Saturday, December 15, 2018

"Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing" For Ringo

Another selection from Ringo's debut solo LP. This particular tune was written by Paul Webster/ Sammy Fain and the backing orchestra had been arranged by our friend Quincy Jones and conducted / recorded in Hollywood at the A&M studios on boxing day 1969. Ringo added vocals to the backing track on January 1970 at Olympic Studios in London but all of this was rejected and not released.
So, they started again. Another remake of the song with a new backing track and a 16 piece orchestra including Apple artist Billy Preston on organ was completed in 8 takes at Abbey Road Studios on February 03 1970. Ringo added his vocals and son was actually mixed into stereo at the same session. The mix would eventually be scrapped.
Finally, Ringo once again re-did his vocals on February 05 1970. Later on February 17 1970, a string section conducted by Francis Shaw was added to the recording.
The last session took place on February 19 1970 for the song: added were backing vocals and more organ, vibes and flutes. Stereo mixing took place the next day and also on March 06 1970. A lot of work for a weak song from the Apple LP/CD "Sentimental Journey".
You can hear it here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOSRf47pUvU


Saturday, December 8, 2018

"Have I Told You Lately That I Love you"/ "Let The Rest of the World Go By" sessions.

Two of the upcoming songs for the Ringo Starr debut solo LP "Sentimental Journey" were completed on February 18 1970 with some final vocals from Ringo in Studio 2 of Abbey Road.
The first one, "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" composed by Scott Wiseman had the basic orchestral track done in the USA at A&M studios in Hollywood, California earlier on February 03 1970. The song was arranged by Elmer Bernstein and unfortunately is one of the weaker arrangements in the sense that it sounds very, very outdated and corny. Ringo did a good job of his vocals which were done on February the 18th 1970.
The second tune is "Let The Rest Of the World Go By". Les Reed did the arrangement with orchestra and voices and this was completed six days previous to the vocals on February 12 1970. Once again, Ringo added his final vocals to the song six days later in Studio 2 of Abbey Road on February 18 1970. This song was used as the last track on the LP.
Both songs were commercially released on the Apple LP/CD "Sentimental Journey".

Saturday, December 1, 2018

"I'm A Fool To Care" Sessions

Another track for the first Ringo solo LP "Sentimental Journey".  This particular track was arranged by Beatles' Hamburg friend and bass player Klaus Voorman. The song was written by Ted Daffan and was originally a hit for Les Paul and Mary Ford.
The backing track was recorded in Studio 2 of Abbey Road with the instrumental rhythm of drums, bass, horn and piano (supposedly played by Beatles' musical colleague Billy Preston) on February 11 1970. It took 21 takes and the last three takes were edited together for the commercial release. With the addition of an acoustic guitar and Ringo's vocal overdubbed, the song was mixed in stereo.
Six days later on February 17 1970, it was decided to add a 15 piece string section to the recording and therefore there was a tape reduction in order to accommodate this. Lastly, the song was once again mixed to stereo with the new addition on February 20 1970 and this was the final mix.
It was released on the Apple LP/CD "Sentimental Journey" and can be heard here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhFLSBuI9OI


Saturday, November 24, 2018

"Instant Karma" Promo Video

On February 11 1970, The Plastic Ono Band required a promotional video (or "film" as they used to call them in those days) for the single "Instant Karma" since it was rising in the charts and it warranted airplay on visual media (television) for the various top ten shows of the day like "Top Of The Pops" , etc.
It was decided to do a "live" type version of the song. Engineer Geoff Emerick took the song and created a mono mix of the tune as well as removing the vocals in the verses so that it would appear "live" when John sang it. This unique mix was conducted two days before the performance inside Abbey Road Studios.
The actual visual performance was conducted for BBC1 at the Television Center (Studio 8) in London.  John sat behind a piano and sang the song live, Klaus Voorman mined the bass part and Alan White mimed the drums and Yoko appeared near John's piano either knitting blindfolded or holding up placards.
There are two versions of the video: One has John and Yoko (knitting) in black turtlenecks (take 3) and it features Mal Evans on tambourine and a second bass player - a Mr. BP Fallon. The second version has John in a paisley type shirt (take 4) and a jean jacket. Yoko also is wearing a jean jacket and holding placards with various logos printed on them while miming to the song. Mal Evans is not present on this version but has been replaced on tambourine by the above Mr. BP Fallon.
A bootleg of the video soundtrack (take 3) can be heard on the unofficial LP "Doll's House" and (take 4) can be seen on the 1992 "The John Lennon Video Collection".
You can watch take 3 on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLy2SaSQAtA


Saturday, November 17, 2018

"Dream" Sessions

"Dream" was a song composed by Johnny Mercer and was an early contender for the upcoming Ringo Starr solo LP "Sentimental Journey". The backing track featuring bass, drums and a guitar were recorded in Trident Studios London on November 14.
After the basic track was completed, Ringo decided to add some of his vocals to the tune and ended up over-dubbing two or three different voices to give him a "group" effect sounding like more than one guy singing the song. Once completed, the tape was brought over to Abbey Road and a rough mix was done by Geoff Emerick four days later.
George Martin wrote the orchestral score for the song and it was added to the track in EMI Studio 2 months later on February 10 1970. Once this was completed, the song was mixed in stereo only on February 20 1970 probably at EMI as well.
The song was released commercially on all copies of the Apple LP/CD "Sentimental Journey".
You can hear it here as well:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mc-JtwzKP-I


Saturday, November 3, 2018

"Govinda"

At the beginning of February 1970 George Harrison along with the Radha Krishna Temple members entered Trident Studios in London to record two chants for an Apple single. The A-side was a follow up to the previous chant from 1969 "Hare Krishna Mantra/ Prayer to the Spiritual Masters" (Apple 1810).
The session took place on February 07 and consisted of George on acoustic with Klaus Voorman on bass; probably Ringo was on drums although this cannot be verified. The members of the Temple bought their voices, their bells, flute and organ while John Barham contributed an orchestral arrangement for the recording.
The B-side " Govinda Jai Jai" was also recorded during this time with the Temple members chanting and playing some percussion along with a harmonium. Produced by George Harrison although no instrument was played on the B-side by George.
This single (Apple 1921 in North America) was released the following month in March of 1970 and did nothing in the North American charts although it did reach #26 in the UK charts...go figure. Incredibly, there would be a follow up single and LP released the following year. "Govinda" was included on the commercial LP "The Radha Krsna Temple" (Apple SKAO-3376).

Saturday, October 27, 2018

"Who Has Seen The Wind"

The B-side to the "Instant Karma" single on Apple. Credited to the Plastic Ono Band. This song was probably a co-written effort with the music and lyrics shared by John and Yoko although the style of the lyrics is closer to Yoko. The music features John on an acoustic guitar with harpsichord and flute as well as tambourine sounding very medieval.
The composition was recorded at Trident Studios in London and there is little information as to the date or number of takes but it would have been sometime in January 1970.