The first song I actively recognized as a modern Spector soundalike was recommended to me by a fellow Spector fan years ago. We were e-mailing back and forth discussing Spector’s 60s productions and he mentioned that I might like a song by a British duo called McAlmont & Butler.
Well, I checked it out and was floored by how they absolutely nailed what I think the Wall of Sound is all about. I haven’t looked back ever since. ‘Yes’, as the song is called, was what triggered my hunt for modern soundalikes, resulting in numerous great discoveries that I’ll share here on the blog from time to time.
Enough writing, let’s get down to business! Here’s a video with the album version.
McAlmont & Butler – ‘Yes’ (1995)
Just listen to those sweeping strings in the intro. And that thunderous beat. Beautiful! McAlmont’s almost androgynous vocal really carry the song, upping the intensity considerably. ‘Yes’ was masterminded by Ex-Suede member Bernard Butler who later said he wanted it to sound like ‘a great piece of 60s vinyl.’ In David McAlmont he found the perfect singer for the song which became the lead-off single for their debut album ‘The Sound of McAlmont & Butler.’ ‘Yes’ reached # 8 in the UK charts proving that the Wall of Sound approach still has the magic in the right hands.
It’s been almost 20 years since ‘Yes’ hit the charts but it has lost none of its power as this recent live performance in the Union Chapel church in London attests. Appropriate setting in terms of getting the right amount of reverb for the live sound!
McAlmont & Butler – ‘Yes’ (Live, 2014)