Monday, November 30, 2009

This Happened Once Before

The first song on the fourth Parlophone UK LP "Beatles For Sale" is a Lennon/McCartney original composition entitled "No Reply". This tune was mainly written by John and is the first of several thought-provoking songs from the LP that are not usually the happy-go-lucky type but have a reflective overtone. It's the story of someone who has lost their love by finding out she has cheated on him. The Beatles at this point were writing original songs that reflected an ever growing move of expansion emotionally. The songs were starting to mature and the songwriting was heading in various different directions. The Beatles and their fans were growing up.

"No Reply" was recorded on Wednesday September 30 1964 in one session at EMI studio two. Eight takes were recorded and it was the last tune attempted on this day. The piano on this song was played by George Martin. Paul does the higher harmonies. The song was originally intended to be given to another of Brian Epstein's artists : Tommy Quickly. It was too good a song for the Beatles to pass up, however, and this is proven by the excellent musical version the Beatles mustered for the opening of the LP. Take two (mono) is available on the Apple 2-CD/ 3-LP "Anthology 1".

"No Reply" was mixed for mono on Friday October 16 1964 in the control room of Studio One. Two mixes were made, although one was used for the LP and the other mix was put away and not used. Finally, the song was mixed for stereo on November 04 1964 in the control room of Studio two at EMI Abbey Road.

"No Reply" was issued on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "Beatles For Sale" as well as being the lead track on the North American version of the Capitol LP/CD "Beatles '65".

"No Reply" was never played live and was not performed for BBC radio.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Beatles For Sale

Next up, we look at the fourth LP release by the Beatles entitled: "Beatles For Sale". This released was issued in the UK on December 04 1964. It was released in both sonic formats; essentially mono (PMC 1240) and stereo (PCS 3062). I personally don't mind both the mono and stereo formats equally (although to be honest the mono version does have a bit of an "edge" over the stereo). The stereo balance is not too, too bad but once again as on the previous LP the stereo mixes were essentially done all in one day with little thought as compared to the concentrated mono mixes. The thinking of the day still assumed that most record buyers in those days would be listening to the mono version anyway and only high-brow "audiophiles" would be paying any attention to the stereo version. In 1964, they were probably right.

This is also the first Beatles' gatefold LP. In fact, you opened up the gatefold cover and the LP was within the inner sleeve and was pulled out from the inside of the jacket out on the left rather than the traditional right. Very cool. The photography for the LP cover was taken by Robert Freeman. The front cover features a very, very, very tired looking Beatles staring blankly at the camera. No one smiles. It must be rememberd that this LP was the fourth LP to be released by the Beatles in 21 months. The Beatles had started the year 1964 playing in Paris, going to the US and playing New York City, Washington and Miami. Back to New York City and then back to England to begin filming the first movie and then recording the soundtrack at Abbey Road. Then all the while also recording an Extended Play, finishing the movie and going back on tour in Europe and attacking a North American tour while trying to complete the next single and recording another LP for the end of the year. No wonder the Beatles look like zombies !!! The inner cover features liner notes by Derek Taylor with the famous and accurate line: "The kids of AD 2000 will draw from the music much the same sense of well being and warmth as we do today". On either sides of the liner notes are the song titles and a photo of the Beatles performing in Washington DC completes the left side of the inner cover. The right side shows a pre-Sgt. Pepper photo abstract featuring the Beatles posing in front of various movie scene photos.

This fourth LP contained 14 solid tracks which was the norm for Beatles LPs up to "Revolver" (with the sole exception of "A Hard Day's Night" which only featured 13 tracks). Of all the songs on the LP, six of the tunes were cover versions written by someone else, while eight of the songs were original. All eight original songs contained on the LP were written by Lennon/McCartney.

Unfortunately, "Beatles For Sale" is one of the least popular Beatles' LPs and is not discussed much as compared to the others. Maybe the Beatles were uninspired and tired although I must say that I really enjoy the musicianship on the LP (especially George Harrison's guitar playing).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Only Ever Have to Give Me

The B side of the fabulous "I Feel Fine" single was another great Lennon/McCartney composition mainly written by Paul entitled "She's A Woman". One of the great McCartney vocals as he purposely sang in a higher register than usual and gives it that great rock and roll feel. I really like this song and prefer it to the A side. A realy Bluesy number and it's got lots of "balls". The choppy guitar and the subtle piano make it a real interesting arrangement. It just goes to show you how talented this group was when the B sides of their singles were just - if not sometimes more - interesting than their A sides. The song was released 45 years ago ON THIS DAY!! November 27 1964.

"She's A Woman" was recorded on Tuesday October 08 1964 at EMI studio two with seven takes attempted. Outtakes for this song include takes 2, 3, 4 and 5 (a long jam). These are available on the "Ultra Rare Trax" series. Take six was the keeper and overdubs included a percussion instrument called the chocalho and Paul added the piano in addition to his bass and lead vocal.

Once again, "She's A Woman" was mixed twice for mono: one mix for the UK and the other mix (once again drenched in horrible reverb) for the North American market. The first UK mono mix and a stereo mix were all done in the control room of Studio Two on October 12 1964. The second reverb-drenched mono mix for the North American market was done on October 21 1964 at EMI studios room 65 control room.

"She's A Woman" appeared not only on the Parlophone UK single with "I Feel Fine", but also appeared on the North American Capitol LP/CD: "Beatles '65" drenched in horrible reverb. A cleaner version appeared on the EMI/Parlophone UK LP "Rarities" and a very cool extended version with Paul's count-in was contained in the bonus EP included in the EMI/Parlophone vinyl/CD "The Beatles E.P. Collection" blue box.

"She's A Woman" was a very popular live selection and was performed during their 1965 European and American tours as well as the final 1966 Far East/ North American tour. A live peformance of the song can be heard on the EMI/Capitol LP "The Beatles At the Hollywood Bowl".

Finally, "She's A Woman" was performed twice for the BBC Radio but it appears three times: The first time on "Top Gear", the same recording is featured on "Saturday Club" and the next time is on "The Beatles Invite You to Take A Ticket To Ride". A radio performance of the song is available on the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "Live At The BBC".

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of my American readers a wonderful, happy and safe Thanksgiving. Eat and drink and be merry (and listen to lots of Beatles' records).
Also, remember that Paul McCartney is televising his concert performance recorded during last summer's New York City Citi Field show on ABC television at 10 PM (eastern). Mr. Kite.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

You Know She Tells Me All The Time.

A new Beatles single was released at the end of 1964. Since the release of the third Parlophone UK LP back in July, the Beatles had been busy touring, making television and radio appearances as well as visiting Abbey Road (or EMI) Studios on occasion in order to complete the second and final LP of 1964. The new single preceeded the new LP by only a week. It was November 27 1964 and the "hit" side of the single contained a Lennon/McCartney song entitled "I Feel Fine".

