Crazy to Love You: out-of-tune guitar?

Leonard Cohen's previous album (January 2012)
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Hartmut
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Crazy to Love You: out-of-tune guitar?

Postby Hartmut » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:36 pm

In this review

http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/immaculate- ... -it-sounds

the writer mentions that on "Crazy to Love You", "he allows in his out-of-tune guitar buzz all over the frets".

Is this true?

Of course, the buzzing is there; too much so for my taste. But out-of-tune? I don't really think so. On the other hand, some notes do sound kind of funny.

What do other forum members with a better ear think about this?
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Re: Crazy to Love You: out-of-tune guitar?

Postby UrPal » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:07 pm

I don't notice any significant out of tune guitar string issues. In view of the tuning devices available these days, it would be surprising if there were a tuning issue on a modern studio recording unless it is deliberate.

The fret buzz heard towards the start of the tune is, to these ears, a wonderful thing to hear. I'm glad they were brave enough to leave the recording as a "warts and all" performance. It gives a sense of intimacy and "live" feeling to the song. I believe I heard/read somewhere that it is a single take recording by Leonard with Anjani.

I thought this was one of the better songs on Anjani's "Blue Alert" record, so it's great to hear a version by LC. In my view Anjani's piano/jazzy/feminine version and LC's guitar/folky/masculine one each show the song up in a good light under differing conditions.
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Hartmut
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Re: Crazy to Love You: out-of-tune guitar?

Postby Hartmut » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:13 pm

UrPal wrote:I don't notice any significant out of tune guitar string issues.
OK, thanks.
I thought this was one of the better songs on Anjani's "Blue Alert" record, so it's great to hear a version by LC.
Yes, I think so, too.
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Re: Crazy to Love You: out-of-tune guitar?

Postby tomsakic » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:31 pm

I believe this song was recorded at once in the studio, and to my ears it does sound like possible Leonard's solo performance after the intermission.:)
I'd say that the commentator on that website is not quiet familiar with Leonard's famous guitar style (and his "chops") so it sounds like buzz to the guy.
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Hartmut
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Re: Crazy to Love You: out-of-tune guitar?

Postby Hartmut » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:42 pm

tomsakic wrote: I'd say that the commentator on that website is not quiet familiar with Leonard's famous guitar style (and his "chops") so it sounds like buzz to the guy.
I don't really think that's what he means. I assume he refers to the parts where you hear the strings slapping against the neck or the frets. - You can hear it for example at 1:06 (during the word "crazy").
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Re: Crazy to Love You: out-of-tune guitar?

Postby tomsakic » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:03 pm

Aha:) But that's how LC plays even in shows, isn't it? I like it.
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Hartmut
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Re: Crazy to Love You: out-of-tune guitar?

Postby Hartmut » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:36 pm

tomsakic wrote:I like it.
I do, too; to a certain degree ...
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Re: Crazy to Love You: out-of-tune guitar?

Postby Evie B » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:23 pm

It is too early to say for sure but I think this will continue to be my favourite track on the album, though I find that Show Me The Place rings round my head for hours after I listen to it, such beauty in its simplicity. I am torn.

What I do know is that Crazy makes me smile in so many places and ways. As usual he puts into words "but crazy has places to hide in.." which I recognise as a description of those secret Crazies, probably unrealistic, longings and beliefs we all have. Just wonderful. My eardrums had their delicate receptors scalded off over the years of listening to music too loudly (Queen, CCR, Bon Jovi, and so on) to be able to pick up what others are describing about the guitar "buzz", it sounds great to me.

Evie B
...he shows you where to look amid the garbage and the flowers
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Re: Crazy to Love You: out-of-tune guitar?

Postby dreamermusic » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:48 pm

I'm a guitar player, singer and songwriter with my own little recording studio at home. And, it is true, there are some parts of the song in which one of the strings (I'm not sure if it is the fourth or the fifth one) is a little bit out of tune, I'm sure of that.

