‘Another Brick in the Wall’ – cooking up a Wall of Sound

Hot on the heels of my recent post about Gigi and yet another modern Spector soundalike, I’d like to share a video with you.

I’m in a band called Surf School Dropouts that has been active for a few years and released two albums so far; ‘Summer is a State of Mind’ in 2013 and ‘Second Nature’ earlier this year. You can check out our stuff at http://www.surfschooldropouts.bandcamp.com

As our name implies we’re obsessed by the classic pop sounds of 60s California; the gorgeous harmonies and stellar pop craftsmanship of Brian Wilson & the Beach Boys are our main reference points but of course Phil Spector also looms large over the music we create…

Our most recent recording project has been a cover version of a great song called ‘I Thank You’ by Danish beat-rockers the Beatophonics. These guys comprise what is probably the most convincing Mop Top- and Merseybeat-inspired band you’re ever going to hear. My co-Dropouts and I saw them play a local gig some months ago and we were simply blown away by their energy and fantastic homage to the sound of all those great early 60s British Invasion 45’s. For a few hours that night the Beatophonics turned a small Copenhagen venue into the Cavern Club!

Shortly before the concert, the Beatophonics had issued their debut album which I highly reccommend. When we left the gig we were really inspired by their performance. On the way home we began to talk about how fun it could be to record our own version of their album’s lead single, ‘I Thank You.’ It’s a Beatophonics original that wouldn’t have been out of place on an early 60s Beatles longplayer.

The Beatophonics album cover looks as 60s authentic as the songs within sound!
The Beatophonics album cover looks as 60s authentic as the songs within sound!

Much has been made of the supposed friendly rivalry between the Beatles and the Beach Boys during the 60s – two incredible bands on each side of the Atlantic, both wowing record-bying teens with distinct sounds and groundbreaking hits that today are text-book examples of how to write and produce perfect pop.

With that in mind, we thought it would be interesting to take this really cool song, recorded by the Beatophonics to sound like an authentic 60s Merseybeat nugget, and put our own spin on it based on where we take our inspiration from; basically, to take the song and make it sound like something Brian Wilson or Phil Spector had recorded in Gold Star studio in ’66 aided by the Wrecking Crew.

So here is the result complete with a home-cooked Wall of Sound that I think turned out really well. Lots of guitars playing in unison, glockenspiel, mandolin, Hal Blaine-like drums – you name it! We also replaced the cool guitar solo of the original version with an elaborate vocal harmony arrangement. Enjoy!

And don’t forget to hear the fantastic original version by the Beatophonics. Easily the best debut single by a Danish group I’ve heard in years!


5 thoughts on “‘Another Brick in the Wall’ – cooking up a Wall of Sound”

  1. A cover that’s better than the original! You’ve improved on the arrangements and the hooks.

    Are you going to come up with a third album at some point, by any chance?


    1. Thank you Bernard. Glad you like this version. As a recording entity I’m afraid that Surf School Dropouts has run its course by now, I’m afraid. The two albums is what’s out there – I hope you and others will enjoy them. They were certainly fun to record even though some of the harmonies took a lot of effort! :-)


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