This tune was mainly written by John and the first sound heard on the song is a guitar/bass feedback. The catchy riff comes next and then the verse and choruses and middle eight. A classic song and it hit the top of charts worldwide. It was released just in time for Christmas and it sold tons.

"I Feel Fine" was recorded on Sunday October 18 1964 at EMI Studio two. Nine takes of the song were attempted with most of the takes being used up to concentrate on the backing track. The vocals were overdubbed on the final take.

Three days later on October 21 1964, four mono remixes for "I Feel Fine" were made at EMI room 65. The third mono mix was used for the British single while the fourth mono mix was made for the North American market. The next day on October 22 1964 in the control room of studio one, there was a fifth attempt at a mono mix but this was never released. Finally, "I Feel Fine" was mixed for stereo on November 04 1964 in the control room of studio two.

"I Feel Fine" was released as the A side of a single in the UK - Parlophone R 5200 as well as a single in North America on Capitol 5327. The song is also available on the North American Capitol LP/CD "Beatles '65" - the Capitol stereo version is probably the worst mix ever known to man as it is drenched in echo and sounds like shit - as well as the Parlophone UK LP "A Collection of Beatles Oldies". The song can be found on the Apple 2-LP/ 2-CD: "The Beatles 1962-1966" with the UK version having an untrimmed intro featuring some whispering. The song has also appeared on the EMI/Capitol LP: "20 Greatest Hits" both the US and UK version, the Apple/ EMI 2-LP/2-CD "Past Masters Volume One" as well as the remasters mono and stereo version, the Apple 2-LP/CD "1".

The Beatles performed "I Feel Fine" often in concert. It was performed during the Christmas shows, and the European and American tours of 1965. It was performed on television for the Ed Sullivan show in the same year.

"I Feel Fine" was performed once for the BBC although it aired twice using the same recording. The song first appeared on "Top Gear" and was later repeated on "Saturday Club". You can hear the performance on the Apple 2-LP/2-CD: "The Beatles Live At the BBC".

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'll Be Back Again

The final song on the "A Hard Day's Night" LP is another Lennon/McCartney composition written mainly by John entitled "I'll Be Back". This is mainly an acoustic number and a very tender song played with an intro in a major mode and switching to a minor mode for the verses and the middle eight ( in fact, two of them mixed together) varies between the minor and major modes. It's very brilliantly thought out and a great songwriting technique is used whereby the mood is reflected with the various major and minor chords.

"I'll Be Back" was recorded on Monday June 01 1964 in Studio Two. There were 16 takes of the song which shows that the Beatles were trying to find a suitable arrangement for the tune. At first, electric guitars were featured and the song was performed in the three/four time until it was discovered that it was too hard to sing the lyrics and try to fit all of the words in. There is a take available with the electric guitars and the three/four time (in fact, take 2) and then the switch to the better and much smoother four/four time (take 3) on the Apple 3-LP, 2-CD "Anthology 1". Later on the sessions and by take 12, the electric guitars were abandoned and the acoustic guitars came out in order to perform the version we all know and love.

"I'll Be Back" was mixed for both mono and stereo on the same day: June 22 1964 from the control room of Studio one. For some unknown reason, two mono mixes were made on this day with one used for the UK and European market and the other made for the North American market. There was only one stereo mix made. The mono mix used on the UK Parlophone LP/CD "A Hard Day's Night" runs slightly (by a hair) faster than the North American mono mix. The stereo mix runs at the same speed at the North American mono mix.

"I'll Be Back" is available on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "A Hard Day's Night" as well as the North American Capitol Records LP/CD "Beatles '65". The song is also on the EMI/Capitol 2-LP "Love Songs".

Unfortunately, "I'll Be Back" was never performed live in concert not was it ever performed live for BBC radio.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Please Listen To Me If You Wanna Stay Mine

The second last song on the "A Hard Day's Night" Parlophone UK LP is also the B side to the "Can't Buy Me Love" single. The name of the song is "You Can't Do That" which is another Lennon/McCartney composition written mainly by John.

The song was recorded on George Harrison's 21st birthday on Tuesday February 25 1964 and it was the first new song attempted after a bit of work for "Can't Buy Me Love". The song featured the "sound of the 60s" which included George Harrison's new 12 string electric guitar. "You Can't Do That" was completed in nine takes and overdubs include Paul on cowbell and Ringo on Bongos. The lead guitar solo is played by John. Take 06 from this session is available on Apple's 3-LP, 2-CD "Anthology 1".

"You Can't Do That" was mixed for mono the next day at EMI studio two with four different mixes attempted. It's been stated that a version of the mono mix was used for the UK and European market while another version of the mono mix was used for the US version. To be honest, I can't really hear a difference. The song was first mixed for stereo on March 10 1964 and this mix was never used. Oddly, George Martin decided to experiment and added a piano part to the song on May 22 1964 (after the mono single was released) and I don't seem to know why this was done. This piano overdub never appeared anywhere and was probably never released. Finally, "You Can't Do That" was mixed for stereo along with the rest of the LP tunes on June 22 1964 in studio one's control room. This stereo mix was released in the UK but the US used their mono mix and just created fake stereo for their LP.

"You Can't Do That" is available on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "A Hard Day's Night" as well as the North American Capitol LP/CD "The Beatles'Second Album"( in mono on the "T" LP and fake stereo on the "ST" LP). The song is also available on the EMI/Capitol 2-LP set "Rock and Roll Music".

"You Can't Do That" was performed four times for the BBC: twice on "From Us To You", once on "Top Gear" and once on "Saturday Club". The song was also performed live during the 1964 summer tour in the Australia, New Zealand areas.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

This Day In History

A very historic day November 22 has become. It's also a day for a couple of Beatles related anniversaries
First off, most people will remember November 22 1963 as the day in History that literally changed the world. The president of the United States - John F. Kennedy - was assassinated in Dallas while riding in a motorcade. There has been controversy ever since related to the reasons and who and why, but I digress. Some writers and scholars of the Beatles argue that the event in Dallas assisted in the advent of Beatlemania in the US due to the psychological impact and the grieving of a generation that were ready for a diversion. In my opinion, I think the JFK event may have contributed to the musical "British Invasion" but I think there are various factors as to how Beatlemania started in the US which include the music (which was great!) and the image of the Beatles at the time. Capitol Records had put in quite a lot of publicity material and the upcoming television appearance on "The Jack Paar Show" and the "Ed Sullivan show" also helped. One has to remember that Newsweek and Life magazine had already covered the Beatles' ruckus in England by the time November 22 1963 had come and gone. In fact, it has been said that a news story on the Beatles was put on hold due to the political event of the day.
Interestingly, on exactly the same day (November 22 1963) Parlophone released the Beatles' second LP entitled "With The Beatles" in mono (PMC 1206) and stereo (PCS 3045).
Five years later on November 22 1968 Apple released the Beatles first double LP on their own label entitled "The Beatles". The unofficial name being "The White Album". This was also released in mono (PMC 7067-7068) and stereo (PCS 7067-7068).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm Gonna Love Her Till The Cows Come Home

The next tune up from the "A Hard Day's Night" original British LP is another solid Lennon/McCartney composition entitled "When I Get Home". This sort of obscure number is not usually talked about as far as Beatles material is concerned and is probably the least known number from this LP. It's not that the song is good or bad, it just seems to be "buried" in the LP for some reason. Or maybe it's just not very interesting for fans or something. I dunno.

