Chipmunks, Alvin and the - One-trick rodents

We mention this 'formation' with some reluctance, because we do not think we should speak too highly of the musical content of the one-man band (all vocal parts were sung by the late Ross Bagdasarian).

Actually Bagdasarian (who, to complicate matters further, operated under the pseudonym David Seville) was a kind of vocal version of guitarist Les Paul. Paul became proficient in many areas (developing guitars with a solid body, the technical perfection of overdubs, working with delay, phase shifts, multi-track recordings, reverb and wah-wah) and he even became world famous for one simple trick in particular: he recorded his guitar solos at normal speed and then played the recordings at double speed, resulting in a a high, tinkling sound.

David Seville in turn knew only one trick that was very much like that of Les Paul: he recorded his songs at half speed and then played them at normal speed, producing high, falsetto-like vocals. The songs he recorded were played in a cartoon series, very creatively given the title Alvin and the Chipmunks, which instantly explains the band name.

About band name Alvin and the Chipmunks - cartoon seriesApart from Alvin two other animated squirrels had a role in the series: Simon and Theodore. Nice detail: the three squirrel names were 'borrowed' from employees of Bagdasarian's record label, Liberty Records. Simon was named after record producer Si Waronker, Theodore after recording engineer Ted Keep and Alvin himself after Al Bennett, second in command at Liberty Records.

Active: 1958-1972; 1979-present, USA
Site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_and_the_Chipmunks

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