THE DOOR TO YESTERDAY. 2020. ALAN WARNER. RING RING GOES THE BELL.

 

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 Yes indeed, here’s another dip into my ever-growing list of sound effects utilized

 in vintage pop and rock recordings. Bells and audio ringing sounds have turned up to illustrate and/or benefit a wide array of performances. 


What follows is not an ultimate list

 but rather some of the examples I remember.


Let’s start with a beloved Hollywood musical sequence from MGM’s 1944 film 

“Meet Me In St. Louis” in which Judy Garland 

sang Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane’s 

THE TROLLEY SONG

the chorus opens with the clanging of a streetcar

 followed by the chiming of the trolley bell:

https://youtu.be/iIjpbxnrT-E


Bells were used to set an idyllic scene in 

A BEAUTIFUL MORNING 

by The Rascals 

(Atlantic: 1968) 

https://youtu.be/ykLVZR7RG_

and in CHURCH BELLS MAY RING 

by The Willows 

(Melba: 1956)

https://youtu.be/NgdhUSC2bxE 

they suggested a reason for celebration. 


Over the years, bells or pseudo-bell effects were also

 inserted into seasonal and holiday favorites as in 

THE BELLS OF ST. MARY’S 

by Bing Crosby 

on Decca in 1945. 


In the UK, British percussionist Jimmy Blades released 

CHRISTMAS CHIMES and on BBC radio beginning in the 1950’s, 

an afternoon children’s program“Listen With Mother” 

opened each episode with a brief chimes melody.


Maybe the most celebrated use of a variety of bells and chimes 

was in the revolutionary TUBULAR BELLS by multi-instrumentalist 

Mike Oldfield on Virgin in 1973. Its opening theme 

was famously featured on the soundtrack of the 

1973 horror film “The Exorcist”.


Foreboding tolling bells have often been used 

to great and chilling effect in rock projects as in:


BLACK SABBATH 

by Black Sabbath 

(Warner Bros: 1970) 

https://youtu.be/ISXnYu-Or4w


HELLS BELLS 

by AC/DC 

(Atlantic: 1980) 

https://youtu.be/GL56LY6fE0E


FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS 

by Metallica 

(Megaforce/Elektra: 1984)

https://youtu.be/eeqGuaAl6Ic  


HALLOWED BE THY NAME 

by Iron Maiden 

(Harvest: 1982) 

https://youtu.be/tgn2BmHhVf0 


MOTHER 

by John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band 

(Apple: 1970) 

https://youtu.be/3D0nMzHjMR8 


Bells also tolled in certain Halloween-themed 45’s such as:

 

DEAD MAN’S STROLL 

by The Revels 

(Norgolde: 1959) 

https://youtu.be/0KH04SV8_l0 

and even on Peter Sellers’ mock documentary 

BALHAM-GATEWAY TO THE SOUTH 

(UK Parlophone: 1958) 

https://youtu.be/XgXI47AMcas,


Chiming bells have been effectively 

included in such oldies as:

  

COCKTAILS FOR TWO 

by Spike Jones & His City Slickers 

(Victor: 1945)


DING-DONG 

by The Echoes 

(Gee: 1957) 

https://youtu.be/EWQHOyg2B3Y 


KA-DING-DONG 

by The Diamonds 

(Mercury: 1956)


 LIGHT A CANDLE IN THE CHAPEL 

by The Solitaires 

(Old Town: 1959) 

https://youtu.be/CW3uoWVeKoA


Bells also jingled in both 

ROCK AND ROLL BELLS 

by Louis Jones & His Band 

(Peacock: 1956) 

and THE BELLS ARE RINGING 

by The Van Dykes 

(King: 1958).


Ship’s bells have been used for 

nautically-themed hit singles namely:

 

SHIP OF LOVE 

by The Nutmegs 

(Herald: 1955) 

https://youtu.be/OiK9QtszXw0 


CAPTAIN OF YOUR SHIP 

by Reparata & The Delrons 

(Mala: 1968) 

https://youtu.be/Z2rPrEJAHPs 


And also the rock ‘n’ roll classic 

SEA CRUISE 

by Frankie Ford 

(Ace: 1959) 

https://youtu.be/VUSd_RYnxAY


Meanwhile back on dry land, 

bicycle bells were audible in:


BICYCLE RACE 

by Queen 

(Elektra: 1978) 

https://youtu.be/BZgy4MYfqzk 

and also UNE NUIT A PARIS 

by 10cc 

(Mercury: 1975).


Domestic uses of bells cover a whole range. 

For example, you could hear doorbells in:

 

FAKIN’ IT 

by Simon & Garfunkel 

(Columbia: 1961) 

https://youtu.be/XLjHt5tkRFo 


I’M GONNA KNOCK ON YOUR DOOR 

by Eddie Hodges 

(Cadence: 1961) 

https://youtu.be/61ue2fS3K98 

and LET ‘EM IN 

by Paul McCartney & Wings. 

(Capitol: 1976). 


In addition, there was a door chime in 

STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN 

by Mel & Tim 

on Stax in ’72 

https://youtu.be/LaabNE_4pAw


Alarm clocks rang in 

ALARM CLOCK BOOGIE 

by Billy Briggs 

(Imperial: 1951) 

https://youtu.be/ZeMaz0PuLpU

A DAY IN THE LIFE 

by The Beatles 

(Capitol: 1967)

and MR. SLATER’S PARROT 

by The Bonzo Dog Band 

(Imperial: 1968) 

https://youtu.be/zk8y8H9oRsY


Telephone bells & associated noises turned up in a host of 45’s. 


You could hear phones ringing in 

CALL ME UP 

by Process & The Doo Rags 

(Columbia: 1987)


CALL OPERATOR 210 

by Johnny Otis & His Orchestra Feat. Mel Walker 

(Mercury: 1952) 

https://youtu.be/p0NPLDHiGBc 


GOIN' STEADY (The Telephone Hour) 

from "Bye Bye Birdie"  

by The Sweet Apple Kids 

(Columbia: 1960)


I DON’T LOVE YOU NO MORE (I Don’t Care About You) 

by Jimmy Norman 

(Little Star: 1962) 

https://youtu.be/9Lc17sBrCbk


ONE OF THE BOYS 

by Mott The Hoople 

(Columbia: 1972)


PARTY LINE 

by The Kinks 

(Reprise: 1967)

and even THAT’S SHOW BIZ 

by Dale Wright with The Wright Guys 

(Fraternity: 1959)

https://youtu.be/4muzrquGVSE .


A boxing ring bell was heard on 

I AM THE GREATEST by 

Cassius Clay 

(Columbia: 1964), 


A traditional British town crier 

rang his bell at the opening of 

TOWN CRIER 

by Craig Douglas 

(UK Decca: 1963) 


And various bells rang on 

TIME by Pink Floyd 

(Harvest: 1973).


Finally, though it doesn’t appear on the version 

that became the 1966 hit single on Atlantic, 

a school bell originally opened 

LAND OF 1000 DANCES 

by Wilson Pickett

Here’s the full track: 

https://youtu.be/3mz_EXHKGHs 


Part 1 of my survey of sound effects

 in vintage records centered on Automobiles;.

It appeared in Vol.4 No.10  

of “The Door To Yesterday”.


As in all my postings, the recordings listed and referenced above 

are in no way intended as definitive collections.


Please send any comments or suggestions to 

thedoortoyesterday@gmail.com


Rock on.


Alan Warner


© Alan Warner, 2020. 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.