Monday, April 5, 2010

Standing By A Parking Meter

The next song on the Parlophone UK LP "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is another original Lennon/McCartney composition written mainly by Paul entitled "Lovely Rita". This tune was inspired by the meter maids around London at the time. It's a bit of a fantasy relationship song. There has also been a female traffic warden named Meta Davies who has claimed that the song was inspired by herself although this is under contention.

The basic track for the song was recorded on Thursday February 23 1967 at EMI studio two. John and George played their acoustic guitars while Paul played the piano and Ringo played his drums. It took eight takes to complete the basic track. Once the four tracks of the tape were full, a reduction mix was completed into take nine with all the instruments on one track. Once this was finished, Paul added his great bass guitar lines to the song.

The next day on February 24 1967 and once again at EMI studio two, Paul added his lead vocal recorded at a slower speed so that it would sound faster on playback. The background instruments were also slightly slowed down. Once again , all four tracks on the tape were full so that two reduction attempts were completed putting the tune into take 11.

The song was left as is until Tuesday March 07 1967 at EMI studio two. This session produced the back up vocals for "Lovely Rita" including all of the vocal sounds effect heard at the end of the song. There was tape echo added to the effects and a lot of vocal improvisation for this session. There was also a toilet-paper/comb combination that was overdubbed this session which sounds a bit like a modern day synthesizer.

Finally, on Tuesday March 21 1967, the piano solo for "Lovely Rita" was overdubbed onto the existing tape. This piano solo was played by George Martin and the tape was given a "wobble" effect in order to sound like a honky-tonk piano. The piano solo was recorded very slowly and sounded quite fast on playback.

Once the piano solo overdub was completed, fifteen attempts at a mono mix was conducted from EMI studio two. The last attempt is the mono mix that appears on all mono versions commercially.

The stereo mix for "Lovely Rita" was completed on Friday April 17 1967 from the control room of EMI studio two. Two attempts were completed with the second attempt being used on the commercial release of the song. In both cases of the mono and stereo mix, the tape was varisped a little slower. There are not significant differences between the stereo and mono mix that I can think of at the moment.

"Lovely Rita" appears on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" as well as appearing on the North American Capitol LP version of the same name. The song also appears on the equivalent picture discs released in the UK and North America during the late 1970s.

No comments:

Post a Comment