Saturday, February 27, 2010

Well, Well, Well...You're Feeling Fine.

The next song on the great Parlophone UK LP "Revolver" is an original composition by Lennon/McCartney and written mainly by John entitled "Dr. Robert". This tune was inspired by a real-life doctor living in New York City at the time in the mid 60s. This fellow; Doctor Charles Roberts - used to have famous clients that would visit the good doctor while he prescribed uppers and various ellicit drugs. "Dr. Robert" is a tongue-in-cheek sarcastic "recommendation" from the Beatles to the listening audience. The middle eight was reportedly suggested by Paul.

The basic track (actually, the instrumental part of the song) was recorded on Sunday April 17 1966 at EMI studio two. The basic track consisted of guitars, bass and drums - the usual line-up - and it took seven takes to perfect. Once this was completed, maracas was added by George (you would have thought Ringo), harmonium (John) and piano (Paul) were overdubbed onto the basic track and the song was left for the day.

Two days later on Tuesday April 19 1966 the vocals for "Dr. Robert" were completed and three mono mixes were attempted. None of the mono mixes from this day were used for any commercial purposes.

On Thursday May 12 1966, a mono mix of "Dr. Robert" was completed for the North American market and shipped over to Hollywood and Capitol Records ready for released. On this particular day the song was edited (from 2:56 to 2:13) and the mix was deemed satisfactory. All of this happening from the control room of EMI studio three. The North American mono mix is longer in length than the UK mono mix as the ending of the song contains a short quote from John Lennon listed as "OK, Herb". The UK mix does not have this quote. The "OK, Herb" version can be heard on the mono version of the North American Capitol LP "Yesterday...And Today" (T 2553).

Two stereo mixes of "Dr. Robert" were attempted on Friday May 20 1966 from the control room of EMI studio one. Of the two stereo mixes, the first stereo mix was sent to Capitol Records and used on "Yesterday...And Today" while the second stereo mix was kept in the UK and eventually used on the UK version of the "Revolver" LP. There are ever slight differences in the two mixes but nothing outstanding.

Finally, on Tuesday June 21 1966 from the control room of EMI studio three, there were three mono mixes attempted for "Dr. Robert" which (the final mix) ended up on the UK version of the "Revolver" LP.

"Dr. Robert" is available on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "Revolver" as well as the North American Capitol LP "Yesterday...And Today".

There is an odd discrepancy regarding the label print for this song: I've noticed on my mono copy of the Parlophone UK original "Revolver" pressing (PMC 7009), the tune is listed on the label as "Dr. Robert" yet on my stereo copy of the Parlophone UK original "Revolver" pressing (PCS 7009) the tune is listed on the label as "Doctor Robert". The back covers of all UK pressings list the song as "Dr. Robert". I also checked my Canadian and US original firsts pressings in mono and stereo (Capitol T2553 for mono and Capitol ST2553 for stereo) while discovering that all pressing have the tune listed on the label and back covers as "Dr. Robert".

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