Friday, July 16, 2010

The Worm He Licks My Bones

The second song on side two or disc two of the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "The Beatles" (White Album) is an original Lennon/McCartney tune written main by John entitled "Yer Blues". As the title implies, this is a great Beatles Blues number.

The recording of "Yer Blues" was started on August 13 1968 in a small room called the annex beside the control room of EMI studio two. This small room gave the song it's tight sound. All four Beatles were holed up in the room with their usual instruments and played 14 takes of the basic which included John Lennon on vocals/guitar, George Harrision on guitar, Paul McCartney on the bass and Ringo Starr on the drums. Once this was complete, two reduction mixes were completed bringing the song to take 16 and 17. The actual four track recording tape (a rarity) was edited with the beginning of take 17 and the end from take 16.

The next day on August 14 1968 from EMI studio two, overdubs onto the edited master tape include John Lennon's vocal along with some backing from Paul, a second snare drum during the guitar solo and also thickening of the drum roll where there is the actual edit, as well as some guitar. You can hear the original vocal guide track as well as the original guitar solo on the master tape before overdubs due to the fact that there were no separation barriers used during the basic track recording originally produced from the small room annex. Four attempts at a mono mix were also conducted on this date although this version was not used commerically.

A final edit piece of a Ringo count-in for "Yer Blues" was added on August 20 1968 at EMI studio three. This completed the recording of the song and a mono mix was completed using the new count-in. This mono mix was used for the commercial version.

"Yer Blues" was finally mixed for stereo on Monday October 14 1968 from the control room of EMI studio two. It took five attempts to complete. The main difference between the mono and stereo mix is that the vocals are much "tighter" on the mono mix with less effect as well as the fact that the mono mix runs a little longer than the stereo mix. The fade is quicker on the stereo mix.

"Yer Blues" is available on the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "The Beatles"( White Album).

"Yer Blues" was performed by John Lennon and the Dirty Mac for the "Rock and Roll Circus" television special put on by the Rolling Stones. The performance was recorded between December 11-12 1968. There were three takes completed and a stereo mix of take three is available on the CD "Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus". The song was also performed live and recorded by the Plastic Ono Band on September 13 1969 at Varsity Stadium in Toronto and was released on the Apple LP/CD "Live Peace In Toronto 1969".

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