Monday, May 24, 2010

They Leave The West Behind

The first song on "The Beatles" is a Lennon/McCartney original composition written mainly by Paul and entitled "Back In The USSR". This song was probably written in India and is a bit of a sarcastic tongue-in-cheek parody of the surf/early Rock And Roll type Chuck Berry/Beach Boys number. Interestingly, Mike Love of the Beach Boys was present in India at the same time as The Beatles.

The basic track for the song was recorded on August 22 1968 at EMI studio two and the instrumentation consisted of Paul on drums (Ringo had temporarily left the group ), George on guitar and John on the bass guitar. It took 5 takes to perfect the recording.

The next evening on Friday August 23 1968, the recording of the song was brought to a conclusion with a reduction mix taking the song into take 6. Onto this were overdubbed two more drum tracks (played by George and John), two more guitar tracks (played by John and Paul) and two more bass tracks (played by Paul and George). John, Paul, and George essentially took turns playing the three instruments which were than mixed all together for the recording. More overdubs included a piano, the lead vocals by Paul and the backvocals by John and George (doo-wop style). Handclaps were also added. At the end of the session, a mono mix was completed and used on the commercial version. Four tape copies of the song were made and taken away by the Beatles' road manager.

The stereo mix for "Back In The USSR" was completed on October 13 1968 from EMI studio two.

"Back In The USSR" can be found on the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "The Beatles White Album". It is also available on the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "The Beatles 1967-1970" and on the compilation EMI/Capitol 2-LP set "Rock 'N' Roll Music". "Back In The USSR" was released as a single in the UK on June 25 1976 as Parlophone R 6016 with the B side being "Twist and Shout". "Back In The USSR" can also be found on the Apple/EMI/Capitol "Love" soundtrack.

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