Welcome to issue #76 of Tape Op.
When I sit down at my computer for the task of editing articles and writing my bits and pieces for an issue of Tape Op, I invariably spend a good chunk of time researching musicians, producers, engineers, studios and record labels in order to get facts like names, album titles and places correct. This research always sparks a curiosity that sends me in search of more music. Is reading about music like dancing about architecture? Maybe, because my hunger to actually hear all the music mentioned in the interviews and reviews spurs me on. I'm always stumbling across music I'd heard of but never actually listened to yet. Other times I hear albums I hadn't thought of in decades, and it sends me off rethinking previous perceptions of stuff I'd heard so long ago. I still hit brick and mortar record stores (or Best Buy — thanks a lot Tom Petty) to pick up CDs, and I order more obscure titles via Amazon online.
But for that instant gratification, I'll purchase lossy files through iTunes, Amazon or eMusic, and even use sites like lala.com or pandora.com to audition music (for free) that I'm curious about. It's so amazing to have this much music at my disposal via the Internet — something I could never have imagined when I was a teen, saving up my allowance to hit Tower Records (after a one and a half hour drive) and buy one carefully chosen LP. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's all still about the music in my world. All the wonderful and crazy ways people can put songs and sounds together still fascinates me to no end. And then I'll hear something new and wonder, "How was this record made?" and the whole process gets flipped around...
Yours in Music,
Larry Crane, Editor
Willie Mitchell — We lost one of the great architects of Memphis soul when producer, arranger, studio owner and musician Willie Mitchell passed away in January this year. Unfortunately Tape Op never featured an interview with Willie, although John and I did drop in on him (courtesy of local journalist Andria Lisle) once at his Royal Studios (issue #44), and got to interrupt him as he was arranging string and horn overdubs with Lester Snell for Al Green's album Everything's OK. He was charming and hilarious as he (and his grandson Boo) accommodated two recording dorks lurking around his studio — an amazing man. We miss you Willie. -LC