This isn't intended to be a b******* or grumbling session, but a realistic discussion of the functions of the arrangers in todays music market.
I was fortunate to begin my career in the 60s where live musicians were the norm ,and arrangers were therefore necessary in most projects.
In the early 70s, withe arrival of the Moog, the Arp 2600, and the Mellotron ( Chamberlain ) the rise of electronics began and developed in sophistication logarhythmaclly .The immediate impact of this was the precipitous drop in employment for live players -and also the "need " for arrangers. In fact, the cheesy sounds emanating from these early instruments actually became part of the musical styles of the era.
This all culminated in the quite sophisticated "home project " studios which enabled musicians
to created professional level master recordings.
Here's where the rub comes in :
Many Great song writers while being quite facile at composing music and /or lyrics , were not experienced in knowing how to construct the proper arrangement for their material .This was not a necessary part of their skill set , and often resulted in clotted, overlayered masses of sound with no sense of the arrangement building to a climax ,the use of thick and thin background textures and other basics of effective vocal arranging.
( In all fairness, there were guys like Johnny Mandel, Hank Mancini, and Michel LeGrand who could perform all these functions masterfully, but they were the exceptions )
My feeling is that even in these days of the project studio, a good songwriter should hire an arranger to present his song in thhe best light.
( electronically or live -we arrangers also know how to use the tools available to us all these days
and to better effect from a presentation standpoint )
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