Anyway...this song and "Any Time At All" have basically the exact same history. Both songs were recorded on June 02 1964 in studio two and it took 11 takes to perfect "When I Get Home". The song features additional piano (probably played by Paul) and a Paul/ George vocal added on to the supreme Lennon vocal. There were also additional cymbal crashes added to the intro part.

There were two mono mixes made for the song. The first mono mix features a Lennon phrase in the song where he sings: "till I walk out that door" too early and as the vocal is double tracked, the mono mix used on the north American "Something New" features this early vocal while the UK LP uses the correct vocal. It's all in the faders, folks. Anyway , the first attempt at a mono mix was done on June 04 1964 in studio two. This first attempt was never used. The second and third attempt at the mono mix was done on June 22 1964. The second mono remix contained the delayed vocal used in North America while the third mono remix contained the correct vocal used in the UK. The stereo mix was also completed on this same day in studio one.

"When I Get Home" is available on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "A Hard Day's Night" as well as the North American Capitol LP/CD "Something New".

"When I Get Home" was never performed live nor was it ever performed for BBC radio.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Someday When We're Dreaming

The next track from the Beatles' third Parlophone UK album was also the B side to their single which was released in Britain on the same day as the album. Of course, the single and album were both entitled "A Hard Day's Night" and the track in question was "Things We Said Today".

"Things We Said Today" is a very haunting Lennon/McCartney song written mainly by Paul. The verses tend to be in minor chords and the triplet intro adds to the dark mystique of the tune. The middle eight is changed to major chords and (particularly in concert) gives an almost different and yet joyous feeling to the proceedings. A very advanced title as far as songwriting goes and kudos to McCartney for writing such a mature and intricate song. The song was one of many written for Paul's then-girlfriend Jane Asher. It was written when Paul was on holiday earlier in the year.

"Things We Said Today" was recorded on Tuesday June 02 1964 at EMI studio two. The song took three takes to complete with the first take being a breakdown. The song consisted of two acoustic guitars, one electric guitar, tambourine, bass and drums. The vocals were double tracked. Also, a piano played by George Martin was added although it is not very prominent in the mix as it was not to be used but since it was on the same track as some of the other instruments, there is leakage on the final mix and you can hear a bit of piano on the song.

"Things We Said Today" was mixed for mono on June 09 1964 in the control room of studio one. Finally, the stereo mix for the tune was completed along with most of the other tracks on June 22 1964 in the afternoon.

"Things We Said Today" is available on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "A Hard Day's Night" as well as the North American Capitol LP/CD "Something New". The song was also played in concert during the Beatles fall 1964 North American tour and a version from California can be heard on the EMI/Capitol LP: "The Beatles At the Hollywood Bowl". One last interesting thing; I've noticed that during the early Beatles career, Paul sings the words "Me I'm Just the Lucky Kind" at the beginning of the middle eight of this song both on record and live. When Paul started touring in 1989 to promote the "Flowers In the Dirt" LP/CD, he changed this line to : "Me I'm Just a Lucky Guy"......very strange. You can hear it on the "Tripping The Live Fantastic" EMI 3-LP/2-CD set.

"Things We Said Today" was performed for the BBC radio series twice. Once on "Top Gear" and once on "From Us To You". It is available on Apple's 3-LP/2-CD "Live At The BBC".

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I've Got A Chip On My Shoulder That's Bigger Than My Feet

Next up from the "A Hard Day's Night" LP is another Lennon/McCartney original (mainly by John) and is a sorta angry country influenced song entitled "I'll Cry Instead". This features quite the jangly rythm with the guitar up front and that tambourine and high hat percussion behind it. This was the second song on the second side of the LP or the ninth song on the CD (UK version, of course).

The recording history of this particular tracks was a bit bizarre in that it was recorded in two sections rather than being done as a basic track. This was recorded on June 01 1964 at EMI Studio Two. The first track consisted of the basic track, the second was the vocal by John, the third was the acoustic guitar and the fourth was percussion and John's second vocal. The song was mixed for mono three days later in the same studio on June 04 1964. The mix contained the first two verses, the bridge and the third verse from the first section (from take six) and then the fourth verse, another bridge and the final fifth verse from the second section (from take eight). The edit was made at one minute and nine seconds after the words "I'll Cry". This mono edit was tape copied five days later - June 09 1964 in studio three - and sent to United Artists (who released it on the soundtrack) and Capitol Records (who released it on their mono LP).

A couple of weeks later, "I'll Cry Instead" was mixed for stereo with - once again - the two sections mixed separately. This time, the stereo edit for the song was cut between the two section at one minute and eight seconds after the words "until then" which eliminated a bridge and fourth verse. Realizing that the stereo version was much shorter in length than the mono version, the mono version was (at some point) trimmed to match the length of the stereo version. This is why there are two different mono versions of "I'll Cry Instead" lengthwise.

"I'll Cry Instead" is available on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "A Hard Day's Night" (both mono and stereo have the timing at 1:44), also on the North American United Artists soundtrack "A Hard Day's Night" LP ( both mono and stereo versions contain the mono version at 2:04), also on the North American Capitol LP/CD "Something New" ( the mono version has the longer timing while the stereo version has the shorter timing).

The song was never performed live for BBC radio (nor anywhere else, actually). Lastly, most (if not all) first pressing of the United Artists' version list this song as "I Cry Instead" on the back cover and the record label. Check your copies !!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

All Ya Gotta Do Is Call And I'll Be There

The two original Parlophone black and yellow labels of the vinyl LP "A Hard Day's Night" are officially broken up with side one containing the words "songs from the film {A Hard Day's Night}" and mentioning the songs on that side while side two does not have the blurb and just mentions the songs on that side. This was to distinguish which songs appeared in the film and which did not.

