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mfrontz

The 1987 Thread

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1987 DCI...

The mic placements mean you hear a lot of brass stick-outs from even the best hornlines, but the recordings also capture as nearly as possible that raw power that only G bugles could produce.  For the drum people – the sound was different back then. Help this brass guy out and tell me why. And the visuals were classic 1980s – lots of big curvilinear forms and open space. Guard - lots of characterization, costumes, and creative equipment.

1.       Garfield Cadets

2.       Santa Clara Vanguard

The top two corps were truly in a class by themselves. Garfield handed Santa Clara its first defeat at Semis and then topped them by the slimmest of margins at Finals, powered by a controversial 20 in drums. Was there a plot to Vanguard’s show? Some sort of Rasputin-like Russian high priest? There are such wonderful moments in that show but Garfield is so mesmerizing... 

3.       Cavaliers 

4.       Blue Devils

Cavaliers leaped two corps at finals for 3rd place with a show of contemporary wind band music, repeating ‘Variations on a Korean Folk Song’ and an incredibly well-marched program. Blue Devils kept giving us the best jazz. Just not the same magic as 86, despite having the same ending. And yet, it’s a show I’ll listen to time after time.

5. Phantom Regiment

6. Madison Scouts

After being a very solid third at semis, it had to be shocking for Phantom to fall to fifth at finals. But this should not take away from a show of musical and visual elegance that only Phantom could provide. Meanwhile, Madison gave us Captain of Castille, a really good and fun arrangement of American in Paris, and a really weird arrangement of Stars and Stripes.

7. Star of Indiana

7. Velvet Knights

Star of Indiana, in its most Velvet Knights year, tied the Velvet Knights. The circus show was full of whimsy, cuteness, and gimmicks, as well as solid playing and marching. VK took us on the first Magical Mystery Tour, playing Brazil first as a ballad and then as a jazzy concert piece, a decidedly un-PC presentation of ‘African Drum Solo,’ and then the Beach Boys, featuring a bikini babe as only VK could. I give my own personal edge to VK as they out VK'ed the VK of Bloomington.

9. Suncoast Sound

10. Spirit of Atlanta (full show audio) (video excerpt)

If you like a more laid-back show, Suncoast had it for you this year with 'My Fair Lady, Our Way.' The show never really seems to get above f, but it’s well marched and well-played and there is some really nice solo work. Really elegant color guard costumes, too. Spirit of Atlanta stayed south with an amazing pair of soprano soloists and a guard which won high auxiliary.

11. Bluecoats (video excerpt)

12. Sky Ryders

Bluecoats wowed us with Autumn Leaves and about a bazillion snares in their feature. Come to think of it, lots of corps had huge drumlines this year and more than one had a solo with lots of snares. And Sky Ryders. Wow! That corps placed twelfth? Great West Side Story show. 

I really enjoyed watching all the shows. That explains the delay in posting this year - I decided to watch as much as possible before posting. Glad I did. Hope you can fill me in on your memories of 1987.

 

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1 hour ago, mfrontz said:

1987 DCI...

The mic placements mean you hear a lot of brass stick-outs from even the best hornlines, but the recordings also capture as nearly as possible that raw power that only G bugles could produce.  For the drum people – the sound was different back then. Help this brass guy out and tell me why. And the visuals were classic 1980s – lots of big curvilinear forms and open space. Guard - lots of characterization, costumes, and creative equipment.

1.       Garfield Cadets

2.       Santa Clara Vanguard

The top two corps were truly in a class by themselves. Garfield handed Santa Clara its first defeat at Semis and then topped them by the slimmest of margins at Finals, powered by a controversial 20 in drums. Was there a plot to Vanguard’s show? Some sort of Rasputin-like Russian high priest? There are such wonderful moments in that show but Garfield is so mesmerizing... 

3.       Cavaliers 

4.       Blue Devils

Cavaliers leaped two corps at finals for 3rd place with a show of contemporary wind band music, repeating ‘Variations on a Korean Folk Song’ and an incredibly well-marched program. Blue Devils kept giving us the best jazz. Just not the same magic as 86, despite having the same ending. And yet, it’s a show I’ll listen to time after time.

