The Door To Yesterday. Vol.. 4, No. 10. Alan Warner. 2019

 

 

 

Stop Hey What’s that Sound. Alan Warner. the Door To Yesterday 2019

 

 

 

Part one

Automobiles. The Door To Yesterday. Sound Effects on rock &  pop records. Hey Now What’s that sound.

Appropriate audio noises and sound effects have long been created for all kinds of entertainment 

and they also enhanced a slew of pop and rock hits over the years. Effects were sometimes created

 in the studio, often using primitive methods. Songwriters/producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller came up 

with the idea of banging two blocks of wood together to sound like gunshots for the track SHE WANTS TO ROCK

by The Flairs featuring Richard Berry (who wrote the song), issued on Flair in ’53.  


Jerry & Mike often used other noises to illustrate and accompany the fun songs they recorded with 

The Robins and The Coasters while certain other producers brazenly used existing sound effects

 records to enhance their 45’s!  


During his early days as an engineer at Atlantic, Tom Dowd created the sound effect of splashing water 

for the opening of Bobby Darin’s 1958 hit SPLISH SPLASH by swiveling his hand in a cup of water.


In later years, sound effects became more sophisticated with actual recordings of tweeting birds, 

ocean waves and thunderstorms integrated to create the right atmosphere to accompany romantic ballads. 


When it came to their landmark “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album, the Beatles 

along with producer George Martin were particularly adventurous in their use of a range of effects

 of animals, crowd noises and even a swirling fairground organ.


One of my collecting obsessions was to make lists of pop and rock 45’s which utilized sound effects 

such as the rollercoaster sounds in PALISADES PARK by Freddy Cannon

the clinking milk bottles in UNE NUIT A PARIS by 10cc or the shattering glass in

 WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT by Tom Jones


I thought that from time to time, I’d share some of my favorites 

with you beginning this time with car-related records. 


Remember, these are just a few examples. 

Included are a handful of YouTube audio links of the actual records.


For starters, here are a group of examples of the use of the sound of gas-driven cars starting up: 


AUTOBAHN

 by Kraftwerk 

(Vertigo: 1974)

 https://youtu.be/gChOifUJZMc 


BUCKET ‘T’ 

by Jan & Dean 

(Liberty: 1964)

 https://youtu.be/GUPPz1he3sQ


DRIVING IN MY CAR 

by Madness 

(UK Stiff: 1982)

 https://youtu.be/faP-B_gEElE


 GET OUTTA MY DREAMS, GET INTO MY CAR 

by Billy Ocean

 (Jive: 1988)

 https://youtu.be/zNgcYGgtf8M 


MERCEDES BOY 

by Pebbles 

(MCA: 1988)


SHE DRIVES ME WILD

 by Michael Jackson 

(Epic: 1991).


Among my most-played instrumentals was 

STICK SHIFT by The Duals 

(Star Revue/Sue: 1961) 

https://youtu.be/XBCFM5rUfuI 

which, in addition to its fast take-off effect, 

also contains a cool sound of screeching tires. 


I also single out HOT ROD 

by Lou Berry & The Bel Raves

 (Dreem: 1959)

 https://youtu.be/CehvMGSt6fY 

because, in addition to its start up, revving up and squealing tires, 

it ended with an  ultimate crash effect.

 

Three other vintage singles which included audio effects of disastrous collisions were :


DEAD MAN’S CURVE 

by Jan & Dean 

(Liberty: 1964)

 https://youtu.be/S1Cuekbklkg,

the tasteless I WANT MY BABY BACK

 by Jimmy Cross 

(Tollie: 1964) 

and the novelty 45: TRANSFUSION

 by Nervous Norvus 

(Dot: 1956) https://youtu.be/HbhvZ2y1V80


In addition, the reggae track 

AL CAPONE 

by Prince Buster

 (UK Blue Beat: 1965)

 opened not only with a car crash 

but also gunfire and burning rubber! 

 

 

Jan and Dean. Sound Effects on Rock and Pop Records. The Door to Yesrterday. 2019/

 Cars revving up were also memorably prominent in:


DRAG CITY 

by Jan & Dean

(Liberty: 1964) https://youtu.be/c2GwDGjiV4k 

and 409 

by The Beach Boys

 (Capitol: 1962).


Alongside those, audio inserts of autos in motion were also included in 

BABY DRIVER 

by Simon & Garfunkel

 (Columbia: 1970)


I GOTTA DRIVE 

by Jan & Dean

(Liberty: 1963)


R.P.M. 

by The Four Speeds 

(Challenge: 1963) 

 https://youtu.be/pUf5VxNFAbM 


TRAVELLING WITHOUT MOVING

 by Jamiroquai 

(Work: 1997). 


There were also quite a number of records that made use of the sound of car horns, among them 

APEMAN 

by The Kinks 

(Reprise: 1971)

 https://youtu.be/aRHqs8SffDo,

 the previously mentioned 

AUTOBAHN 

by Kraftwerk 

(Vertigo: 1974), 

the comical BEEP BEEP 

by The Playmates

 (Roulette: 1958)


COUNTRY HONK 

by The Rolling Stones

on their ‘Let It Bleed’ album 

(London: 1969)

 HOT ROD LINCOLN 

by Charlie Ryan & The Livingston Bros.

 (Souvenir: 1955)


NO PARKING (On The Dance Floor) 

by Midnight Star 

(Solar: 1984)

 https://youtu.be/HsmqOT1CB-U


 SHE DRIVES ME WILD

by Michael Jackson

 (Epic: 1991) 

and TIJUANA TAXI 

by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass

 (A&M: 1965)


My absolute favorite was one of Gamble & Huff’s early successes 

EXPRESSWAY (TO YOUR HEART) 

by Soul Survivors 

(Crimson: 1967)

 https://youtu.be/T6xKFr4WhrY


During the Lovin’ Spoonful’s million-seller 

SUMMER IN THE CITY 

on Kama Sutra in’66

https://youtu.be/QT9_CJOw7E4


You could hear not only car horns but also a pneumatic drill and on 

THE MESSAGE 

by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

(Sugar Hill: 1982)

 a car horn was followed by a police siren! 

https://youtu.be/4kjeWGQ175g


Finally, a group of 45’s which also contained police sirens: 


THE BALLAD OF BONNIE AND CLYDE

 by Georgie Fame 

(Epic: 1968), 


BLOCKBUSTER 

by The Sweet

 (Bell: 1973), 


CHRISTMAS IN JAIL

by The Youngsters

 (Empire: 1956), 


D.O.A

by Bloodrock

 (Capitol: 1972)

 https://youtu.be/x_eVbtmgnYc 


 INDIANA WANTS ME 

by R. Dean Taylor

 (Rare Earth: 1970)

https://youtu.be/fZL_tZxyBDo.


In an earlier “Door To Yesterday” blog (Vol.3, No.23), 

you can find a broader collection of Car Songs with and without sound effects.


See you on the road!


Alan Warner


As in all my postings, 

the recordings listed above are personal choices & recommendations 

and are in no way intended as definitive collections of the genre. 


© Alan Warner, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material 

without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. 

Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alan Warner 

with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.