Therefore, the first song to appear on the album but not in the film is a Lennon/McCartney original entitled "Any Time At All". This was written mainly by John and is a true hidden gem on the album. A very powerful rocker and a cool guitar/piano middle eight.

The song was recorded on June 02 1964 at EMI Studio two and was first attempted at the session whereby seven takes were recorded with none of them being used. The middle eight was still not satisfactory and John's first vocal was also attempted. Therefore, the song was left until later in the session while the Beatles moved on to other tunes until coming back to "Any Time At All" later in the session with a perfected middle eight and the guitar/piano solo as well as a second "answering"vocal by Paul.

"Any Time At All" was first mixed for mono on June 04 1964 in Studio Two but the mix was never used. There were two more official mono mixes made on June 22 1964 in Studio One. Remix 2 was used for the UK version of the Parlophone LP and Remix 3 was used for the Capitol Records LP. Both were mono and the differences are basically in the middle eight where the piano is slightly louder on the US mix whereby the guitar is slightly louder in the UK mix. Also on June 22 1964, the stereo mix was made and used on both the UK and US LP.

"Any Time At All" is available on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "A Hard Day's Night" as well as the North American Capitol LP/CD "Something New". The song is also found on the EMI/Capitol 2-LP compilation "Rock and Roll Music".

"Any Time At All" was nerver performed live and does not appear on BBC radio. Too bad. Very good tune.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'll Buy You A Diamond Ring My Friend

The last song on side one of the first movie soundtrack to the first Beatles film (well, at least the UK version) or the seventh song on the CD is a Lennon/McCartney original mainly written by Paul entitled "Can't Buy Me Love". This tune was also released as a single before filming for the movie started and was one of the Beatles' biggest hits. Since the song was also included in the film - the scene where the Beatles break out of the television studio via a fire escape - the song was automatically put on the soundtrack LP/CD.

"Can't Buy Me Love" was the first song recorded with the intent of being a single and eventually appearing in the film back in January 1964. Wednesday January 29 1964 to be exact. It was recorded at the same time as the German vocal songs and it was recorded at EMI Pathe Marconi Studio in Paris, France as the Beatles were appearing in Paris performing live at this time. The song was recorded in four takes. An edit of takes one and two in mono appear on Apple's 3-LP/2-CD compilation "Anthology 1" while the whole of take two in stereo appears on the "Unsurpassed Masters" series. Take four was the keeper for the commercial release. The overdubs include Paul's vocal and George's guitar solo.

"Can't Buy Me Love" was once again taken up with the Beatles back at EMI Studio two in London, England on February 25 1964. This time, George Harrison had acquired a twelve-string Rickenbacker electric guitar and decided to overdub his new instrument on the chorus, the intro and the ending. For the middle guitar solo, Harrison used his six string Gretch but it was played twice in order to give the same effect as the twelve-string. You can actually hear the original guitar solo from the Paris recording being leaked onto the commercial version.

"Can't Buy Me Love" was mixed for mono the next day on February 26 1964. The song was first mixed for stereo on March 10 1964 at EMI Studio two but not used. The previous February mono mix was tape copied for United Artists and Capitol Records on June 09 1964. Finally, "Can't Buy Me Love" was mixed once again for stereo along with the other upcoming LP songs on June 22 1964.

"Can't Buy Me Love" was performed live for the 1964 and 1965 tours as well as the 1964 Christmas shows. A live version can be found on the EMI/Capitol LP "The Beatles Live At the Hollywood Bowl".

The commercial version is available on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "A Hard Day's Night", the United Artists movie sountrack LP "A Hard Day's Night" (mono only), the Parlophone UK LP "A Collection of Beatles Oldies", the Apple compilation LP "Hey Jude/The Beatles Again", the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "The Beatles 1962-1966", the EMI/Capitol compilation LP "Reel Music", the EMI/Capitol compilation LP "20 Greatest Hits" (both the US and UK version), the Apple 2-LP/CD "1".

"Can't Buy Me Love" was performed three times for BBC radio: twice on "From Us To You" and once on "Saturday Club".

By the way, the picture sleeve for the original Capitol single (shown above) is one of the rarest and most collectible of all Beatles picture sleeves as the sleeve was made in very limited amounts back in the early 60s.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tell Me Why You Cried and Why You Lied.

The next tune up on side one of the "A Hard Day's Night" soundtrack is a great harmony induced Lennon/McCartney original entitled "Tell Me Why". Mainly written by John and featuring the Beatles in exquisite harmony and falsetto. A nice shuffle to this one. Some fine drumming from Ringo and bass from Paul. This song is performed near the end of the film when they are playing on stage at the Scala Theater in Centra London.

"Tell Me Why" was recorded on Thursday February 27 1964 at EMI Studio two. There were eight takes of the song; "Tell Me Why" was begun and completed on the same day. The song was mixed for mono on March 03 1964 in studio one. A mono tape copy of the song was sent to Capitol Records and United Artists on June 09 1964. Finally, "Tell Me Why" was mixed for stereo on June 22 1964.

"Tell Me Why" is available on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "A Hard Day's Night" as well as the US and Canada Capitol LP/CD "Something New". It is also available on the United Artists soundtrack LP "A Hard Day's Night" although on some later re-issued copies the song is listed as "Tell Me WHO" !! on both the back cover and the label.

This "deep track" was never performed live nor has a performance of the song appear on BBC radio.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bright Are The Stars That Shine

The fifth song on the "A Hard Day's Night" soundtrack is the third "power ballad" for the Beatles in the sense that the first LP saw the cover tune "A Taste Of Honey" whereby the second LP saw another cover tune entitled "Till There Was You" and finally this LP which featured an original Lennon/McCartney (mainly Paul) tune entitled "And I Love Her".

"And I Love Her" was not only the third in a trilogy of now-called "power ballads" on the records, but all three feature a McCartney vocal. No wonder that McCartney was gaining a reputation for being more of a balladeer than a rocker. This thinking would contiue to years and years during and after the Beatles short career. Even today, Lennon is considered more "edgy" than McCartney and the latter is known for writing and performing "Silly Love Songs". Of course, this is totally false as McCartney could be a tough rocking songwriter while Lennon could write tender ballads with the best of them. Think of this: "Long Tall Sally", "Helter Skelter", "Back in the USSR", etc. - all mainly McCartney. "If I Fell", "This Boy", "Yes It Is", "Julia", "Goodnight", etc. - all mainly Lennon.

