Drummer Hal Blaine died last night at the age of 90. While not a household name in his own right, he drummed on some of the greatest and most popular songs of the 60’s and 70’s. Hal Blaine did many of these recordings as a member of The Wrecking Crew, a tight knit group of studio musicians that would be hired out for countless sessions. From the Beach Boys to Dean Martin, let’s look at some of Hal Blaine’s greatest tracks
5: The Byrds- Mr. Tambourine Man
When The Byrds decided to take an acoustic Bob Dylan song and turn it entirely on it’s head, they new they needed a drum sound to make the record pop, so they called Hal Blaine.
4: The Grass Roots- Midnight Confessions
The producers for The Grass Roots were trying to create a sound that was a cross between between west coast pop and Motown soul, so they needed a big beat and there was only one guy to call.
3: Simon and Garfunkel- The Boxer
Hal Blaine worked on many songs for Simon and Garfunkel but The Boxer stands out for the thunderous sound he added to the song.
2: The Ronettes- Be My Baby
During his most prolific period, Hal Blaine was a member of The Wrecking Crew, named because of their association with Phil Spector’s Wall Of Sound. Be My Baby may both demonstrate the Wall Of Sound at it’s peak and the importance that Blaine brought to it.
1: The Beach Boys- Good Vibrations
By the time Brian Wilson was working on Good Vibrations and the infamous Smile sessions, he was taking a long time in the studio to meticulously craft each song. He needed a team of musicians that understood how to work with his creative process and Hal Blaine and the rest of The Wrecking Crew to truly understand his vision. And what a beautiful sonic vision it was, Good Bye Hal may you rest in peace on the 2 and 4.