Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Eyes (In His Head)

The next song that appears on the original Capitol LP as well as the CD is also the next song that appears in the television special of "Magical Mystery Tour". An original Lennon/McCartney composition written mainly by Paul entitled "The Fool On The Hill".

In the television special, this segment features Paul alone with a cameraman in Nice, France. Paul is "frolicking" amongst the hills and just generally standing there being filmed from different angles.

The song itself was first demoed on Wednesday September 06 1967 in EMI studio two featuring just Paul on the piano. This demo has been bootlegged for several years including being featured on the LP "Strawberry Fields Forever" and on CD in the "Ultra Rare Trax" series before being commercially available on the EMI/Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2"

The first proper recording of "The Fool On The Hill" was commenced on Monday September 25 1967 at EMI studio two with three takes of the basic track. The instrumentation included piano, acoustic guitars and harmonicas. Take three was deemed as best so a tape reduction was completed bringing the song to take four. Onto this Paul added recorders. Drums and vocals were also added at this stage. A mono mix was also completed at this session of the work in progress for demo purposes. This take four was also released in stereo on the EMI/Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2".

The next day on Tuesday September 26 1967 the song was re-started from the beginning with another basic track recorded and named take 5 after another tape reduction. This included the re-taping of the piano, the acoustic guitar, bass and drums. Paul also recorded a new lead vocal. This brought the song into take 6.For practical purporses, let's just say that this was basically a "re-make".

The following day on Wednesday September 17 1967 at EMI studio one, Paul added another overdubbed another vocal onto take 06. Once the overdub was complete a mono mix was conducted but the mix was never used.

Almost a month later on October 20 1967 in EMI studio three, the flutes (3 of them) were overdubbed onto take 06 of "The Fool On The Hill" and the song was complete.

Five days later on October 25 1967 from EMI studio two, three more mono mixes were completed and the song was edited to bring it's time down to under three minutes. The song was allegedly over four minutes long in it's original form !!

Finally, on November 01 1967 from Room 53 at EMI, "The Fool On The Hill" was mixed in stereo. Five attempts were conducted with the final attempt being used on the commercial version.

"The Fool On the Hill" appears on the Parlophone 2-EP "Magical Mystery Tour" as well as the North American Capitol LP/CD "Magical Mystery Tour". It is also featured on the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "The Beatles 1967-1970" and on the UK Parlophone/Capitol of Canada LP "The Beatles Ballads".

Paul McCartney and his band performed this tune on his 1989-1990 World Tour (of which I witnessed from the front row at the Montreal Forum in December 1989. Paul actually flashed me a peace sign from his rotating piano during this song! ) A performance of the song can be heard on the EMI/Capitol 3-LP/2-CD "Tripping the Live Fantastic !"

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