"And I Love Her" started life on February 25 1964 in studio two. The recording took place on a Tuesday and was recorded in the afternoon. At this stage, rather than being an acoustic number, the song used electric guitars and drums. There were two attempts at the song, with the second attempt (named take two) being featured on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 1" compilation. The Beatles were not happy with these attempts and they tried again the next day February 26 1964 always in Studio Two. This time 16(!!) takes were attempted and once again the sound was not quite right although it had been decided this day to have Ringo play percussion rather than the drum kit. Finally, the third attempt at the song and the one we all know and love was recorded the next day on February 27 1964 with two takes and the second take being used as the master. This time the Beatles had played strictly acoustic instrument to great success.

"And I Love Her" was first mixed for mono on Tuesday March 03 1964 yet this mix contained Paul's vocal single tracked with the exception of the title words and the middle eight. This particular first mix was sent to United Artist and Capitol Records on June 09 1964 after a tape copy. The song was re-mixed for mono a second time on June 22 1964 and this mix was used for the UK soundtrack. This time Paul's vocal is double tracked througout the song with the exception of the first "Bright are the stars that shine, dark is the sky" lyrics. The song was mixed for stereo on the same day as the second mono mix - essentially June 09 1964. Finally, a third stereo mix appeared on the German version of the "Something New" LP. This curiousity actually extended the end of the last bars from four to six. I have no idea why nor does anyone else seem to know.

"And I Love Her" is available on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "A Hard Day's Night" as well as the North American United Artists LP version of "A Hard Day's Night". It is also contained on the North American Capitol US LP/CD "Something New". The song appears on the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "The Beatles 1962-1966" compilation. It is also on the EMI/Capitol 2-LP compilation "Love Songs" as well as the US Capitol version of the LP "Rarities"(which contains the extra musical bars at the end of the tune). The song is also on the EMI/Capitol LP: "Reel Music" and finally is available as take 2 from the February 25 session on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 1".

The scene in the film where the song is performed is definitely one of the highlights of the movie. The advent of music video was a far away idea, but the lighting and direction of this movie preceeds these advances nicely indeed!

"And I Love Her" was performed once for BBC radio on an episode of "Top Gear".

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Quick Rant about "Beatlology" Magazine.

A little bit of a deviation from the usual today, folks. I have something that I'd like to get off my chest, so to speak.
About 12 years ago or so, there was a magazine that introduced itself as a collector's magazine about the Beatles which would discuss various LPs and memorabilia related to the Fabs. The magazine was entitled "Beatlology" and was produced in Toronto. I immediately signed up and sent my subscription and noticed that the crew from the magazine would attend Beatlefests and Beatles gatherings and things like that to promote the magazine. I received the first issue and was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the articles as well as the format. It was full colour and was very well done for the time. Articles included such Beatles "experts" as Bruce Spizer, Jeff Levy, etc. Yours truly also contributed with an article or two and a book review. Over the years, the magazine gained somewhat of a positive acceptance and was featured in a lot of Beatles books as one of the better publications.
Now...three years or so ago, the issues started to get thinner and thinner. I don't think it's the fact that there were less articles and news to write about, but the publisher (Mr. Andrew Croft) started to let the issue release lapse. What would happen is that the issues started to get later and later past deadline and a lot of subscibers would write in the Beatles newsgroups wanting to know why this once-prestigious magazine had fallen by the way side. Mr. Croft would respond to the newsgroups (Beatles fans, subscribers) that he had other priorities and how it was difficult to keep up with magazine due to his family, commitments, job, etc. Eventually, the complaints got to a point where Mr. Croft simply left the newsgroups due to the fact that a lot of people were getting annoyed at the excuses and wondered why their annual subscriptions were not being honoured.
The magazine started to suffer. There were less pages, the Beatles news was old - in fact sometimes months old due to the fact that the issues were not delivered on time. Subscribers started to get two thin issues packaged together rather than the standard issue due to the tardiness and overall "rush job" of the newer issues.
Finally, I received my last copy on or about October 2008. After that.....nothing.
The "Beatlology" web site is still available but it has not been updated for over a year. I subscibed for the last time about two months ago (Sept. 2009) as I thought maybe I forgot to subscribe last year. The money I had sent through paypal ( 46 dollars US ) was quickly taken two days later. I said to myself "Good. Now my back issues should arrive". Nothing.
There were emails on various egroups wondering where the magazine issues were. I started to get worried. I emailed their order department and I have not received one word from them. Incredible!!!!!
I guess there is no problem taking my hard earned money but not delivering the service. In fact, there has been no word from Mr. Andrew Croft about any plans for Beatlology or if it is even up and running. Shame !!! The least he could do is take down the website and refund the money owed or produce back issues for those of us who have subscribed and supported the magazine for all these years.
OK. There you go. I'm done. Now back to our regular scheduled program.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Before This Dance Is Through, I Think I'll Love You Too.

The third song from the third LP from the first soundtrack album is a Lennon/McCartney song given to George Harrison to sing entitled "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You". This tune is featured in the film "A Hard Day's Night" while the Beatles are in the fake studio and George is highlighted with his bandmates playing their instruments.
"I'm Happy Just To Dance With You" was recorded on Sunday March 01 1964 at EMI Studio Two. There were four takes, the first two being the backing track, the third being a breakdown and the last one adding the double tracked vocals and featuring Ringo playing an extra tom for the accents. John and Paul are featured on the background vocals.

The song was mixed for mono two days later on March 03 1964 in studio one. On June 09 1964, "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You" was taped copied for both Capitol Records and for United Artists. Finally, the song was mixed for stereo on Monday June 22 1964.

"I'm Happy Just To Dance With You" was released as a single by Capitol Records on July 20 1964. The song is also available on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "A Hard Day's Night" as well as the Capitol North American LP/CD "Something New".

"I'm Happy Just To Dance With You" was performed live only once for the BBC on "From Us to You".

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Love is More Than Just Holding Hands.

The next song from the third Beatles Parlophone UK LP and the first movie soundtrack is a ditty entitled "If I Fell". This great tune is a Lennon/McCartney original and although mainly written by John, a true lesson in harmony as both John and Paul share most of the lead vocal work. This ballad is probably one of my favourite Lennon love songs and the changes in key and the texture of the work is truly amazing. A definite highlight of the album.

"If I Fell" was recorded on Thursday February 27 1964 in EMI Studio two. The recording took fifteen takes to complete. Both John and Paul sang at the same time and at the same mike for this vocal (although there was double-tracking added on ). Mono mixing of "If I Fell" was done on March 03 1964 for EMI and also for United Artists. The mono mix was made in Studio one. A tape copy of the mono mix for the song was done on June 09 1964 from studio three and given to United Artists for the film. "If I Fell" was finally mixed for stereo on June 22 1964 for the "A Hard Day's Night" soundtrack LP.