Anyway, for my ears and for my experience recording songs, this is a sinlge out-take, altogether within the same recoreding track, without any kind of effects, because if you apply an effect to the track it will be applied both to the guitar and to the voice altogether. This in fact is a real pictur of havin Leonard playing at your very own room before you. No mixing, no effects, live song.

The other thing is the way Leonard plays the guitar, almost 'hammering' the bass strings (the thick ones) to exageratedly mark the begining of each chord. Thus, the string vibrates too much in what would be considered by almost everyone a 'really bad playing' of the instrument. I myself would say that If I weren't a very best fan of Leonard.
-Madrid 1993 (standing up face to face to Leonard, leaning my arms upon the stage (no cams, no security line), my hands touched Cohen's feet!) (talked to Cohen for 20 minutes after concert!!!)
-Lisbon 2009 (1st row!!)
-Madrid 2012 (1st row centred facing Leonard!!)
-FOREVER
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Hartmut
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Re: Crazy to Love You: out-of-tune guitar?

Postby Hartmut » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:17 pm

dreamermusic wrote:Thus, the string vibrates too much in what would be considered by almost everyone a 'really bad playing' of the instrument. I myself would say that If I weren't a very best fan of Leonard.
I agree with both of your statements. :-)

dreamermusic wrote:And, it is true, there are some parts of the song in which one of the strings (I'm not sure if it is the fourth or the fifth one) is a little bit out of tune, I'm sure of that.
Interesting. - Now we just have to find a way to justify this - to turn a bug into a feature, so to speak. - Maybe let's just call those out-of-tune notes a special kind of blue note. - Or maybe it's a very special kind of guitar tuning - "Open L", perhaps.
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Re: Crazy to Love You: out-of-tune guitar?

Postby holydove » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:01 am

The buzzing is definitely audible, & I thought the buzz was made by Leonard sliding his fingers between the frets, & I assumed it was deliberate. But if dreamermusic, who is a guitar player, says its the vibrations of the bass strings, I'll take his/her word for it! (And I'd have to listen again to see if it actually occurs at a time when he would be sliding his fingers between frets - that I don't remember). Even if it is vibration of bass strings, I would still guess that it might be deliberate, because I believe there have been many times when Leonard plucks a bass string very strongly (I love it when he does that!), & it doesn't produce a buzzing sound. Either way, I love everything about this song, including the buzz!
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Re: Crazy to Love You: out-of-tune guitar?

Postby Hartmut » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:07 am

holydove wrote:Either way, I love everything about this song, including the buzz!
:-)

And you, with your musical ears, do you hear an out-of-tune string?
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Re: Crazy to Love You: out-of-tune guitar?

Postby holydove » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:30 am

Hartmut wrote:
holydove wrote:Either way, I love everything about this song, including the buzz!
:-)

And you, with your musical ears, do you hear an out-of-tune string?
I think it could be deliberately created dissonance. As you would know, there is alot of that in classical music, & at first it can sound "wrong" or disturbing, & it goes against our sense of "harmony" (whether that "sense" is innate or conditioned is debatable), but once you attune yourself to the effect that's being created, you can appreciate the beauty of it ( & usually, the disturbing effect of the dissonance is part of the beauty, which could very well be the case, in Crazy To Love You).
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Hartmut
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AW: Re: Crazy to Love You: out-of-tune guitar?

Postby Hartmut » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:01 am

holydove wrote:I think it could be deliberately created dissonance.
That's a fascinating idea. Thanks!
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Re: Crazy to Love You: out-of-tune guitar?

Postby svennybenny » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:28 am

..I think the buzz comes out of a rather high compression level of the guitar. Maybe the buzz was rather calm in the original recording, but made audible by compressing.
Too much compression for guitar could be a negative effect (f.e. when you hear the scratching of strings when changing the chords too loud), but personally I like it here. Sven

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