Sunday, June 20, 2010

Take These Broken Wings

The next song to appear on the Apple double-LP "The Beatles" (White Album) is an original Lennon/McCartney composition written mainly by Paul entitled "Blackbird". This tune was performed in one night with Paul on vocals and acoustic guitar. Contrary to some reports, there is no metronome present. It is simply Paul keeping time with his feet back and forth from one foot to the other. This can be seen on footage from the "Anthology" video/DVD series.

The song was inspired as commentary on the race relations pertaining to the United States.

The recording took place on Tuesday June 11 1968 at EMI Studio two with both Paul McCartney and John Lennon present. There were 32 takes recorded with no reductions. All of the takes were recorded on the EMI four track machine. The last take (take 32) was deemed as the commercial and best take whereby six attempts at a mono mix were completed at this session. The fourth track of the four track machine was filled with Paul overdubbing his own voice in the middle of the song.

On Tuesday August 27 1968, the current mono mix of "Blackbird" was copied from the control room of EMI studio two and taken away.

On Sunday October 13 1968, it was decided that "Blackbird" would have some sound effects added to the track and this was done at this session. The mixing in both stereo and mono (starting again with the additional effects) was completed at this session. Both mixes required one attempt each.

There are difference in the mono and stereo mix concerning the bird sound effects. They come in a different times on both mixes.

"Blackbird" is available on the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "The Beatles" (White Album). The song is also available on the EMI/Capitol LP "The Beatles Ballads" released in the UK and Canada.

"Blackbird" was performed live by Wings and was released on the EMI/Capitol 3-LP/2-CD "Wings Over America". It was also performed by Paul McCartney during his 2002 "Back in the US/Back in the World" tour and was released on the EMI 2-CD corresponding recordings of the same name.

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