Friday, October 2, 2009

Tasting Much Sweeter Than Wine

The next song on the debut LP is a cover that features Paul on vocals. On the first two LPs in the Beatles career, I've noticed that they placed a "standard" in the musical sense somewhere on the LP in order to broaden their appeal. I think this was a very, very smart and wise business choice in order to have the Beatles appeal not only to their current fans and their current generation, but also to appeal to the older generation and to show the listening audience that here was a band that not only knew how to rock, but also how to mellow out and actually be able to cover older songs that might be of interest to other parties. Now..having said that...I have no idea. Maybe they just liked the song..hahaha.

Paul McCartney has sometimes been criticized for covering such "musak", but the music hall influence was prelevent through his whole career and I think it was a very positive influence because it showed a versitility in the band and gave the band better options as far a musical styles are concerned. The vaudeville/ show band influence continued througout their career and even into the Wings/ solo McCartney LPs and sound fine. It enriched the composer's vast array of ideas and it helped develop his writing style.

"A Taste of Honey" was originally written by Rich Marlow and Bobby Scott and was featured in a movie of the same name. The Beatles' version was recorded in the afternoon and completed in five takes. Paul's vocal was double-tracked and it is the only song on the LP where this was done with the vocal. Every effective back-up vocals and the switch from three-four into four-four (on the middle eight) makes this a very interesting track. It sounds absolutely fantastic on the mono remasters as you practically "feel" the brushes in the percussion as played by Ringo.

Besides appearing on the debut UK Parlophone "Please Please Me" LP/CD, the track also appeared on the Canadian Capitol 6000 series "Twist and Shout" LP, the US Vee Jay "Introducing the Beatles" LP, the US Capitol "The Early Beatles" LP/CD and a live version appeared on the Lingasong "The Beatles Live at the Star Club" LP.

the Beatles performed "A Taste of Hony" live on BBC radio seven times: The first time on "Here We Go", the second time on "Side by Side", the third time on "Pop Go the Beatles" edition 3, the fourth time on "Easy Beat", the fifth time on "Beat Show" and the sixth and seventh time on "Pop Go the Beatles" editions 6 and 13 respectively.

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