In recent month’s we’ve been fortunate to be able to invite students from London’s Royal Academy of Music to our own school to assist our Sound Engineering students in recording live instrumentation for their projects. If you’ve already caught our recent deconstruction of Massive Attack’s ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ you will have seen some of them laying down strings for a previous class’ cover of that same track. They were back at Orsman Road just weeks ago, and we caught them on film again (as did DJ Ravine) while recording the strings for a cover of Sister Sledge’s disco classic ‘Thinking Of You’, first released in 1979. Sound engineering students have the opportunity to record covers like this one every semester and learn the intricacies of recording inside-out. Find out more here about our full range of London courses, and check out our video of the recent recording below.
Hailing from Philadelphia, Sister Sledge are sisters Kathy, Kim, Debbie and Joni Sledge, and rose to prominence at the height of the disco era in the United States, becoming one of the best-loved disco acts of the 70s and producing several classic tracks that continue to send dancefloors into raptures to this day. After an inauspicious beginning to their career, the turning point came when they were introduced to Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic toward the end of the 1970s, who contributed heavily to ‘Thinking Of You’. Their breakout single though, was actually ‘He’s The Greatest Dancer’, which paved the way for the album ‘We Are Family’ to reach platinum status in the USA, and gold in the UK. ‘Thinking Of You’ appeared on the record, but was only available on single as the b-side to another single: ‘Lost In Music’.
Half a decade later, when the group’s popularity had dimmed somewhat thanks in part to the ‘disco sucks’ movement that captured much of America, ‘Thinking Of You’ was released again, this time as the a-side on its own single. The track, being the piece of genius it is, hit the top 20 in the UK and Ireland, and laid the foundations for the band’s second wave of popularity, carrying them through to this day. Listen to a recording of the band performing the original on Pebble Mill TV below.
As our lead course developer Ski Oakenfull explains in the video, it’s great for our students to work with classically trained players from an institution as prestigious as the Royal Academy of Music. Sound engineering students will cover tracks such as this one every term, working on each element of the track and learning valuable mixing and mastering techniques which will feed into their own production too. The perfect way to combine all of this is with our BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering, by the end of which students will have all the tools to work in studios, on their own work or engineering for others, plus the contacts and know-how to navigate a career in music. We offer a range of combinations, not all at degree level, plus courses in songwriting, radio and music industry among others. Give one of our course advisors a call on +44 20 7729 4884 if you have any questions.
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