There are differences in mixes for this particular song. In the mono mix, John's voice is single tracked for the introduction (before the drums come in). For the stereo mix, John's voice is double tracked. the mono mix during the second middle eight, Paul's harmony to the words "was in vain" is sung and the note is held along with John's note. In the stereo mix during the second middle eight, Paul's Harmony to the words "was in vain" is shortened due to Paul's voice straining and breaking up.

"If I Fell" was released as a single in the North American market by Capitol Records with the flip side being "And I Love Her". Two ballads on one single. It has a beautiful blue picture sleeve which is shown above.

"If I Fell" is also available on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "A Hard Day's Night" as well as the North American United Artists soundtrack LP "A Hard Day's Night". It is also on the Capitol LP/CD "Something New". "If I Fell" can also be found on the EMI/Capitol double LP "Love Songs". This tune was performed live in concert during the 1964 North American tour and a version of this live performance can be heard on the EMI/Capitol LP "The Beatles Live At the Hollywood Bowl".

"If I Fell" was performed twice for BBC radio. The first time was on "Top Gear" and the second time was on "From Us To You".

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

If This Is Love You Gotta Give Me More.

The second song on the "A Hard Day's Night" soundtrack is another Lennon/McCartney original entitled "I Should Have Known Better" which is sung and mainly written by John. The song is featured in the movie when the Beatles are holed up in a cargo cage of a train. Also in the scene is a certain Miss Patti Boyd who would later become George Harrison's wife.

The first attempt to record the song was on Tuesday February 25 1964 (George Harrison's 21st birthday, by the way). There were three takes taped at that session, but they remained unsatisfactory and the tune was left for the next session. This happened to be the next day on February 26 1964 when "I Should Have Known Better" was completed at take 22. The distinct harmonica and the double-tracked vocals were overdubbed at the same session.

"I Should have Known Better" was mixed for mono on March 03 1964. A tape copy of the current mono mix was given to United Artists (for the soundtrack) and Capitol (for the single) on June 09 1964. Finally, a stereo mix was completed in Studio One on June 22 1964. Initially, there was a gap in the harmonica intro on the stereo mix that was not apparent on the mono mix. This was later fixed by the time the LP "Reel Music" was released in 1982. The gap in the harmonica was once again present by the time the remastered stereo version of "A Hard Day's Night" was released in 2009 !

"I Should Have Known Better" is available on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "A Hard Day's Night", the United Artists US soundtrack LP "A Hard Day's Night", also on the Apple US LP: "Hey Jude/The Beatles Again" and on the EMI/Capitol LP "Reel Music". This song was the B-side to "A Hard Day's Night" in North America only.

"I Should Have Known Better" was performed twice on BBC radio. Once on "Top Gear" and once on "From Us to You".

Monday, November 9, 2009

Working Like A Dog.

"A Hard Day's Night" is the first song on the third UK Parlophone LP. As well as being the title of the first movie, it's also the title track and was released worldwide as a single. "A Hard Day's Night" being the obvious A-side of said single. The Beatles needed a title for the movie and one of Ringo's word play phrases "Hard Day's Night" was adapted for the movie. The song was written mainly by John and is a Lennon/McCartney composition. John sings the verses and Paul sings the middle eight. The first chord that rings out and grabs everyone's attention is played on George's newly acquired twelve string Rickenbaker, a piano and a bass note. The chord is a Gsus7/9. "Hard Day's night" was also used in one of John Lennon's poems written for his first book: "In His own Write". The song was literally written overnight once the phrase was established as being the title.

"A Hard Day's Night" was recorded in one session and it took nine takes to perfect. Five of the takes were complete run-throughs. The song was recorded on Thursday April 16 1964 at EMI Studio two between ten in the morning and one in the afternoon. Four days later on April 20, rough mono and stereo mixes were made in studio two and the mixes were taken away by United Artists for the film. "A Hard Day's Night" was once again mixed for mono three days later on April 23 1964 and this time it was mixed for the soundtrack record itself. Another mono mix for United Artists (this time to insert in the film) was done in studio three on June 09 1964 and this mix featured an artificial extended ending. Finally, "A Hard Day's Night" was mixed for stereo (record) two and a half weeks before release on June 22 1964 from studio one.

"A Hard Day's Night" was played many times in concert by The Beatles including the 1964 North American Tour, the 1964 Christmas shows in London, as well as the 1965 European and North American Tours. Many live bootlegs contain the song and a performance from the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles is available on the EMI/Capitol LP: "The Beatles Live at The Hollywood Bowl".

The commercial version is available on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "A Hard Day's Night", also the North American version of the United Artists' film soundtrack LP: "A Hard Day's Night". It is also found on the Parlophone UK LP "A Collection of Beatles Oldies" as well as the Apple 2-LP/2-CD: "The Beatles 1962-1966", the song is also available on the EMI and Capitol version of the LP "20 Greatest Hits", and finally the Apple 2-LP, CD "1".

The Beatles performed "A Hard Day's Night" twice on BBC radio: the first time on "Top Gear" and the second time on "From Us to You". It was also released in this form on the Apple 2-LP/2-CD: "Live at the BBC".

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Hard Day's Night

"A Hard Day's Night" was the Beatles third LP to be released on Parlophone by EMI in the UK. It was also the first soundtrack to the first (and arguably the best) Beatles full length motion picture. It was and remains the only UK LP to feature all original material whereby the songs were written exclusively by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

The sessions for the LP were started as early as January 1964 and continued well into June 1964. Most of the recordings were done in early March, mid to late April, one session in May and a few in early June. Of course, during the recording of the third LP and first movie soundtrack, The Beatles also played the USA, filmed the movie, performed for various BBC radio shows, did television appearances, tons of interviews were conducted and they were also recording their latest EP which was previously reviewed in earlier posts.

The "A Hard Day's Night" LP was released on Friday July 10 1964 as Parlophone PMC 1230 (monuaral) and PCS 3058 (stereo). Both versions were released on the same day.

In the United States and Canada, the "butchering" of the Beatles' LPs continued. "A Hard Day's Night" was released as a United Artist soundtrack on June 26 1964. The LP was released in both mono UA 6366 and stereo UAS 6366. The weird thing is that only eight songs were actually performed by the Beatles ( four on each side )and four of the tracks ( two on each side )were instrumentals by the George Martin Orchestra. Not only that: the stereo version of the United Artist soundtrack had the Beatles' recordings in mono only - including the so-called "stereo" version of the LP. In fact, the only stereo recordings on the stereo version were the George Martin instrumentals. How Tacky !!

