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Musical Spelunking #1: The Vox Continental

This is a blog post by Nicolas Marquis, the composer working on We Happy Few. Nic also composed the score for Contrast, and we’re delighted to be able to share some of his behind the scenes work.

Hey all,

I have the pleasure of composing music for the crazy new title from Compulsion, We Happy Few. In the next months, I will share from time to time with you guys some of my findings about the music of the 60's, an era seething with excitement and experimentation, announcing the 70's and… even influencing the music of today!

As a first post, I chose to talk about the Vox Continental, a combo organ you've often heard of in 60's rock bands. Organs were already common since the 30's but this one became very popular because of its sound, its striking look and because it was compact enough to move and use it on tour. Different pitches and tones could be selected via switches. It's one of the emblematic instrument of the British Invasion, a wave that started as you know with The Beatles and quickly spread around the world. But as you'll see, it was also used by American bands like The Doors.

You can hear it in 1964 on "House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals, one of the first to use it

A well known use is in "Light My Fire" by the Doors

Another well known use is in  "I'm a Believer" by The Monkeys

And you can listen to the solo of that track by The Zombies, "Woman"

 

The Vox Continental will also reappear in the 70's and even in the 80's New Wave. The price is said to be around 1000$, that said if you're lucky to find one in good shape!

Next, stay tuned for an introduction to the Moog Modular!


Nic

 

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