Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tuned To A Natural E

The B-side of the "All You Need Is Love" single is an original Lennon/McCartney composition with the verses written mainly by John and the chorus written mainly by Paul entitled "Baby, You're A Rich Man". This song was originally recorded and intended for the upcoming Beatles project of the animated film "Yellow Submarine". Once the BBC television live satelitte show had been announced and "All You Need Is Love" to be released as a single, "Baby, You're A Rich Man" was dropped from being on the film soundtrack and delegated to the B-side of "All You Need Is Love". A snippet of "Baby, You're A Rich Man" still appears in the film however but the entire song is not and the tune was not included on the 60s soundtrack.

The entire song was recorded and mixed at Olympic Sound Studios in Barnes, England on Thursday May 11 1967. The recording consisted of piano, drums and percussion. A myriad of rehearsals took place and it was decided that the "12th take" would be used for the commercial release. Overdubbed onto take 12 were Paul's bass guitar and John's lead vocals as well as the backing vocals by the other Beatles. After a tape reduction the third track added George Harrison's guitar work and the playing of a keyboard called a Clavioline by John. On the last track of the tape went more backing vocals, a bit of piano near the end and a vibraphone played by one of the engineers.

Once this was complete, "Baby, You're A Rich Man" was mixed for mono. This mono mix was released as the commercial version.

There was no stereo version of this song until 1971 so that copies of the North American "Magical Mystery Tour" LP on Capitol Records used a fake stereo known as "Duophonic" whereby the high end came out one side of the speakers while the low end came out of the other end of the speaker.

A stereo mix of "Baby, You're A Rich Man" was finally completed on October 22 1971 and issued on the German import version of "Magical Mystery Tour" (Apple/ Hor ZU-Electrola SHZE 327). The stereo mix of the song was also issued on the CD releases of "Magical Mystery Tour". The main difference between the mono and stereo mixes is that there is a "swelling" effect present on the mono mixes between the verses and choruses. This is not present on the stereo mixes. Finally, the song was mixed once again for stereo in the nineties and included on the "Yellow Submarine Songtrack" with the piano a little louder and the chorus vocals panned around the stereo spectrum.

"Baby, You're A Rich Man" can be found on the single in the UK (Parlophone R 5620) as well as the North American single (Capitol 5964) with a picture sleeve pictured above. "Baby You're A Rich Man" is also available on the North American Capitol LP/CD "Magical Mystery Tour". Finally, the song can be found on the Apple/EMI/Capitol LP/CD "Yellow Submarine Soundtrack".

The song was strummed on a guitar by George Harrison in the summer of 1967 as he walked along the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco.

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