Cars: It’s All I Can Do lead sound?

codamedia

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I agree with others... it's a loud amp with a mild FUZZ - likely a Big Muff or a Fuzz Face based on the era.

At times I feel I hear the bite of a bridge pickup, but then that smooth warmth of the neck seems to poke through. I'd roll the tone back on the guitar (start at half, then roll back more if needed) then switch through the pickups. I suspect I'd end up with something in the middle, but with that tone rolled back a fair back.

Lots of mids and compression.

The mids are likely natural to the amp used (my guess is a Marshall plexi style)... and not scooped out.

The compression comes from many places.
1: Loud Amp
2: Fuzz
3: Studio Compression applied at various point in the chain.

The solo likely has a dedicated compressor (LA2A, 1176, Similar....) applied, then there is also master bus compression on the entire mix. If you try to emulate that type of compression with a stomp box it must be very mild... and after the FUZZ.
 

Cosmic Cowboy

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I'm hearing a mild fuzz run through a cranked valve amp, with added delay and reverb on top. Possibly a Les Paul, neck pickup.
I concur. A Les Paul or 335. Don't ask me what circuit, but def a Fuzz some verb and a neck humbucker.
 

Chiogtr4x

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His sound is so unique. Once again, I’m a huge Cars wonk. I grew up with them and in my town , no less. You can isolate any guitar track and you know it’s him. Vastly underrated in my opinion.
He really knows how to compose a 'long' or continuous melody in a solo- it transcends the guitar and gear used
- they support it, but it's his genius that's 'the thing!'
Listen to the solo in "My Best Friend's Girlfriend"- it's amazing as he sewed rockabilly and blues licks ( and the tone that goes with them) into something really unique!
Same with " Its All I Can Do" - kind of mimicks the Chorus vocal, but there is more there...
Great guitar craft!
 

Peegoo

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Oh yeah. Elliot is easily among the best players in the pop/rock idiom. His solos never contain cliches or gratuitous wanking; they are crafted to fit the tune and they are incredibly melodic. He doesn't pull from a catalog of licks like most players do. Instead, he creates a composition within a composition, easily singable by non-singers. That's what makes a perfect solo.

But pay close attention to his rhythm work too. Much of his rhythm contains horn/organ stabs that sound like Stax/Motown to me. He usually has a funky or bluesy vibe going on that instantly sets the mood of the tune.
 

Mark617

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He really knows how to compose a 'long' or continuous melody in a solo- it transcends the guitar and gear used
- they support it, but it's his genius that's 'the thing!'
Listen to the solo in "My Best Friend's Girlfriend"- it's amazing as he sewed rockabilly and blues licks ( and the tone that goes with them) into something really unique!
Same with " Its All I Can Do" - kind of mimicks the Chorus vocal, but there is more there...
Great guitar craft!
You’re spot on. None of his stuff feels gratuitous. It’s business like, but fits with in the frame work of the song. He gets in, gets after it and gets out. A great solo is one you can hum . Honestly, you could sit here all day and pick out his solos .
 

Chiogtr4x

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You’re spot on. None of his stuff feels gratuitous. It’s business like, but fits with in the frame work of the song. He gets in, gets after it and gets out. A great solo is one you can hum . Honestly, you could sit here all day and pick out his solos .
Listening to Elliot points out my own deficiencies- by comparison, I'm just a blues/country hack, stringing cliches together
 

Chiogtr4x

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Oh my God , I’m horrendous. But as you say , listening to him and others, is what keeps us hacking
I know E.E. has always cited Gerorge and The Beatles as huge influences, and be it vocal or guitar, they were never short on melodic ideas.

Nothing sounded like The Cars, to me, when that first record came out ( but I wasn't listening to much New Wave, either, in say 1978)
 

telel6s

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“On ‘Touch and Go’ and a B-side called ‘Don’t Go to Pieces’ there’s a lot of Rickenbacker 12-string. Also, during the Panorama period, I started working with Fender. They had just come out with the new Lead I and Lead II series, and they made me a couple of those and put me in their catalog. The Lead I is what I used for the solo in ‘Touch and Go.’ If I remember correctly, I played that through a Mesa-Boogie head through a Marshall cab. It was just one of the go-to amps during that time. We had Fenders, too – Twins, Deluxe Reverbs, stuff like that.”

One of Easton’s main guitars from that era was a ’61 Strat.


“I used it quite a bit; it’s on the solo for ‘Dangerous Type’ and ‘It’s All I Can Do’ (from Candy-O). I think I used it on ‘Panorama.’ I can’t always remember what I played on the deep cuts, but I do remember those.”
 

Rich_S

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I contacted Mr. Easton through this forum years ago asking where he got the distortion on the song “Candy-O”. He actually answered me and said that all the tones on that album were cranked amps, no pedals. Unfortunately, he didn’t say WHAT amps. Live, they used Ampeg in those days, but he was also known to play Gibson Lab Series.

I believe he started using a Rat later on, around the time “You Might Think” came out.
 

D_Malone

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I contacted Mr. Easton through this forum years ago asking where he got the distortion on the song “Candy-O”. He actually answered me and said that all the tones on that album were cranked amps, no pedals. Unfortunately, he didn’t say WHAT amps. Live, they used Ampeg in those days, but he was also known to play Gibson Lab Series.

I believe he started using a Rat later on, around the time “You Might Think” came out.

That's interesting, but I find it hard to believe that the lead in "It's All I can Do" was just a cranked amp.

Sure sounds like a fuzz pedal to me. Maybe a Rat.
 

Lies&Distortion

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That's interesting, but I find it hard to believe that the lead in "It's All I can Do" was just a cranked amp.

Sure sounds like a fuzz pedal to me. Maybe a Rat.
That's what I thought. Muff.
But, I have played through an old Gibson amp that sounded like that. Years ago. Don't even remember what model.
 




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