Saturday, March 27, 2010

I'm Painting My Room In A Colourful Way

The next song up on side one of the Parlophone UK LP "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is an original composition written by Lennon/McCartney written mainly by Paul entitled "Fixing A Hole". This is a song of self-assurance as well as the help of a friend in easing one's mind. Very deep stuff.

The recording for the basic track took place on February 09 1967 and it was the first time that The Beatles used a different recording studio in the UK. Rather than using the usual EMI studios (which happened to be unavailable on that date) the Beatles (and George Martin) decided to use a studio by the name of "Regent Sound" which was located on Tottenham Road in London. At this session, Paul played his bass guitar while George Martin played the harpsichord throughout and Ringo played drums. Rhythm guitar and a guide vocal by Paul were also added Background vocald and the solo guitar (played by either George or Paul) were also added onto the basic track. Three takes were completed. The third take was a breakdown while takes one and two were both considered as the best attempt. It was decided in the end to use take two as the master take and the overdubs were added thusly.

The Beatles continued work on "Fixing A Hole" on February 21 1967 back at EMI studio two. The first thing attempted was to make a new, completely fresh take of the song in order to edit it onto the current best take. This idea was attempted and abandoned. It was titled take 01 but in the end it did not end up being used. The next thing to be done was a tape reduction thereby combining the background vocals and the guitar solo onto one track. Paul McCartney re-did his lead vocal thereby erasing the previous guide vocal and the original rhythm guitar. At times, the lead vocals were double tracked. Once this was complete, five mono mixes were attempted and the second and last mono mix were combined to provide the final commercial mono mix.

Finally, "Fixing A Hole" was mixed for stereo on Friday April 07 1967 from the control room of EMI studio two. There are differences between the mono and stereo mix of "Fixing A Hole": the mono mix has the harpsichord significantly louder in the mix than the stereo version; also it should be noted that the mono version of the song runs slightly longer in the fade out than the stereo mix. During the 1960s, the mono mixes were usually considered the ultimate mix as we can see in this example: "Fixing A Hole" had five mono mixes and two of the mono mixes chosen were combined: the stereo mix was done once.

"Fixing A Hole" appears on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" as well as appearing on the North American Capitol LP of the same name.

Paul McCartney had played "Fixing A Hole" in concert first at the "Ed Sullivan Theatre" in New York City on December 10 and 11 1992. The version performed on December 10 1992 is available on the CD "New York 1992". The song was also performed by Paul and his band on his "New World Tour" of 1993. Unfortunately, there is no commercial version available.

No comments:

Post a Comment