Saturday, October 30, 2010

Little Darling

The first song on side two of the Apple LP/CD "Abbey Road" is the classic George Harrison composition entitled "Here Comes The Sun" which was written in Eric Clapton's garden (as the story goes) during a day off from the Beatles madness.

One of the pleasures of the original vinyl version compared to the laster CD version is the fact that the music is split up into two parts: side one which is the collection of tunes and the abrupt ending of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" whereby the tape is cut while the music is still going and building up to a cresendo. This must have come as quite a surprise to most fans and music listeners when the LP was first released. The needle then glides off the LP and it stops. It must be then flipped over, and the second side starts. This side contains the long medley as well as ending with another abrupt ending of "Her Majesty" which is missing the final chord. As this while staring at an Apple revolving around and around and around.

Recording for "Here Comes The Sun" was started on July 07 1969 (Ringo Starr's 29th birthday) with George on acoustic guitar and guide vocal, Paul on bass and Ringo on Drums. Thirteen takes were recorded at EMI studio two and then the acoustic guitar was perfected as an overdub to take 13. John Lennon was not involved in the recording.

The next day on July 08 1969 and once again at EMI studio two, George Harrison laid down his lead vocal and then George and Paul added vocal harmonies as overdubs. The eight track was then treated to two reductions taking the song to takes 14 and 15. A rough mono mix of take 15 was completed and taken away by George Harrison.

On July 16 1969, handclaps and a harmonium were added to "Here Comes The Sun" as overdubs. The activity took place at EMI Studio three.

On Monday August 04 1969, a rough stereo mix of the current version of "Her Comes The Sun" was attempted and completed at EMI studio three from the control room. This was mainly a reference mix for George Harrison.

Two days later on August 06, 1969 at EMI studio three, George Harrison overdubbed some more acoustic guitar onto take 15 of the song.

On Friday August 15 1969, the orchestration for "Here Comes The Sun" was overdubbed onto take 15. The musicians were in EMI studio one but the recording itself was controlled through the board in Studio two. The instruments included violas, cellos, string bass, flutes, picolos and clarinets.

Four days later on August 19 1969, a final moog synthesizer was added to the song by George Harrison and the song was mixed into stereo for the version that we all now know and love. The moog overdub was conducted in room 43 at EMI and the mixing was completed from the control room of EMI studio two.

"Here Comes The Sun" can be found on the Apple LP/CD "Abbey Road" as well as the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "The Beatles 1967-1970" as well as the Capitol/EMI LP/CD "The Best of George Harrison". The song is also contained on the compilation Capitol of Canada/Parlophone LP "The Beatles Ballads". A version can also be found on the Apple/EMI 2 lp/CD "Love".

Live performances of "Here Comes The Sun" can be found on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "The Concert For Bangla Desh"(an acoustic version with Pete Ham of Badfinger), another live performance of the song took place on "Saturday Night Live" on November 18 1976 (an acoustic version with Paul Simon), another version was performed live by George at the "prince's trust" on June 05 1987 and remains unreleased. George Harrison and Eric Clapton toured Japan in 1991 and "Here Comes the Sun" was performed. A performance from the Japanese tour can be found on the Dark Horse 2-LP/2-CD "Live In Japan". The last public performanced of the song took place a year later in 1992 for the Natural law Party Benefit which took place at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

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