Of course, Beatlemania was in full stride in the States and Capitol Records took full advantage of it. They released their own version of the soundtrack via an LP entitled "Something New". This LP was released on July 20 1964 in mono (T-2108) and stereo (ST-2108). It contained only four tracks from the movie, four tracks from the B side of the UK version, the second side of the "Long Tall Sally" UK EP and the German vocal dubbed "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand". You would have thought they could have also included "Sie Leibt Dich", No? Anyway, typical Capitol Records mis-matching. This atrocious way of released North American counterpart LPs would continue until 1967.

There were two single released from the tracks recorded for the movie soundtrack: In the UK, the first single was "Can't Buy Me Love/ You Can't Do That" which was put out on March 20 1964. The next single was released on the same day as the LP: "A Hard Day's Night/ Things We Said Today". Both singles were on the Parlophone label.

In North America, several singles were released by Capitol records which contained tunes recorded for the movie soundtrack: "Can't Buy Me Love/ You Can't Do That" was put out on March 16 1964, "A Hard Day's Night/ I Should Have Known Better" was put out on July 13 1964, "I'll Cry Instead/ I'm Happy Just to Dance With You" was put out on July 20 1964, "And I Love Her/ If I Fell" which was also put out on July 20 1964. All three of these soundtrack singles boast very beautiful picture sleeves which are now very collectible.

Needless to say, the LP in all configurations hit number 01 all over the world.

We'll be looking at each individual track in the next few posts.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I Ain't Got No Matches, But I Sure Got A Long Way To Go

The last song on the "Long Tall Sally" EP was another cover by The Beatles. "Matchbox" was originally written and recorded by the late, great Sun Records artist Carl Perkins. The Beatles admired Perkins (especially George and Ringo) as there were many covers by him performed and recorded by the Beatles. Certainly some BBC performances as well as other Perkins hits would be performed live by not only the Beatles as a group, but in later years as solo artist.

"Matchbox" was recorded on Monday June 01 1964 and five takes were performed with only three takes complete. Ringo not only played drums on this, but also sang simultaneously. His voice was double-tracked and there are slight variations between the mono and stereo mix as far as double-tracked timing is concerned.

"Matchbox" was mixed for mono three days later on June 04 at EMI Studio two. The song was mixed for stereo later in the month from EMI studio one on June 22 1964. "Matchbox" was also tape copied from the earlier mono mix at the same session.

During the recording of "Matchbox", the author of the song - Carl Perkins - was present in the studio as an observer althought Perkins sadly did not participate on the recording. It would have been nice for him to do the guitar solo perhaps.

"Matchbox" is availabel on the North American Capitol LP/CD "Something New" and it also appears on the EMI/Capitol double LP compilation "Rock 'N' Roll Music"; the Parlophone UK LP "Rarities" also features the song as does the EMI LP/CD: "Past Masters Volume 1" and Apple CDs "Mono collection" and "Past Masters" from the remasters series.

The song is performed live and available on the Lingasong double LP: "The Beatles Live at the Star Club". "Matchbox" was also performed twice for BBC radio: Once on "Pop Go The Beatles" episode 7 and the second time on "From Us to You".

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Baby, Now You're Moving Way Too Fast.

The next song from the "Long Tall Sally" EP which starts off the second side is a cover version of "Slow Down" which was originally written and performed by the great Larry Williams. John Lennon must have had a lot of respect for this musician as the Beatles covered a few more tunes written by Williams on later LPs (which will be discussed in later posts) and all of them were sung by John including this one.

"Slow Down" was recorded by the Beatles on Monday June 01 1964 at EMI Studio two. The song took six takes to perfect with a very solid rythm track and a magnificant raunchy vocal by Lennon overdubbed. The piano on this tune was played by George Martin and was overdubbed by him three days later on June 04 1964 also in Studio two. Once the piano was overdubbed, the song was mixed for mono. The song was mixed for stereo on June 22 1964 at EMI studio one. "Slow Down" was also tape copied on the same day from the June 04 1964 mono mix.

Apart from the "Long Tall Sally" EP, the song was released on the US/Canada Capitol LP/CD "Something New", the 70s Capitol/EMI double LP "Rock 'N' Roll" and the EMI/Parlophone UK LP "Rarities". "Slow Down" is also available on the EMI double LP/CD "Past Masters Volume 1" as well as the Apple remasters "Mono collection" and the "Stereo Past Masters" CDs.

"Slow Down" was performed only once live on BBC radio: "Pop Go The Beatles" episode 10.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Never Weep At Night

The second song from the "Long Tall Sally" EP is the only original Lennon/McCartney tune (the others are all covers). "I Call Your Name" was written by Lennon/McCartney and mainly by John. Mr. Lennon was absolutely prolific during this period as the first movie soundtrack and additional tracks as well as the EP were all being recorded between February to June 1964. In only four months, the Beatles had produced two songs for the German market, a full four song EP as well as the upcoming movie soundtrack LP. Most of the songs were written mainly or in large part by Lennon. More will be discussed on this subject when a review of the movie soundtrack is fully discussed in an upcoming post.

"I Call Your Name" was written in 1963 and was actually "given away" to fellow musician and singer Billy J. Kramer who released it as a single in August 1963. It was decided to give it a try as a Beatles' performance hence the inclusion of the song on the EP.

"I Call Your Name" was recorded at EMI Studio two on Sunday March 01 1964. There were seven takes of the song. Only three were complete. This song features a "reggae" or "ska" middle eight where the guitar solo takes over. The Beatles would expand on this idea in the future with tunes such as "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da". An additional Lennon vocal and a cowbell were overdubbed. Apart from that, all of the basic tracks were live off the floor as per usual during this period.

"I Call Your Name" was mixed for mono two days later on March 03 1964. It was originally slated for the soundtrack LP but was removed once the title song was written and recorded in it's place. The mono mix was completed in EMI Studio One. Another experimental mono mix was completed the next day on March 04 1964 in the morning. The song was mixed for stereo at EMI studio two on March 10 1964. Again, the song was remixed for mono three months later on June 04 1964. Finally, three days after the EP was released in the UK, the song was remixed and edited for stereo on June 22 1964 - for what purpose, I really don't know since both the "Long Tall Sally" EP and "The Beatles' Second Album" had already been released with the song available in mono and stereo on the US release. If anyone knows the purpose of this: let me know please.

Now, I want you all to go and get your rainbow label copies of the Capitol US "Beatles' Second Album". Take a look at the label on side two: the first two songs are "Long Tall Sally" and "I Call Your Name". You'll notice that these two songs do not have timings on them while all of the others do. Cool, eh? This is because the labels were printed before Capitol received the tapes for these two songs from EMI. Most early labels are missing the timings although the later label copies do have the timings.

