banner.gif (3613 Byte)

Corner.gif 1x1.gif Corner.gif
1x1.gif You are at: Home - Discussion Forum 1x1.gif
Corner.gif 1x1.gif Corner.gif
      
round_corner_upleft.gif (837 Byte) 1x1.gif (807 Byte) round_corner_upright.gif (837 Byte)
Old 02-26-2014, 08:13 PM   #1
Rob1956
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Hickory Hills, IL
Posts: 429
Default Lee Holdridge

Has anyone read any comments that Gord ever made about working with composer/arranger Lee Holdridge? If you're not familiar with Holdridge, he's done a number of soundtracks for films over the years, Here's a blurb from Wikipedia: Holdridge has composed, conducted, and orchestrated for many films, some of the most notable being Jeremy,[3] American Pop,[4] The Beastmaster, Mr. Mom, Splash, Puerto Vallarta Squeeze, A Tiger's Tale, Beautiful Music, Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport[2] and Brothers at War.[5] He has also composed for several television series, including The Mists of Avalon, American Family, The Brooke Ellison Story, and Moonlighting] He is probably best known for his work with Neil Diamond over the course of many years. If you're familiar with Neil's songs like "Walk on Water", "Play Me", the "Stones" album, "Tap Root Manuscript", and the Jonathan Livingston Seagull soundtrack, the quality is pretty high. Neil and Lee had a falling out in 1973 over credits on the JLS album, and Lee left the Diamond machine. So as you all know, he wound up working on the re-recordings on Gord's Gold album, doing so many great arrangements of Gord's songs on the first disc (if you remember the vinyl edition). Being a big fan of Lee and Neil and Gord, I was looking forward to some more collaborations between them, but it never happened. Did any of you hear that Gord was unhappy with Lee's contributions to the GG1 album? Seems like a squandered opportunity to me.
Rob1956 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2014, 09:58 PM   #2
jj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ontario, canada
Posts: 5,273
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

i love these sort of posts... i don't know much about him so thanks for the info

but i was sorry that Gord didn't keep the momentum and familiarity going from the the few albums prior to GG1 and have Nick DeCaro do the orchestral arrangements on both GG1 records.... he seemed to understand the subtleties that Gord's songs and productions called for ...really, almost subliminally embellished the existing emotional effect that Gord's words, chord progressions and melodies brought about

I do typically love original recordings, and the predominance and bold mix of many of the GG1 productions (Lee's foremost) has had me filing GG1 well out of reach

as we know, it's typical that the casual Lightfoot fan or the general masses own one album....GG1.... it's a very economical to just own the one collection and still be familiar with a good whack of Gord's work... but I feel sorry for folks who stop there.... maybe many expand and add GG2... ugh...trade those 2 in and at least grab Songbook

how about a Poll/list of fave orchestrations from Don Quixote, Old Dan's Records, Sundown, Cold on the Shoulder? i think the DeCaro contributions are right up there with Red Shea's when it comes to Gord recordings during that prime era ...RIP Nick... i dont know if there was a falling out or it came down to number$ perhaps

I will listen to Lee's portfolio a bit closer and more extensively...thanks, Rob
jj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2014, 10:23 PM   #3
banjobench12
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 79
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

Lee Holdridge conducted the orchestra on An evening with John Denver , a classic album back in the day.
banjobench12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2014, 11:37 PM   #4
Rob1956
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Hickory Hills, IL
Posts: 429
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

I had forgotten. After Diamond, Lee went right to Denver. A classic Holdridge arrangement is "Annie's Song".
Rob1956 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2014, 12:13 AM   #5
dray7austin
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 73
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

His father Leslie, I just read was a famous botanist and climatologist. And after looking more up on Lee, all I can say is "Wow!" The list of all his awards and accomplishments is impressive. Thanks for bringing him to my attention Rob1956.
dray7austin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2014, 05:08 AM   #6
jj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ontario, canada
Posts: 5,273
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

Nice resume. My comments were about his efforts with Gords music. Perhaps the lightfoot camp felt similarity after veering from Nick to the orchestral colouring a of Lee. David Foster (to this day, a friend of Gord) also had the much respected track record and portfolio with others, but as with lee, as a fan or Gord's pure compositions, I'm glad the collaboration was brief. I don't listen to that period of lightfoot much at all. Or Gords Gold.

I like much if the Diamond and Denver ive heard on the airwaves over the decades but don't own any. A lot of raw talent there who could captivate and audience just with voice and guitar... I loved the brief segments where Gord would do that live.

What are your favourite Lee orchestral works on Gords gold?

My favourite Nick subtle work is likely on Too Late for Praying and Looking at the Rain. That Same Old Obsession.

