Hal Blaine could be the only drummer who’s every project turned out to be a masterpiece, or something close.
Max Weinberg once has something to say about the drummer and stated that Hal Blaine would still be very famous if his only work were “Be My Baby,” where he played his drums so perfectly, they continue to resonate the air till today. Max’s statement not only indicates that Blaine was a gifted musician but also an innovative one.
But that is not all he did. This drummer born Harold Simon Belsky had so much more to offer. His recording with Sinatra, the Beach Boys, Elvis, and the Supremes among many renown musicians puts him at the top as the most sort after the drummer of all times.
He played different styles on different projects, where he always left his mark. If you listen to any of the drummer’s pieces, you will not fail to notice how talent meets creativity and innovation. His playing was admired by many, making him a high-profile drummer.
It is, however, amazing that he was always easy going and very approaches. It was perhaps because of the cool nature that he made such an immense contribution to drumming.
Blaine was the Wrecking Crew leader, an L.A-based group that took the studios by storm in the sixties and seventies.
Aside from his drumming skills, Blaine’s leadership skills and style were highly appreciated, helping his crew to grow from strength to strength. And because of this, Blaine is the most recorded drummer in history. It is said he lost his count of titles at around 35,000 among.
This is such a huge number of records done by a single drummer. Among them, there are 150 top ten hits and 40 number ones. There is no other drummer that has achieved such an immense success. It seems as though Blaine spent most of his time in the studio or on a stage somewhere playing.
The percussionist behind “Wall Sound” by Phil Spector states that Blaine created a foundation of the most recognizable beats in popular music.
But his true legacy was in his chameleon-like adaptability that let him feature in any session. Hence, he was not only good behind the conventional kit but would work with anything at his disposal to create the most outstanding sounds.
This description brings out the nature of a man who understood the industry and knew what he was doing every time he held the sticks.
Blaine created a unique situation to fit not only the style but the exact piece he was working on. For instance, he played the Sparkletts water jugs of the Beach Boys’ “Caroline, No,” and dragged tire chains across the hard floor in “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel.
And when he was asked about his style, Blaine states, “I am not a fleshy drummer, I just wanted to offer great accompaniment.”
There is no better way to describe his personality and style than this. And his work continues to offer inspiration to many others.