Tuesday, February 9, 2010

They Run And Hide Their Heads

The B side of the fantastic Parlophone UK single R 5452 was an original Lennon/McCartney composition written mainly by John entitled "Rain". This once again featured a very "heavy" sound for the Beatles. The ending of the song is John singing backwards - or rather, the tape of John singing being played backwards. A very groovy sounding record and very cool effects.

"Rain" was recorded on Thursday April 14 1966. The Rhythm track consisted of the drums and the guitars. What happened on this basic track was that the band actually played the song at a fast pace and then the recording tape was slowed down thereby making the backing track have a heavier feel than usual. So in actuality, it's the Beatles playing in slow motion. Also on this night, Lennon's vocal was added. I imagine that this version of the tune was taken away by Lennon and that is when he discovered the wonders of backwards tape when he threaded the tape upside down by mistake and discovered his vocals backwards and liked the sound of it. The basic track for "Rain" was completed in EMI studio three and it took five takes to perfect.

The next overdubs for the song were added two days later on Saturday April 16 1966 in EMI studio two. Extra vocals, bass and tambourine were added at this recording session. This completed the recording of "Rain".

On the same day as the completion of the recording of "Rain", the song was mixed for mono. Artificial double tracking was added to the vocals during the mix. Incredibly, the song remained only available in mono for over three years !! "Rain" was finally mixed in stereo on Tuesday December 02 1969 from the control room of EMI studio two. The only reason the song was mixed for stereo was the fact that it would be released in the near future on an Apple compilation LP in the North American Market.

"Rain" first appeared as a single in the UK (Parlophone R 5452) as well as in the US and Canada (Capitol 5651) . "Rain" is also available on the Apple LP "The Beatles Again/Hey Jude" and the EMI/Parlophone UK LP "Rarities". It can also be found on the EMI/Capitol/Apple compilation 2-LP "Past Masters Volume One and Two" as well as the EMI/Capitol/Apple CD "Past Masters Volume Two" and finally on the remastered EMI/Apple 2-CD "Mono Masters" and the remastered stereo 2-CD "Past Masters"

The Beatles didn't bother any attempt to perform this song live.

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