Artist Videos

Midge Ure - No Regrets

This is an odd one. Midge Ure's No Regrets live at Prince's Trust charirty concert in 1982. Phil Collins on drums, Pete Townsend on guitar. 

The SS30 is prominent in the mix although you only see a couple of snatches of (presumably) Dave Formula playing it.

Simple Minds - Life In a Day

Mick MacNeil on keys in this Old Grey Whistle Test performance of the title track off their first album. 

Ultravox - Reap The Wild Wind

Billy has one too, but Midge is playing the lead on his..

Magazine - Definitive Gaze

This also from The Old Grey Whistle Test. Howard Devoto helping out on SS30. It's not very audible in the mix, but you get close-up at the end.

And then in 2009.

SS30 still in Dave Formula's rig, and you can hear it in this one.

Magazine - Shot by Both Sides

In this clip from Later With Jools Holland (and the others, including an interview) Dave Formula again with the SS30.

Pretty sure it wasn't used on the original which was recorded before Dave joined the band.

ABBA - Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)

Although not to the fore in this ABBA classic the SS30 underpins Benny's twiddly ARP Odyssey hook. You can see it in this studio session nestled between the Odyssey and a (Rhodes) electric piano.

Unfortunately you cannot see him playing both. In fact this is the only shot of the SS30 and it's repeated three times. I'm pretty sure more footage exists of ABBA with the SS30 as I saw a glimpse of it in another studio clip as part of a documentary.

Unfortunatly, the Gimme video is a tad misleading. I asked ABBA expert and author of ABBA the  complete Recordsngs Carl Magnus Palm what he thought and this was his reply 

"as far as I, and others interested in Benny's keyboard work, have been able to ascertain, the Yamaha SS-30 was never used on any studio recordings. It seems there were keyboards around in the Polar Music Studio that Benny himself didn't necessarily play."


As the promo video was recorded there at Polar Music Studio (most likely on 5th September 1979 by Lasse 'Chocolat' Hallström) that makes sense. Benny had the mighty Yamaha GX-1 by this stage but the recording sheet for Gimme! mentions only his beloved Minimoog and 'Prophet', which must have been an SCI Prophet 5. 
Oh well, at least Benny flirted with an SS-30.

Visage - Mind Of A Toy

With Dave Formula and the Ultravox chaps ending up in Visage a certain amount off SS30 was probably inevitable. Their eponymous first album has plenty of SS30 but unfortunately there aren't  any clips of them playing one owing to the fact that it was a studio based project rather than a live band. They spurned live videos too in favour of stylish and theatrical affairs. 
One of the most prominent uses of SS30 is in Mind Of A Toy. This video was played on Top Of The Pops but there are those who say it drew complaints and would give children nightmares. 

Visage - In The Year 2525

In the very early days of Visage this cover was recorded and features plenty of SS30. And is it possible that the vocoder uses SS30 as the carrier sound? 

Bon Echo - Tonight, Your Place

This is a recent piece I found by googling SS30.

Via reddit http://www.reddit.com/r/synthesizers/comments/2st1k8/some_80s_pornoromance_styled_music_that_i_made/

And this one by the same guy:


Electronically '79  - Mind of the Boss of Nova

 Here's another Canadian using the SS30 in the present day.


Magnum - Chase The Dragon

The SS30 gets a credit on this 1982 album by Brummie prog rocksters Magnum. The Yamaha SS30 string synthesizer is listed as one of the keyboards played by Mark Stanway. Stanway was later keyboardist in the ill-fated Grand Slam (or Phil Lynott's Grand Slam)  from 1984 till their demise in 1985. This has a tangential link back to Midge Ure who working with Lynott around 1979-80 .

The SS30 probably gets the last word in here on closer The Lights Burned Out. But as there's a Roland RS202 on the gear list so it's hard to be certain what was making what noise.

A little bit of me wants my SS30 to have come from this band so I could place it in some sort of historical context. Why would it though?  Well, I got it in Kidderminster and that's not far from Birmingham at all. Bob, I mean, Robert Plant lives locally and Mark Stanway has played with him too. And mine was very heavily gigged and patched up so it's not impossible or improbable. I can't remember a single thing about the guy selling it though.
 Hmm. Anyway.

Alemada - Aries de la Alemada

Now here's a band I really dredged up from doing a search for the SS30 on Discogs. It seems that Spanish musos Alemada are a sort of Flamenco-progresive-rock band. Rather than basing their sound around blues or more familar rock'n'roll tropes they started with flamenco and then doubled up on keyboards.

Wonderfully there's a live clip from (I assume) some Spanish TV show and the mighty SS30 adding some much needed late seventies vibes to this, err, 1984(!?) composition.

Images In Vogue - Lust For Love

I thought I'd posted this already, but it seems not.

Images in Vogue are another band I'd never heard of before researching the SS30 but this is one I really like. Hailing from Canada they never made it over to the UK unfortunately.

According to this link it was used by Joe Vizvary
"Joe played a Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 and Yamaha SS-30 String Ensemble. After Glen left the band, Joe replaced the SS-30 with a Roland Alpha-Juno 2 midied to a Roland MC-500 sequencer which also ran a Roland TR-707 drum machine."

Replaced by an Alpha Juno 2? Pfft. Well, I have the rack mount Alpha Juno, the MKS-50, and yeah, it's not the same. But seriously, it's a fine synth in many ways and would have been a more up-to-date sound and far more versatile so, y'know... Fine.

This is the promo video and the SS30 is quite prominent in this arrangement.

But this live performance is mixed so the SS30 is almost drowning out the vocals. From 0:51 it's unmistakeable. 

 This is Masks from the same session and it's better quality do you can see the SS30 a bit more clearly.

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