Friday, November 16, 2007


Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five:
The Message b/w The Message (instr.) [1982]

Cymande:
The Message [1972]

These musical homonyms have fallen into heavy rotation for me lately. I've often wondered exactly which musical geniuses were responsible for the backing track on Flash's "Message", which features about 15 different brilliant percussion and synth overdubs. I still haven't fully sussed it (although I have concluded that the percussion overdubs were done by a human), but for what it's worth here are the complete credits:

THE MESSAGE
(E. Fletcher-M. Glover-S. Robinson-J. Chase)

Produced by SYLVIA INC. Jiggs Chase & E. Fletcher

Bass - Doug Wimbish
Guitar - Skip McDonald
Prophet - Reggie Griffin, Jiggs, Sylvia
Keyboards - Gary Henry, Dwain Mitchell
Drums - Keith LeBlanc
Percussions - Ed Fletcher

Also, I just looked up "sacroiliac" in the dictionary. It's a real word.

7 comments:

a clock said...

and now you've got me bent on pegging the gear used to make the track.

in which this link is of little help

From your notes, it's clearly a Prophet 5 (god of synths) and a drum synthesizer, most likely the TR-808 (god of drum synths).

Anonymous said...

you bet it's a real word. I'm happy to report that mine's feeling much better after some p.t.
Dad

daveyboy said...

Some fond memories there lad.

Thanks.

ib said...

this was the first record i ever owned on Sugarhill. I always thought it was sacroPHYLiac. No wonder i struggled to find a definition.

Flash and Melle Mel would later engage in a power struggle as to who led off the Five.

Emmett said...

Let me know what you find, A Clock. The bass drum doesn't sound like a TR-808 bass drum but who knows? For a long time I was wondering what 1982 drum machine could do triplets, but then I concluded (as noted above) that the percussion parts are "live".

clock said...

More research meant more confusion. This thread, again, solves nothing.

However, this page indicates that an Oberheim DMX nicknamed Willie may be the culprit.

As for triplets, there could be a programmed track with the operator performing on the preview buttons live. At the same time, Keith Leblanc has been referred to as a 'human drum machine.' So I don't know. ;)

Charlemange said...

Great track, love it!!