Sunday, December 12, 2010

Flowing More Freely Than Wine

The first of two original George Harrison compositions to appear on the Apple LP/CD "Let it Be" was entitled "I Me Mine". The fourth song on side one of the LP (the third song being "Across The Universe" previously discussed in an earlier post) was written in five minutes by George and first demonstrated to Ringo the next morning on January 08 1969 at Twickenham Studios. This segment can be seen in the "Let It Be" film. Another segment of the song being rehearsed later in the afternoon from the "Let It Be" film features Paul, George and Ringo working on the tune while John and Yoko waltz throughout. This segment was also filmed on January 08 1969 at Twickenham Studios.

During the "Get Back" project and through the recording of the songs at Apple Studios during the month of January 1969, "I Me Mine" was not recorded.

During the editing of the film at some point, it was decided that the segment featuring the song was going to be left in the film and therefore the recording of the song needed to be released on it's soundtrack. "I Me Mine" (and "Across The Universe") are therefore the two songs that are featured on the Apple "Let It Be" LP/CD that were not recorded during the January 1969 "Get Back" sessions at the Apple building.

The multi track recording of the song took place on January 03 1970 at EMI studio two. Only three Beatles were present as John was away in Denmark at the time. "I Me Mine" has the distinction of being the last Beatles recording session as a group. The session started with the recording of 16 basic tracks. Take 16 was deemed best and used on the commercial versions of both the "Let It Be" Apple LP/CD as well as the "Get Back" LP . Once the basic track was completed, overdubs included the vocals ( George lead and George/Paul backing), electric and second acoustic guitar (played by George), electric piano and organ (played by Paul). At this point the song was only 1 minute 34 seconds in duration. There was only one middle eight.

Since the Beatles were dissatisfied with the first version of the unreleased "Get Back" LP in January 1970, Glyn Johns (producer) was asked to return to the studio in order to re-compile the song line-up for a new master tape. This was done at Olympic studios on Monday January 05 1970. One of the tasks was to drop "Teddy Boy" ( a song not shown in the film and re-recorded by Paul for this first solo LP) and add "I Me Mine". Take 16 was used and mixed into stereo with an edit of some dialogue flown in from a previous take. The length of the song was still under 2 minutes. This version can be heard on the second attempt of the "Get Back" bootlegged LP. Another version of take 16 with the original count-in and take announcement can be heard on the bootleg LP "File Under: Beatles".

Another version of take 16 (with dialogue from previous take 15) at it's original length can be heard on the Apple/EMI 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 3".

On Monday March 23 1970, Phil Spector extended "I Me Mine" by adding a second middle eight and then repeated a verse in order to bring the song to it's current length of 2 minutes 25 seconds. There were also three stereo mix attempts at this session with the third mix being used for orchestral overdubs at a later session. I assume that this is the same mix heard on "Anthology 3".

On Wednesday April 01 1970, an orchestra was brought into EMI studio one (the board used was in studio three) and brass, strings and drums were overdubbed onto "I Me Mine" after two tape reductions were attempted and completed.

The next day on April 02 1970, Phil Spector mixed "I Me Mine" into stereo once again. Three attempts were completed with the third one being used for the Apple LP/CD "Let It Be".

"I Me Mine" is available on the Apple LP/CD "Let It Be". It can also be heard as take 16 without the orchestral overdub and with the extended length with a new mix on the Apple/EMI LP/CD "Let It Be...Naked".

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