Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sont Des Mots Qui Vont Tres Bien Ensemble

The seventh song on the Parlophone UK LP "Rubber Soul" was a classic ballad written by Lennon/McCartney and written mainly by Paul entitled "Michelle". This tune was another McCartney ballad that was densely covered by other artists. I believe (although I could be wrong) that it's probably up there with "Yesterday" and "Something" as one of the most covered Beatles songs. It was inspired by the fact that Paul McCartney would on occasion go to parties or get togethers with others in the early days and he would try to impress people by sitting with a guitar and doing a mock french tune and entertain. This idea was expanded and the song "Michelle" was born. The french translation was done by Jan Vaughn (who was related to Paul's childhood friend Ivan Vaughn from Liverpool). This song was very popular when Paul McCartney played in Quebec City, Canada July 2008.

The whole song was recorded in one session in one take (although I'm sure there was considerable time rehearsing and arrangement the song before a proper take was conducted ). Acoustic guitar, bass, drums, Paul vocal and lead guitar filled up the four track tape. A tape reduction took place where the four tracks were reduced to three in order to allow the backing vocals and a second acoustic to be added. Once this overdub was completed , the recording was finished. All this took place on Wednesday November 03 1965 at EMI studio two.

"Michelle" was mixed for mono and then for stereo on the same day: Tuesday November 09 1965 from room 65 at EMI studios. For whatever reason, "Michelle" was once again mixed for mono six days later on November 15 1965. The first mono mix was used on the North American version of "Rubber Soul" (T-2442) while the second mono mix was used on the UK version of "Rubber Soul" (PMC 1267). You can hear the difference in the length of the song. The North American version is longer than the UK version.

"Michelle" appears on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "Rubber Soul" as well as the North American Capitol LP/CD "Rubber Soul". The song is also featured on the compilation Parlophone UK LP: "A Collection of Beatles Oldies". It also appears on the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "The Beatles 1962-1966" and on the EMI/Capitol compilation 2-LP "Love Songs" and on the Parlophone/Capitol UK/Canadian compilation LP "The Beatles Ballads".

"Michelle" won a grammy award the year after release. It was never performed live by the Beatles as a group. It was performed by Paul McCartney during 1993 New World Tour. A version can be heard on the EMI 2-LP/CD "Paul is Live'.

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