Amy Winehouse didn’t want any strings on Back To Black – Music News



Amy Winehouse told Mark Ronson she didn’t want “any f****** strings” on ‘Back To Black’.

The late singer topped the charts in the UK with her iconic 2006 album, and Chris Elliott – who was in charge of orchestral arrangement – opened up about his challenge when it came to putting together the accompanying instrumentation for the record.

As quoted by Uncut magazine, he said: “Mark Ronson, Darcus [Beese, from Island Records] and Tom [Elmhirst] hear the mixes and felt there could be another colour in the tracks. They didn’t want it to come from the same sound world as ‘Frank’.

“Tom mentioned strings. Amy wasn’t really a fan of the idea of strings. In fact she said very, very bluntly to [producer] Mark, ‘I don’t want any f****** strings on the record.’ “

In the end, Chris used his own judgement and tried to make the strings work in the context of the album.

He explained: “I had no idea or expectation about Mark. I threw down some quick ideas. Mark breezed in, really charming. We went through each song, twice.

“I had them in Logic and he just literally edited out a few notes. When Mark was leaving, he said, ‘Oh, by the way, before I forget – Amy really hates strings.’

“I said, ‘We’ll keep it low and treme’. So low as in pitch and treme as in tremolando, which is where the strings are almost shaking or shivering. It’s a spooky kind of sound.”

Chris noted taking influence from film scores impacted his own decisions.

He added: “The strings went really high in the middle section of ‘Back To Back’. I’m very much a film-centric composer and love getting all the amtosphere in.

“When I say the strings went higher at that point, they just went to a tension – soft, but they’re there. Say if it was a movie, it would be – ‘What’s going to happen now, who’s going to come in the door?’ “



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