I love Gords quote from early days "I'm actually more of an arranger". And like how he takes full responsibility for his past decisions, musical or personal. The admiration for lightfoot goes beyond the music.
jj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2014, 10:06 AM   #7
Rob1956
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Hickory Hills, IL
Posts: 429
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

I, too, have a great deal of respect for Nick's arrangements over the years. And, yes, I wish the collaboration had been longer. I suspect money had something to do with it. Perhaps Gord decided to cut expenses. The orchestration of "Cold on the Shoulder" compared to the lack of it on "Summertime Dream" is very noticeable. However, I think we can all agree that strings, horns, piano, etc would be out of place on "Wreck". I've always liked the orchestration of "Does Your Mother Know". The strings have a reverb and what can I call it...."off mic" quality that is quite haunting. It reminds be of how Robbie Robertson recorded the strings for Diamond's "Beautiful Noise" album. A lot of arrangers are called on to "sweeten" a recording after it's finished to make it more pleasing to the ear. I suspect some of that is present on the re-recorded portion of GG1. But then, we all know what a stickler Gord is about quality, and he wouldn't have released it if he wasn't happy.
Rob1956 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2014, 10:18 AM   #8
JohninCt.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Wallingford, Ct. Not far from what used to be Oakdale Music Theater
Posts: 294
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

I think like the other artists mentioned in this thread, that Gordon probably tried different things at different times. Some in order to please himself, and others to please the contracts he had to fulfill. I think that the contracts by the music company's were mainly concerned with the money his songs would bring in, and they might even have suggested the different arrangers and orchestrations for the purpose of wider sales and appeal. It might have worked at times, but for instance, the Shadows album was not a big seller even though it had some really great songs on it, so it didn't work all the time. I enjoy almost all of Gordon's albums and at different times and moods, each one has its place for me. I'm glad he collaborated with different people at times, but they were always Gordon's songs anyway.
JohninCt. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2014, 11:23 AM   #9
jj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ontario, canada
Posts: 5,273
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

great comments, guys... I'm glad the I'm Not Supposed to Care and Spanish Moss weren't "disturbed" with orchestrations on the SD album

the PeeWee steel seemed to replace the desire for "sweeping" strings, then Heffernan similarly with keys following that era... Gord's Gold 2 is an entire different discussion... and there are some terrific archived thoughts online going back almost two decades ....i do like the slower pace to High & Dry and the subtle keys on GG2 version... i dont know if many listen to that version of the Wreck... it's really a live, off the studio floor album which is fun...a throwback to Back Here on Earth (a fave)

I think the $uccess of Sundown maybe have allowed Gord's people to contract Holdridge rather than Nick becoming too pricey... total speculation and this is the stuff I'd love to be included in a real "Lightfoot, the Story of"... and maybe that's why it's all so predominant in the mixes of half the GG1 album "we paid for all this, lets feature it!" lol

Remember Gord commenting about on of the 80s albums saying "well, we tried" ....i infer that he way saying that they thought they'd try try to keep his naysayers from labelling him "3 chord Gord" stuff "all sounds the same" as well as keeping up with the latest in the industry, Foster, and how about the VIDEO movement!? (fun, but yikes)... even tried the singer > actor thing... quite a guy

the ending section of Does Your Mother Know has me thinking I'm listening to Days of Future Passed or something... great stuff... I suppose this all started with Sir George Martin, no? later Jeff Lynne went big with it all...i dunno...any music historians?

i wonder if some of the orchestral work in albums is something that was discussed in pre-production or was the "sweetener" decision that came later after the record label listened and felt there was a need to embellish????

and i think Gord had to release some things that he may not have been content with due to contractual obligations and time deadlines... he always speaks of his songwriting motivation as his being under the gun... I'm pretty sure he and his people were happy with GG1 and still are, as most seem to be... I don't know why the Lee collaboration came to a halt (just to get back to your initial question, lol)
jj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2014, 02:40 PM   #10
Andy T.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Douglas, WY
Posts: 156
Send a message via AIM to Andy T.
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

I remember the liner notes from the DSMMN album where Gord says the strings were a surprise to him, the producer did it without his knowing, but he was pleased with the result. The next heavily produced album he did after that was SDYS, of course and also his first on WB and I'm sure the label pushed him towards strings. I suspect that if he really did like the result of DSMMN, that he didn't resist going that way. Although it's worth noting that he followed the BHOE pattern a little bit with the following album, SSOL, which was a fairly stripped down Nashville record with no strings, well except some fiddle playing.

