In 1987, the Sisters of Mercy recorded Floodland at Power Station Studios on the Warner Elektra Atlantic label.
Jim Steinman (very strangely of Barry Manilow, Meatloaf, Barbara Streisand and Celine Dion fame) co-produced the leading singles – “Dominion/Mother Russia” and “This Corrosion.”
The album was engineered by Larry Alexander, whose credits include David Bowie and Devo and whose creativity on the mixing board gave this record such an epic sound, especially compared to TSOMs earlier work.
Let’s focus on This Corrosion for a minute.
When I first began engineering, I listened to this song a lot, paying a great deal of attention to where the instruments sat, how reverbs and delay were used, equalization, compression, fader rides, etc.
Depending on which version of the album you get, it ranges from 8:46 (vinyl single) to 10:59 (Floodland – Deluxe Version). Long by any goth, pop or punk standard.
But, aside from a lonely digital tambourine, the drums do not change. For the entire 10m59s.
The fact that Steinman and Alexander were able to keep the track interesting is engineering genius. The fact that it became a club hit is even more amazing.
Yet, the thing that fascinated me the most was the arrangement of the song. I mean, HOW did Eldritch, Steinman and Alexander manage to keep 10:59 seconds of a single drum loop with a single variation engaging?
They understood dynamics. Not of the drums, but of the whole song.
Dynamics are critical to any good song and to any good mix. So, if you ever feel that your song is bland, droning or lackluster, or if you simply want to give it that next bit of oomph and dynamism, hit us up! At Gopal Metro Studios, we’ve got your back.