"I Call Your Name" is available on the "Long Tall Sally" UK Parlophone EP, the US Capitol LP/CD: "The Beatles' Second Album", the Capitol of Canada 6000 series LP "Long Tall Sally", the EMI 2-LP "Rock 'N' Roll Music" and the EMI UK version of the "Rarities" LP. The song is also available on the 2-LP/ CD "Past Masters Volume 1" as well as the "Past Masters" and "Mono Masters" from the Apple mono and stereo CDs respectively.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bald Headed Sally

The first song contained on the "Long Tall Sally" EP is the title track oddly enough entitled "Long Tall Sally". This cover version was originally performed by Little Richard and was written by Johnson, Penniman, Blackwell. A rip roaring song that features Paul screaming his lungs out, an incredible guitar solo by Harrison and exciting drums by Ringo. I have to admit that along with the cover version of "Twist and Shout" from the first LP, "Long Tall Sally" is one of the best cover versions I've ever heard. This song RAWKS. Full of excitement and it's at a great fast groove and the whole band is putting everything into it. It's always a joy to listen to this tune.

Like "Twist and Shout", "Long Tall Sally" was recorded in only one take with The Beatles and George Martin on piano. Paul was a huge Little Richard fan and the influence on the band was immense. The song was recorded on Sunday March 01 1964 at EMI Studio number two. This recording must have been familiar ground for the Beatles as it had been performed years prior to the explosion of Beatlemania namely in the clubs of Liverpool and Hamburg.

Oddly, the song was first mixed for stereo and then for mono on the same day: March 10 1964 and I'm assuming that these mixes were used for the upcoming US release of "The Beatles Second Album" on US Capitol. The mixes were done in EMI Studio number two; the same place were the performance was recorded. "Long Tall Sally" was re-mixed for mono a month later on June 04 1964. Again, a very odd thing that "Long Tall Sally" was once again mixed for stereo on June 22 1964 AFTER the release of the EP (which was mono, of course).

"Long Tall Sally" was not only available on the self-titled EP, but also on the Capitol of Canada 6000 series LP "Long Tall Sally", the US Capitol LP/CD "The Beatles Second Album", the song is on the double Capitol/EMI LP compilation "Rock 'N'Roll" and can be heard on the Parlophone/EMI UK version of the LP "Rarities". It's also on EMI/Capitol's "Past Masters Volume 1" and the Apple remasters "Mono Masters" and "Past Masters" in mono and stereo respectively.

A couple of live renditions are available as the Beatles basically performed this tune often in concert: the Lingasong double LP "The Beatles Live at The Star Club" has an early live version and a live performance of the song is also on EMI/Capitol's LP "The Beatles Live At the Hollywood Bowl".

"Long Tall Sally" was performed live on the BBC a total of seven times; Once on "Side By Side", three times on "Saturday Club", once on "Pop Go The Beatles" (episode 9), one time on "Top Gear" and the final time on "From Us to You".

Monday, November 2, 2009

Extended Play

The next "batch" of songs released by the Beatles were issued in a format that has long been deleted and was a very popular method of obtaining material from one's favourite band back in the 1960's. This format was known as the "EP" or "Extended Play". This format was basically a seven inch vinyl record with a hard cardboard picture sleeve that contains two songs on each side for most of the time. This format was popular in the 60s due to the fact that a lot of the record buying public were young teenagers and young adults who sometimes could not afford a full LP and therefore were receptive to buying the EP as an alternate. After all, buying two EPs was the equilavent of having 8 songs at your disposal which was a tad more than a whole side of an LP at a much more affordable cost. The Beatles released a total of 13 EPs. Most of the EPs contained previously released material either from the LP or from a hit single.

The next four posts will be concerned with the fifth EP that the Beatles released as this EP contained songs that were up to this point unreleased in any other form. The first EP released by the Beatles was: "Twist and Shout" which contained Twist and Shout, A Taste of Honey, Do You Want to Know A Secret and There's a place; all from the first LP. The second EP was entitled: "The Beatles' Hits" which contained From Me to You, Thank you Girl, Please Please Me and Love Me Do ; all from the singles. The third EP was entitled: "The Beatles (no.1) which contained I Saw Her Standing There, Misery, Anna (Go To Him" and Chains; all from the first LP. The fourth EP was entitled: "All My Loving" which contained the title song, Ask Me Why, Money (That's What I Want) and P.S. I Love You; a mixture of tunes from the first and second LP.

Finally, the fifth EP was unique in that all of the songs were brand new and recorded specifically for the EP. All the songs were recorded approximately at the same times as the Beatles were working on their first soundtrack/ third LP. The name of the EP was "Long Tall Sally" and it was a real rocking little record. Four great tracks with three blistering covers and one original.

The EP was released on June 19 1964 in the UK. As promised, the four songs will be discussed in the next four posts..

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mach Shau Part Two

As mentioned in the previous post, there were two songs that the Beatles had been tasked to complete with German vocals for the German market. I've discussed the first song completed - "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand" - and this post will deal with the second song completed "Sie Liebt Dich".

"Sie Liebt Dich" has the same history as the previous song and was also recorded at the same session as "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand". The recording was held on Wednesday January 29 1964 at EMI Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris, France. The recording circumstances for "Sie Liebt Dich" were immensely different than "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand". In the latter recording, the backing instrumental was already supplied due to the fact that the four track recording simply took away the vocal tracks and left the two track instrument backing intact. On the other hand, "Sie Liebt Dich" is "She Loves You" sung in German. The problem was that ever since the mono master of the recording had been completed, the original twin track had been discarded. This is why "She Loves You" and "I'll Get You" (which were both recorded on July 01 1963) have never appeared in true stereo anywhere due to the fact that the original twin track tapes were never kept. Therefore, the backing rythm track had to be performed once more. If you listen to the backing track on "Sie Liebt Dich" and the backing track on "She Loves You" , there is an audible difference although not really enough to warrant any major perception by the casual fan. "Sie Liebt Dich" was mixed for mono on March 10 1964 in the control room of EMI Abbey Road Studio Two. The song was mixed for stereo two days later on March 12 1964 in the control room of EMI Abbey Road Studio Three.

"Sie Liebt Dich" appeared on a few single in the 1960's - mainly the German copy on Odeon. The picture sleeve for the German release appears above. It was also on a Capitol of Canada single and it was released in the United States on the "Swan" label.

"Sie Liebt Dich" finally appeared on the Parlophone UK LP "Rarities" and it's US Capitol counterpart of the same name. It is also available on the Apple EMI 2-LP/ CD: "Past Masters Volume 1". The remasters featured the song in stereo on "Past Masters Volume 1" as well as a mono version on the "Mono Masters".

"Sie Liebt Dich" was never performed live with the German lyrics.