Quote:
the PeeWee steel seemed to replace the desire for "sweeping" strings, then Heffernan similarly with keys following that era
Yeah, I always thought that he added steel to better fill in his live tracks and once he did that, he started to get away from tons of studio tinkering on the albums (well, until the mid 1980s at least)

Back to Lee Holdridge - I always liked his work with John Denver. Didn't he also jump on with the handful of re-recordings for the first JD Greatest Hits album? His arrangement for The Eagle and the Hawk was an improvement on the original which only had piano and organ. (Not that the original version was bad either, in its own right)

I've got a vinyl copy of Holdridge's album of JD covers, pretty much elevator-music versions of his songs, but I like some of the tracks. A little Googling and found that whole album is on youtube:



-Andy
__________________
"May this world find a resting place... where Peaceful Waters flow..."
Andy T. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2014, 06:59 PM   #11
charlene
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 15,326
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

input from Ed RIngwald: I remember meeting him in LA during recording at Amigo Studios with Gord....Lenny Waronker was producer with Warner Bros....band just laid down basic tracks with Gord and all the sweetening was done later....never really saw or heard anymore than that of Lee...pretty cool time working with those heavy weights .
charlene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2014, 08:06 PM   #12
Rob1956
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Hickory Hills, IL
Posts: 429
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

That's exactly what I thought happened! They did the tracks and decided to do something "extra". Lee was available, and there you go. That may explain the lack of further involvement between Gord and Lee. It was a "one off" as the Brits like to say.
Rob1956 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2014, 09:28 PM   #13
jj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ontario, canada
Posts: 5,273
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

well, i think it was decided in pre-production - not after they laid the tracks

if they had known that there wasnt going to be any "extras" then i feel Lenny/Gord would have had the band lay down more embellished parts

that's always what has made sense when i've worked anyhow... or maybe the band did so some added bits on extra tracks, but they decided to orchestrate instead

I don't even think of Ed/PeeWee as being a big part of that album but I don't listen.... maybe he is referring to Lee Herschberg, and the mixing process

and by big wig, i guess he means Lenny....

get this, i never read this before as I don't have Gord's Gold LP and LINER NOTES but in them, it helps explain the motivation for re-recording (as well as his being able to capture more royalties also):

"All of the songs in this special package from the old U.A. albums have been re-recorded (he doesn't like his early work)."


i love his early recordings...
jj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2014, 12:17 AM   #14
joveski
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,804
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

a bit off topic, but John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin did a lot of string arrangements for other artists (and still does). it would been good to get his fingers on the songs!. take a listen to Nightswimming from REM for an example
joveski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2014, 12:22 AM   #15
Andy T.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Douglas, WY
Posts: 156
Send a message via AIM to Andy T.
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

Yeah, I thought the whole R.E.M. AFTP album was brilliant!
__________________
"May this world find a resting place... where Peaceful Waters flow..."
Andy T. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2014, 03:39 AM   #16
jj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ontario, canada
Posts: 5,273
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

loved my first listen on headphones day it was released: AFTP... yeah, NS..and they probably could have even gone more dramatic on Drive (after Olly Olly...)... now go way back and add some pulsing cellos, etc to So. Central Rain, and turn great into grandiose

char, just reading your post again from Ed (how lucky are we?!), yeah, he is talking about Holdridge heavy weight (and Lenny, etc), not Lee Herschberg

real good topic, d7a, thanks.... what was the question again? lol
jj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2014, 03:26 PM   #17
Rob1956
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Hickory Hills, IL
Posts: 429
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

I can't believe Michael Stipe has put his music career on a complete hold. Bummer...
Rob1956 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 04:27 PM   #18
charlene
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 15,326
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

Richard Harison answered my question "any insight?"(Lightfoot concert sound engineer)

"Lee has an impressive resume, but was he not confined to Gord's Gold?
I remember Nick de Caro a lot better as the mainstay string arranger.

All sweetening of an album was done post-production, and, while I was at all recording sessions, nobody except Gordon really got involved with post.

I do remember at one of the "gambling gigs" (i.e. Tahoe, Reno, or Vegas) that there was a string section, and I believe de Caro was conducting.
It never happened, though. Gord felt somewhat restricted by the lack of tempo variants he was used to.
The best way to explain that is to suggest you think of the different tempo variances in CRT -- speeding up--slowing down, etc.
Gordon was probably anxious that there would be a slight lack of sync between him and the section.
(The regular band members were used to all that.)"
charlene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 11:35 PM   #19
jj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ontario, canada
Posts: 5,273
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlene View Post
I remember Nick de Caro a lot better as the mainstay string arranger.
if there hasnt been a Nick thread, its long overdue...I guess I basically turned this into one, lol

thx for asking, char...yeah, the orchs were done in post no doubt, but planned in pre was my speculation... will get that out of Gord one day... or Lenny or Herschberg... if it was really an afterthought for GG1 then I'll be sorry that I can't hear the diet (unsweetened ) mixes
jj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 11:51 PM   #20
jj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ontario, canada
Posts: 5,273
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlene View Post
there was a string section, and I believe de Caro was conducting.
It never happened, though. Gord felt somewhat restricted by the lack of tempo variants he was used to.
The best way to explain that is to suggest you think of the different tempo variances in CRT -- speeding up--slowing down, etc.
Gordon was probably anxious that there would be a slight lack of sync between him and the section.

