tone is vintage Yamaha CS50 all the way, perhaps multitracked and phattened with analog delays.

I'm waiting for a some hip/hop rapper to sample it and make a mega smash hit out it.

Anyway, if you haven't heard it stop what you're doing and give it a listen. Link is below:

Pognoot

Re: Loverboy - Take Me To The Top phat intro

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:38 pm
by Alex E
lol you used the word "phat" 4 times in one post.

Re: Loverboy - Take Me To The Top phat intro

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:47 pm
by Z
I think they used a CS-80 on that.

I love the CP-80 at the end, too.

Re: Loverboy - Take Me To The Top phat intro

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:14 am
by Doc Tonewheel
Actually,Doug used a Yamaha CS-60, Yamaha SS-30 string machine, Prophet 5, and CP-70 with Loverboy.

Re: Loverboy - Take Me To The Top phat intro

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:45 am
by pognoot
Me thinks it was a CS-50 because that's what Doug toured with, and its also what he used for Turn Me Loose. The CS-50 is a four-voice instrument, which is why all the voices stay in perfect sync when he does the glissando thing at the beginning. He's holding a 4 note chord. I have a CS-80 and while it works, it's never quite as smooth.

Mickey to the rescue..

Re: Loverboy - Take Me To The Top phat intro

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:38 am
by Automatic Gainsay
"phat" means "cool." As such, it's unquantifiable.
It is definitely a synthesizer, though.
That being said, I can't believe you used "Loverboy" and "phat" in the same post. There is some rift in the time/space continuum.

Re: Loverboy - Take Me To The Top phat intro

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:35 pm
by pognoot
Well I am fine with just "fat" but apparently that wasn't good enough in the world of synth geeks. Phat is ubiquitous enough it even made its way into the hearts and minds of Moog Music (ever heard of the Little Phatty?)

As for Loverboy, they were awesome! Great pop songs with layers of cool Yamaha synths. Working For The Weekend is also Yamaha CS-50. When It's Over is another gem.

What I am trying to understand is, this intro is every bit as kick butt as the guitar synth work of Who Are You, yet it is commonly overlooked by the Synthsters. How could this be? I don't care if you like the band or not, the SYNTH is downright wicked!

Re: Loverboy - Take Me To The Top phat intro

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:48 pm
by bluedad
Automatic Gainsay wrote:
That being said, I can't believe you used "Loverboy" and "phat" in the same post. There is some rift in the time/space continuum.
lol

Re: Loverboy - Take Me To The Top phat intro

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:00 pm
by Micke
CS-50 is correct, that's what Doug Johnson used.

Here are a few excerpts from an interview published in the Nov 1982 issue of Keyboard:

What can you point to on your records as somrthing you're especially proud of?
DJ: I like some of the stuff I did n "Lady of the '80s". I like the intro to "Take me to the top". That was actually created during our last studio session on the first album. I was trying to get some really low, growly settings on the keyboards, so I started playing away, and the lyrics to "Take me to the top" came into my head. I started singing it, got out my cassette player, and there it was!

How did you devise the resonant deep synthesizer setting in that tune?
DJ: There's a little pulse-width modulation on the side. Then there are two faders on the CS-50: one takes it from 0 to 50 percent, and the other from 50 to 100, so I have those slightly off.

Do you use the velocity-sensitivity on the CS-50 a lot?
DJ: I do. I use it in "Take me to the top" and at the beginning of "Lady of the '80s". In "Take me to the top" I also set the oscillators a little apart from each other; the pulse-width modulation gives it that slightly roundish sound.

Re: Loverboy - Take Me To The Top phat intro

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:13 pm
by cornutt
Saw those guys several times -- I always thought Doug was pretty good, and that he could have done more outside the setting of Loverboy if he had been inclined to. When they played "Take Me To the Top" live, in the place in the song where the record has a guitar solo, Doug would whip out a clarinet and play that instead.

Re: Loverboy - Take Me To The Top phat intro

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:56 pm
by Automatic Gainsay
pognoot wrote:Well I am fine with just "fat" but apparently that wasn't good enough in the world of synth geeks. Phat is ubiquitous enough it even made its way into the hearts and minds of Moog Music (ever heard of the Little Phatty?)
Of course, you'd never run into synth geeks on a site dedicated entirely to the obsessive worship of synths.
"Phat" is only ubiquitous on the internet in the last 5-10 years... along with a lot of other inaccurate garbage. Some of us synth geeks have been synth geeks for a bit longer than that.
Yes, I may have heard of that synthesizer once or twice. And of course, because Moog did it, no would would DARE question their choice. That's why the name they chose was beloved by all (Meaningless internet buzzword, weed reference, and even p***s reference... all in one! Who wouldn't love it?).
pognoot wrote:What I am trying to understand is, this intro is every bit as kick butt as the guitar synth work of Who Are You, yet it is commonly overlooked by the Synthsters. How could this be? I don't care if you like the band or not, the SYNTH is downright wicked!
It's definitely one of my favorite synths of all time, and it is a great intro. I think the reason people don't go that crazy about it is that Loverboy has somehow evaded the retro-pop-culture adoration they probably deserve. They are one of those bands that people should be holding aloft as a symbol of early 80s rock/pop. I don't think anyone who is into the whole retro deal is old enough to remember how popular they were... so it depends on what movie/television show, etc. is going to make a loud noise about it so the younger people "discover" them.
The synth IS pretty wicked, but I think by the time Loverboy did that, similar sounds had been heard in other music... which kept it from being as groundbreaking as it might have been.

Re: Loverboy - Take Me To The Top phat intro

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:40 pm
by pognoot
AG, great post. I grew up in the early 80s so I know exactly what you're talking about.

Thanks for the information Micke. Great stuff. Loverboy's sound from the early 80s was defined by just that one synthesizer. Or perhaps better stated, the Yamaha CS50 was THE loverboy sound. Doug used it all over the place. For example, in the song When It's Over, during the verses he comes in with these pad-type chords during the second half that sound kinda middley and unusual. That's an effect you get by using the foot pedal with the VCF. The CS80 does the same thing. Really cool effect. You can hear it come in at 1:02



To my ear, the intro performance doesn't necessarily have the "CS50" sound charateristic, so I am not sure if that's what he used or not.