5. Phantom Regiment

6. Madison Scouts

After being a very solid third at semis, it had to be shocking for Phantom to fall to fifth at finals. But this should not take away from a show of musical and visual elegance that only Phantom could provide. Meanwhile, Madison gave us Captain of Castille, a really good and fun arrangement of American in Paris, and a really weird arrangement of Stars and Stripes.

7. Star of Indiana

7. Velvet Knights

Star of Indiana, in its most Velvet Knights year, tied the Velvet Knights. The circus show was full of whimsy, cuteness, and gimmicks, as well as solid playing and marching. VK took us on the first Magical Mystery Tour, playing Brazil first as a ballad and then as a jazzy concert piece, a decidedly un-PC presentation of ‘African Drum Solo,’ and then the Beach Boys, featuring a bikini babe as only VK could. I give my own personal edge to VK as they out VK'ed the VK of Bloomington.

9. Suncoast Sound

10. Spirit of Atlanta (full show audio) (video excerpt)

If you like a more laid-back show, Suncoast had it for you this year with 'My Fair Lady, Our Way.' The show never really seems to get above f, but it’s well marched and well-played and there is some really nice solo work. Really elegant color guard costumes, too. Spirit of Atlanta stayed south with an amazing pair of soprano soloists and a guard which won high auxiliary.

11. Bluecoats (video excerpt)

12. Sky Ryders

Bluecoats wowed us with Autumn Leaves and about a bazillion snares in their feature. Come to think of it, lots of corps had huge drumlines this year and more than one had a solo with lots of snares. And Sky Ryders. Wow! That corps placed twelfth? Great West Side Story show. 

I really enjoyed watching all the shows. That explains the delay in posting this year - I decided to watch as much as possible before posting. Glad I did. Hope you can fill me in on your memories of 1987.

 

Difference in drum sound: probably mylar heads instead of Kevlar.

To test if this is the case: watch Cavies 2010--the snares in that show switched to mylar for the second movement, and you can hear the difference from the rest of the show.

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1 hour ago, ftwdrummer said:

Difference in drum sound: probably mylar heads instead of Kevlar.

To test if this is the case: watch Cavies 2010--the snares in that show switched to mylar for the second movement, and you can hear the difference from the rest of the show.

Only SCV had kevlars in 87, tho.

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10 hours ago, mfrontz said:

After being a very solid third at semis, it had to be shocking for Phantom to fall to fifth at finals. But this should not take away from a show of musical and visual elegance that only Phantom could provide.

One of the greatest year-to-year comebacks in the activity.  Almost a 10 point jump from the year before. 

A complete identity renewal which had the audience in the palms of their hands all season.  It must have been so amazing to be part of that.

We've witnessed many incredible things in the history of this activity - this is one of them. 

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I'd be interested to hear more about the mylar vs kevlar issues and why corps switched and what people preferred in terms of sound. I would also guess that one of the differences with drum lines during that period is the type of writing and playing style. Much less high sticking and showy techniques. The writing style was less punctuated and more melodic in terms of rhythm matching melodic line instead of just accenting specific moments. This, to me, was especially true with snare writing. Of course, balance is so difference even within the percussion section because the pit is much smaller and not nearly as dominant in the overall sound of the corps. 

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10 hours ago, mfrontz said:

1987 DCI...

The mic placements mean you hear a lot of brass stick-outs from even the best hornlines, but the recordings also capture as nearly as possible that raw power that only G bugles could produce.

I loved the sound of the G Bugles. They were really made for outdoor pageantry. For corps with little money I know it was a pain to take care of the instruments, and getting them fixed was a huge issue. Seeing Kanstul go down as a company was depressing. I wonder who will make the Marine Drum & Bugle Corps' brass instruments now? Same with the Army Herald Trumpets.

I was always so impressed with how Garfield could play back in the 80s when you knew their brass instruments were crap. In those days they were playing on a smattering every brand, make, model, and many of their instruments were damaged hand-me-downs from other corps. I think there is a video of Michael Klesch, their brass instructor and arranger in those days, talking about the quality of the instruments.

