awbvious | Heartache Tonight

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Heartache Tonight

by awbvious

Cover of The Eagles, all vocals and instrumentation by awbvious, a Californian who has had his spirit here since 1979.
Genre: Rock: Classic Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Heartache Tonight
4:25 $0.99
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Album Notes
I have a lot of bittersweet memories of singing to this in the car, particularly in the past. I’d enjoy singing it, but it always seemed to be a premonition. Like I’d hope things were somehow going to change in a great way, but it would just be a heartache. It was like a subtle message to remember that you’re feeling good but it’ll end in heartache. But, hey, sing it out when you got it.

I would have liked to have seen Glenn sing this at the Classic West…

But getting to see Bob Seger come out was pretty cool.

I heard recently he just decided to stop touring. It would have been nice to see him live, doing his stuff, I know quite a few Bob Seger songs. Come to think of it, “Main Street” is kind of like “New Kid in Town” in that I didn’t know that one until about a decade ago as well. But a good dozen Bob Seger songs I’ve known all my life. I did not know until mostly recently that he co-wrote “Heartache Tonight” or did some (not-credited) backing vocals. But as soon as I learned that, I understood the heart of the song. Literally. The chorus does not sound like any other Eagles song, and that punch in “heart” of “there’s goin’ to be heartache tonight” has gotta be his influence.

In my version, I definitely channeled more Seger than in the original. Wasn’t intentional, I just figured I’d throw it in, and a lot of Seger is hard not to shout and do correctly. Kind of like Levi Stubbs. Try singing “Benadette” quietly. I could have dropped the amplitude of that take compared to the others, but whatever, I like the result.

I also heard this song recently after I finished my version and realized there was a hand clap in it. I thought, ugg, I can clap my hands. I should have done that. But oh well.

So first I think I was listening to the January 31st track and the original as I did one take of guitar and vocals, but at a lower pitch. Then I listen to those three and did guitar/vocals at a higher pitch. Then I just did two guitar-only takes. Then another guitar take where I tapped on it at the end to simulate that extended drum bit that always reminded of one from "Hot Rocks," "Brown Sugar" I think. But I realized I was missing a bit of the beginning so I figured out how to do a delay record (which proved useful for fixing some others later), so I wouldn’t have to strum immediately after clicking record. So I did two more recording of just guitar, tapping again at the end to simulate the drum. I ended up using all but the first one. In some of these tracks I’d also tap on the guitar for the break, and I might have been tapping my foot as I played (probably because I heard that’s what John Lee Hooker used to do).

That’s when I probably decided I wasn’t going to use the take from January 31st. I particularly thought the chorus was low energy, I think, and overall it just didn’t sound like the original as I knew it. I think I decided not to listen to either it or the Eagles track, and just listen to my lower vocal, higher vocal, and the six guitar tracks. That’s when Bob Seger crept in, into the chorus and “we can beat around the bushes” etc. Then I think I decided not to use the lower or higher guitar/vocal tracks either which were also recorded listening to the Eagles track, and listened only to the newest vocal and the last 4 guitar only tracks. Then I did a new higher and lower track, vocal-only, and with the Seger toned down. In the end I used those three newest vocal tracks and the 4 guitar only tracks. But it needed something more. And that was the slide guitar (according to Wikipedia that was Walsh). I happened to have one of the acrylic tubes you put over your finger in my guitar case, so I tried it out. It took about four takes, and the last one was close enough so I used it. Of course, I did it all by ear, probably using only the bottom string per my inability to switch strings, so I definitely wouldn’t say “Elmore James got nothin’ on this, baby” by any means.

I should probably mention that I’m trying to remember what I did by looking at the tracks I recorded, which I usually kept in the order recorded. I may be wrong in what I was listening to or what I was thinking during any take.

Anyway, I remember when I was all over it was really, really loud. But so is the version on “The Very Best of The Eagles.” I had to drop the volume on this one more than any other.

Oh one last thing, if it seems like I forgot the final “break my heart,” well I had it in the January 31st take, but when I decided not to use the January 31st take and decided not to listen to the Eagles take as well while recording, then I had no indication of exactly where it goes. Namely, singing along to the original, there are definitely auditory cues that are unique to know where it goes, but my guitar takes didn’t have those. So, not being sure, I skipped it.



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