interesting... I wouldnt want strings for that one anyhow, but for Nick's studio colourings to come to life Live would have been something

here is Gord's direct comments (Can. Composer, 1974) about not adding strings live:

"I am not prepared to handle 40 people. I can preside over a small group of people and that's as far as it goes. I like to travel around the countryside with four or five people and make sure everyone's on the plane and we're all where
we're supposed to be at the right time. And that's enough to worry about."

Well, then would you want to add a string section sometime?

"No. You want to know why? Because when I play on stage, I tune above A440
by about two vibrations. I play A442, just a bit above concert pitch, and it
would drive a string player nuts to ask him to tune his ax sharp. That's the
only reason. It's always been my policy to play a little bit sharp. It has a
more positive sound."
jj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2014, 08:44 AM   #21
JohninCt.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Wallingford, Ct. Not far from what used to be Oakdale Music Theater
Posts: 294
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

here is Gord's direct comments (Can. Composer, 1974) about not adding strings live:

"I am not prepared to handle 40 people. I can preside over a small group of people and that's as far as it goes. I like to travel around the countryside with four or five people and make sure everyone's on the plane and we're all where
we're supposed to be at the right time. And that's enough to worry about."

Well, then would you want to add a string section sometime?

"No. You want to know why? Because when I play on stage, I tune above A440
by about two vibrations. I play A442, just a bit above concert pitch, and it
would drive a string player nuts to ask him to tune his ax sharp. That's the
only reason. It's always been my policy to play a little bit sharp. It has a
more positive sound."

I really like this post, and that it should answer most questions. Gordon always has a logical reason for the way he has his music played and recorded by his team. He is always in touch and in charge. Thanks jj, great research.
JohninCt. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2014, 09:02 AM   #22
jj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ontario, canada
Posts: 5,273
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

no problem, John... i love that bit.... and got it from Wayne Francis sharing long ago... i had it out a few weeks back because i was intrigued by the A442... and apparently they played with tape speeds also in studio post prod

the real great thing, is having char making the effort to ask Richard and Ed stuff...even Gord himself! char, when is the next phone interview? i had 1,199 question about live and studio and song writing stuff... lol
jj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2014, 05:36 PM   #23
charlene
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 15,326
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

more from Richard:
There was a factor which I had omitted, but was brought to my attention.

It is the slightly sharp tuning that Gordon always used until recently.
Yes that would have also been a huge factor in his reluctance to use a string section.
So that, plus the tempo variance I mentioned would certainly be the basis for his decision.

It is interesting that the very same tuning issue also arose at a benefit concert in 1976 in Boston. (I never did remember for what cause-was anybody there?)
On the bill with Gordon were the Osmonds as well as England Dan & John Ford Coley.

At the commencement of sound check we could hear Coley tinkling away on a backstage piano, which was, of course, tuned to concert pitch (A440)

So before I went back to the mixing console, I approached him and politely asked him if he would refrain until after the sound check.

I explained that Gordon always tuned a little sharp to concert to make the guitars ring better, and that the piano was distracting. He did.

After the sound check was over, he approached me as I was on my way to set up the onstage lighting.
He shook my hand and said (I will never forget this)

"Thank you. I don't think I've ever been told to go to hell in a nicer way."

As a contingent of Osmonds was also playing that night, I went to their dressing room to extend Gordon's invitation to visit us at any time.

I noticed an untouched case of beer, and, knowing they were Mormons, asked if they would mind if it disappeared. I got the go ahead, and the beer was shared all around.
charlene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2014, 12:00 PM   #24
jj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ontario, canada
Posts: 5,273
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

odd, i replied to char's TRIPLE post (lol) yesterday but it's gone… I was giddy over it (Thanks Richard, as always!) saying, "this might be on of the most stereotypically wonderful Canadiana/Lightfootesque anecdotes I've heard"

you and John were out-politing each other

if someone did write a bio on Gord, these gems would be overlooked

we get to read the bio everyday here, the website, the fan encounters, etc!
jj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2014, 08:46 PM   #25
Rob1956
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Hickory Hills, IL
Posts: 429
Default Re: Lee Holdridge

I never, ever thought starting this thread would lead to this incredible conversation. This has been fun. I should post something similar on a Diamond site and find out just what went down between Neil and Lee over the credits on the JLS soundtrack. That could be quite interesting. I've read that it was quite a falling out...
Rob1956 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:31 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
downleft 1x1.gif (807 Byte) downright