May 07, 2003

I added another mp3 to the sidebar links just now (I'm only keeping the file on my webspace for a limited time, so catch it while you can).

In the late 1970s, a young singer-songwriter named Bryan Adams was working on a track called "Let Me Take You Dancing" in a Vancouver studio. When it was done, John Luongo was brought in for some last-minute remixing and overdubs, and subsequently Luongo took the tape down to producer Michael Barbiero in New York. Barbiero, upon hearing "Let Me Take You Dancing," sensed it was too slow to be the dance-floor smash they were envisioning.

Luongo: "I had to speed the track up to the most I could to make it groove harder and be at the tempo that would rock the clubs and back then there was not time compression or pitch compensation programs ... Bryan's voice was altered slightly due to the speed shift. Bryan was not really happy about that and felt that it did not suit his vocals to his taste."

Adams hated the changes so much he disowned the song. Even though it was pressed as a single and released to some success, Adams was apparently so embarrassed by "Let Me Take You Dancing" that to this day, he's never made it commercially available on any of his albums, and the original 12" single has obviously fallen way way out of print.

But copies do circulate, and some even get ripped to mp3! Like the one I've got right here. Adams' vocal is in fact alarmingly, nonplussingly fast -- not fast by Chipmunk standards, but one has to wonder why, with all the studio innovations that had already come to pass by 1979, this crew couldn't find a way to produce a disco hit and keep a grown-ass man from sounding like one of the younger members of Menudo. The strangest thing about "Dancing" is that the bulk of the song is indeed sped up, but there are overdubbed backing vocals that seem to have been recorded at regular speed. No... the strangest thing about "Dancing" is that it exists.