Music Is Just A Bunch Of Notes — Liner notes from the original LP Original liner notes enclosed with the LP
Notes on “Music is Just a Bunch of Notes”—SJL 5872
John Koerner: guitar, vocals, car on The Wall
Bill Murphy: bass, vocals on Takin’ Time and Thief River Falls
Tom Olson: vocals on Mr. Image, Waiting for Go with Normal Dub and The Wall
John Beach: piano
Stephen Bradley: drums
Gene Hoffman: tenor
Maurice Jaycox: alto and bar!
Voyle Harris: trumpet
Cindy Palmer: numbers
Mary Du Shane: violin
Sandy Shane. violin
Alan Weisman: harp on Thief River Falls and car on The Wall
Dave Morton: vocals on Thief River Falls
Betty Brenner: vocals on Thief River Falls
Liz Thorson: vocals on Thief River Falls
Bibi Bathos: vocals on Thief River Falls
Stevi Beck: vocals on Thief River Falls
Jeff Dolan: car on The Wall
John Sanden: car on The Wall
Dave Ray: vocal on the Wall
Hevy Gunz: rain on Mr. Image
Except for Band One, Side One, which is an excerpt from a live recording of John Koerner, Bonnie Raitt and Dave Ray at Macalaster College made 10-Mar-72, and Band Five, Side One, which was recorded live outside Tom Olson’s house in North Minneapolis, all cuts were done in a room above the Coffeehouse Extempore on Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis between 15-Mar-72 and 6-May-72. The room measured 15′ x 30′ with 11′ ceilings and had plaster walls, skylights and an attached six by four hallway/alcove. The control room was an 8′ x 8′ x 8′ frame construction covered with wallboard, insulated and set in one corner of the main room. Carpeted floors, rugs on the walls, 4′ x 4′ baffles of acoustic insulation and upholstered furniture were used to cut down leakage.
The recording was made using a Crown CX 744 four track (four tracks in one direction), using Scotch 206, ¼”, 10½” reels at 15ips. A Crown SX 722 two track was used as a mixer and as a mastering machine. The four-track has eight inputs (two channels per track). The two track has four inputs (two channels per track). The four track will accept either hi- or lo-impedance mics. When used at high impedance, the gain can be selected by printed circuit board–either hi- or lo-level. We used a transformer on lo-Z mics into the lo-level, hi-Z inputs when we needed attenuation. All the two track inputs are hi-Z, though the gain is selectable as in the four track machine. The mics were Sennheiser 405, Sennheiser 105, Electro-Voice 676, Shure SM 57 and Shure 545.
Monitoring was done using the tape recorder playback preamps into a Dyna 120 feeding two Klipsch Cornwall speakers. All monitoring during the sessions was done on Koss PRO 4 headphones.
All cuts were made live and simultaneously; there were no overdubs. All the music appears as it was done; some of Tom Olson’s material has been edited. Two basic setups were used: 1) Upright piano thru two Sennheiser 105 mics into channels one and two of two track, thence to channel one of four track. Acoustic guitar thru Shure 545 into channel two of four track. Vocal thru Shure SM 57 into track two of four track. Horns thru Sennheiser 405 into track three of four track. Bass, amplified by Fender Twin Reverb with JBL’s, thru Shure SM 57 into channel seven of four track. Drums thru Sennheiser 405 (over the set) and Electro-Voice 676 (bass drum)into channels three and four of two track, thence to channel eight of four track. The horns and vocals occupied separate tracks. The piano and guitar were on one track; the bass and drums on another. Relative mix on tracks with more than one instrument was accomplished during the actual recording. 2) Horns thru a transformer to lo-level, hi-Z input on channel one of four track. Bass thru a transformer to lo-level, hi-Z input on channel two of four track. Vocal on track two, same as setup 1. Piano on track three, same as setup 1. Guitar on channel seven, same as setup 1. Drums on channel eight, same as setup 1. Normal Dub was done using the Crown two track and a Sennheiser 105. The car really died, the plane really flew overhead. Everybody’s Goin’ for the Money (which is not listed on the label copy, but which appears between cuts one and two on side two) was recorded using a Sennheiser 405 on guitar and Shure SM 57 on vocal.
All the sessions were loose. Most of the material was put together during the sessions. Some of John’s tunes, in substantially different form, were previously released as solo performances on the Elektra label. The sessions were typically three or four hours long, although much time was spent away from the studio on work connected with the recording. There were four sessions with Tom Olson, including the live recording of Normal Dub. There were a total of eight sessions with John and the band (Willie and the Bumblebees). We spent twelve days mixing and one day mastering.
The lacquer master was cut from our two track tape masters on 8-May-72 by Bob Berglund of Sound 80, Minneapolis. We used a Neumann VMS 70 cutter. EMT echo was added to Ramble, Tumble, Everybody’s Goin’ for the Money and Skipper and His Wife. A low-frequency filter reduced the rumble from Normal Dub’s ’55 Dodge. A Burwen Dynamic Noise Filter substantially improved the signal-to-noise ratio. The pressings were stamped at Wakefield Manufacturing, Inc., Phoenix, Arizona and brought to us by Yellow Truck.
15 reels of tape: $120.00
Mastering at Sound 80: 120.00
1000 pressings in sleeves, delivered to Mpls. less than 600.00
1000 jackets from Chicago Album Specialties: 120.00
Rubber stamps, revivifying liquids, curling vapours,
high living, wear and tear, phone calls less than 150.00
Total for 1000 copies in our house: $1110.00
We sell them for $2.00 wholesale to stores in bunches. We sell them for $2.50 to everybody else (everyone helps pay everyone’s postage). If you would like to buy a stack and become a bigtime record distributor our address is:
Sweet Jane Ltd.
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55440
The deal is bread ahead to us and the records to you by the shipper of our choice. No COD’s.
We want to make a two-hundred per cent profit so we can make some more records. The fat guys advertise mostly nothing while we are busy with mostly something and have here what you want to hear. Some fattys help us, but most of them buy their records for 38¢ apiece. We buy small so we pay more. We demand that our records be sold for not more than $2.50 in the stores, but our demands are rarely met. Where we can keep an eye on things, we enforce our own kind of fair trade agreement. We are legally prevented from price-fixing downwards, so we include this message to you so you can help stamp out creeping inflation by stamping out the pigs who ripped you off for $4.99 for this $2.50 record.
For sure thanks to Bruce Rubenstein, Mike Justin, Steve Raitt, Ron Sjoberg, Doug Erickson, Jerry Meditall, the Little Falls constituency and others way too numberous, etc., for their time advice and equipment.