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55 minutes ago, Continental said:

One of the greatest year-to-year comebacks in the activity.  Almost a 10 point jump from the year before. 

A complete identity renewal which had the audience in the palms of their hands all season.  It must have been so amazing to be part of that.

We've witnessed many incredible things in the history of this activity - this is one of them. 

One of my all-time favorite shows.  I saw them at DCI South in Bham--they started filing out while the previous corps was finishing up; one look at the all-white unis and the entire crowd went "OOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHhhhhhhhh".

A magical, hypnotic show; They lost DCI South by .1; a .1 penalty dropped them behind BD.  Don't know if they peaked too soon or just had a really bad night, but that show had the chops to be a contender.

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3 hours ago, jwillis35 said:

I'd be interested to hear more about the mylar vs kevlar issues and why corps switched and what people preferred in terms of sound. I would also guess that one of the differences with drum lines during that period is the type of writing and playing style. Much less high sticking and showy techniques. The writing style was less punctuated and more melodic in terms of rhythm matching melodic line instead of just accenting specific moments. This, to me, was especially true with snare writing. Of course, balance is so difference even within the percussion section because the pit is much smaller and not nearly as dominant in the overall sound of the corps. 

durability. maylar heads only had so much crank before they blew, and extended exposure to sun could also affect the head. trying to get consistent tuning drum to drum could also be a pain in the ### to say the least.

 

kevlar has it's flaws, which anymore are mostly related to the person tuning them, but the days of carrying boxes of spare heads to warmups are thankfully long gone.

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1987....one of the greatest years in DCI history.i can and still do watch and listen to this year often.

my first exposure for the summer was in Camden DE, Suncoast  on top of Florida wave and Crossmen way back...man did they grow. next day West Chester,......and Spirit beat the Cadets! Dutch Boy jumped between Suncoast and Wave. a few weeks later in Baltimore, cadets like 20 points over Boston and Crossmen, same thing the next day in Hanover...40 minute drive between shows!!

 

then Allentown. SCV!!!! Cadets!!! Madison and Suncoast in there, then the ultimate emotional 180....VK and Sky Ryders! Crossmen creeping up and hey Boston in the 70's! fun BK and Marauders shows too! way down there the Freelancers coming back after a year off. Notable the spread between Cadets and SCV at finals was 1.4!!

 

West Chester later that week and oh my Cadets only down .3 to SCV! Crossmen broke 80. From there, dad had to see his corps Phantom so we drove to the bottom of WV to see Cadets top BD and Phantom and Spirit broke 90!

 

a few days at home then off to Madison for semis and finals...one for the ages!

Cadets topping SCV on Friday, Phantom 3rd...Star sitting 6th.....1.3 between 6th and 10th. Bloo making it in, Sky Ryders in the big house...13-17 with Wave, Boston, Dutch Boy Crossmen and Troopers a fun race too...Freelancers 19th, but you felt good they were back.

 

finals...Cadets win, SCV right there...both so ###### good. i'm ok with either winning. Cavies and Phantom swapping, Madison passing Star and the VK/Star tie after VK ties Suncoast the day before...Spirit in 10th after beating Cadets in June

 

 

no dogs in any of those shows, or even down into say 20th place. many all times classics...Phantom in the all white, Cavies and the dragon/snake. VK 1st mystery tour...and of course SCV and Cadets. Sky Ryders version of WSS still vastly underrated because of the visuals it offered were ahead of it's time.

 

one of the top 5 years in DCI history hands down

 

 

Edited by Jeff Ream
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4 hours ago, Continental said:

One of the greatest year-to-year comebacks in the activity.  Almost a 10 point jump from the year before. 

A complete identity renewal which had the audience in the palms of their hands all season.  It must have been so amazing to be part of that.

We've witnessed many incredible things in the history of this activity - this is one of them. 

That's the problem with me going backwards into history I don't really know all that well. I'll have to rely upon you all for that kind of knowledge.

 

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