Friday, June 18, 2010

Take A Good Look Around You

The first song on side two of the double LP of "The Beatles" (White Album) is an original Lennon/McCartney composition written mainly by Paul entitled "Martha My Dear". The inspiration for the song - at least the name in the title - was taken from a sheepdog that Paul owned at the time by the name of "Martha". Although the title name was from his dog, the song itself is a love song type ballad. It's a great little piano tune with nice Northern brass and it's basically Paul playing everything. I have not seen evidence of anyone else on the recording and it just sounds like Paul. Definitely the piano and bass (obviously the vocals) and the drums are in Paul's style.

There is confusion over the recording. Upon researching the recording dates, the basic track, the piano and drums and vocals and brass and horns were all recorded on the same day as the overdubs for the brass and horns on the song "Honey Pie" which will be reviewed in another post. I'm assuming that the score for the brass was already written (from a demo?) for George Martin to arrange.

The basic track was recorded on Friday October 04 1968 at Trident Studio in St. Anne's Court, London on the eight track machine. As previously mentioned in the above paragraph, Paul played the bass, drums and piano (with a guide vocal) called take 1. The brass and horns were then overdubbed and Paul added his commerical version lead vocal once the brass overdub was completed.

The next day on Saturday October 05 1968 once again at Trident Studio, Paul overdubbed his bass and an electric guitar and the song was completed. A mono mix and a stereo mix were also attempted and completed at this session.

Two days later on Monday October 07 1968 at EMI studio two, "Martha My Dear" was tape copied from the Trident tape EQ to the Abbey Road tape EQ and both versions (mono and stereo) were completed. There is no difference (to my ears) between the mono and stereo version of this great song.

"Martha My Dear" can be found on the Apple/EMI 2-LP/2-CD "The Beatles" ( White Album). One of my favourite songs on the White Album. Absolutely brilliant.

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