Saturday, October 2, 2010

I'm So Glad You Came Here

The B side to the second Beatles' single of 1969 is an original George Harrison composition entitled "Old Brown Shoe".

The first recording of "Old Brown Shoe" took place on February 25 1969 at EMI studios, although there is no information pertaining to exactly which studio within the building was used on this occasion. The recording was more of a demo for perhaps the Beatles to eventually learn. The recording also features only George Harrison playing all of the instruments including guitars, piano and vocals. There were two takes of the song and the engineer for this session was Ken Scott. At some point the song was mixed for stereo although there is no documentation as to when this was done. This version of "Old Brown Shoe" is available on the Apple/EMI 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 3".

A second demo recording of "Old Brown Shoe" occurred on Wednesday April 16 1969 at EMI studio three with only George Harrison once again laying down guitar and vocal. The rest of the band arrived later in the session and this demo version was played to the group before proper takes were recorded. Once the recording of the whole band was up and running, the second demo was erased.

The song was recorded in one take (presumably the rehearsals were not recorded) with Ringo on drums, George on guitar and guide vocal, Paul on the piano and John on rhythm guitar. Overdubs included bass by Paul, guitars by George, backing vocals by John and Paul and main vocal by George. The song was mixed for stereo once the overdubs were complete. There were three attempts at a stereo mix at this point but none of the mixes were released commercially due to later overdubs.

Two days later on April 18 1969 at EMI Studio three, George Harrison recorded more overdubs including organ and the lead guitar solo played through a leslie speaker. John Lennon's original rhythm guitar track was wiped away from the mix. The song was once again mixed for stereo once the overdubs were complete in 19 attempts and was never mixed for mono.

"Old Brown Shoe" is available on the Apple 45 in the UK (R 5786) and in North America on Apple 45 (2531). It is also available on the Apple LP "Hey Jude/The Beatles Again" and on the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "The Beatles 1967-1970". The song also appears on the Apple/EMI 2-LP/CD "Past Masters Volume Two" as well as the Apple/EMI remasters 2-CD "Past Masters".

A live version of "Old Brown Shoe" was performed in Japan by George Harrison w/Eric Clapton's band in the early 1990s and can be heard on the Dark Horse 2-LP/2-CD "Live In Japan".

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