Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bang Bang Shoot Shoot

The next song and the one that ends Side 1 of the double LP "The Beatles" (White Album) is an original Lennon/McCartney composition written mainly by John entitled "Happiness Is A Warm Gun". This title was taken from an actual line in a gun magazine shown to John by George Martin (probably in the studio at some point). The song has many section with varying tempos and a great section where the song instruments and the voices fall into 3/4 time while the drumming continues on 4/4 time whereby at the end of the section they both meet up. Very brilliant !! A great rock song and one of the highlights of "The Beatles".

The original title of the song during recording was "Happiness Is A Warm Gun In Your Hand" which was shortened later on. The first basic rhythm track was started on Monday September 23 1968 with rehearsals and 45 takes of John singing a guide vocal and playing guitar, George on guitar as well, bass by Paul and drums by Ringo.

The next day on September 24 1968, a further 25 takes were completed with the same instrumentation. Both days were recorded at EMI Studio two.

The next day on September 25 1968 and once again in EMI studio two, it was decided to edit the best part of the first four sections of the song (take 53) with the last section of the song (take 65). From now on the take was numbered at 65. Onto this take various overdubs were required for the eight track recording: John's lead vocal, the backing vocals, keyboards (organ and piano), tambourine and a snare drum and bass guitar. Also accomplished at this session were two attempts at a mono mix. None of this mono mixes were used for the commercial version.

The next day on September 26 1968 in the control room of EMI studio two, 10 more mono mix attempts were completed with the 12th mono mix being used for the commercial version.

The stereo mix for "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" was completed in three attempts from the control room of EMI studio two on Tuesday October 15 1968.

The difference between the mono and stereo mixes is that you can hear a little bit of the end of a Lennon vocal at the point before he starts the line "I Need a Fix..." on the stereo mix but this is silent on the mono mix. Also, the level on the instrumentation is different at spots.

"Happiness Is A Warm Gun" can be found on the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "The Beatles"(White Album)

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