Listen to a 1980s teenager's Commodore 64 covers of Huey Lewis songs

The bass player in my high school band had a thing for MIDI. By the time he was in 10th grade, he had sequenced over a hundred arrangements of Pachabel’s Canon in D on his Apple ||gs. When played through his Kurzweill synth, ZOMGs.

Huey Lewis and The News, backed by the Tower of Power horn section, was the first concert I ever saw, way the hell back in ’86. And still one of the best.

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I used that music editor from Compute! magazine a lot. That was great because you could take your resulting music and bundle it with a relocatable player binary and then basically use it for demos and what not.

There were a lot of “monitor” based music editors, too (the one I used was called Rockmonitor 2, which could playback samples and had a bunch of drum sounds). I think Rob Hubbard and Ben Daglish used similar programs. They were more like sequencers, and you’d spend your time poking in note and octave info directly into memory. They had nice arpeggiators, too, so you could get that classic 8 bit sound.

Also much better filter control and envelope contouring than MCS.

I just googled and people are still making music editing software for the C64. Mind blown.

I had that same software for my Atari in… 1982? 1983? Happy memories

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I really enjoyed playing around with my friend’s C64. I had a couple of off-the-shelf MS DOS music composition packages, one for an 8086 and a more developed one for a 386 clone. The earlier one just would not play a full composition in more than one voice, though you could program up to 4. The other was a more developed program that would allow up to 16, along with MIDI, which was way more than I could handle at the time.

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He missed a note in the last phrase of the horn section ‘solo’ at the end.

Might as well be an entirely different song.

My Atari 400 was playing Stairway to Heaven in glorious 4 part harmony years before this slacker.

But I’m pretty sure it was also MCS. Note… by … note.

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