Friday, August 29, 2014

"You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" Outtakes

A very busy day over at EMI studios on February 18 1965. It always amazes me as to the speed of productivity during this period in the Beatles' career. Essentially, six songs were given final mono mixes - yes, you read that right - six songs (almost half a side of an LP in those days). Plus three new songs recorded. The six songs given final mono mixes consist of  "Ticket To Ride", "Another Girl", "I Need You", "Yes It Is", "The Night Before" and "You Like Me Too Much". Amazing. All mixes were supervised by the team of George Martin/Norman Smith.
In between this in the afternoon, a new Lennon/McCartney original was recorded. Mainly written and sung by John, this was used on the "Help!" soundtrack: "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away". Two takes have been commercially released: takes 1 and 5. Both can be found on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 1" release.
Take 1 is merely a false start with John counting in the song and Paul who has "broken a glass". Take 5 has a nice performance with vocals but without overdubs. The commercially released version used take 9 as the basic take for overdubs including an outside musician who played flute - Johnnie Scott. Also noted is the use of a Framus acoustic 12-string by John for this song.
The other new song recorded on this day plus a soundtrack song will be featured in the next entry and wasn't released nor heard by the public for almost 20 years. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, here's takes 1 and 5 brought to you by youtube for your enjoyment:

Friday, August 22, 2014

"Yes It Is" Outtakes

On the evening of February 16 1965, The Beatles were working on the soundtrack to their next movie which would eventually be entitled "Help!" (although at the time of the sessions, the name for the movie was not official). "Ticket To Ride", "I Need You" and "Another Girl" were already recorded and completed the previous afternoon/evening and the afternoon of the 16th as well (how's THAT for productive?).
The new song was entitled "Yes It Is" - an original Lennon/McCartney composition written mainly by John - this was originally meant for the film but was not used and instead released as the B-side of the next single.
Some of the takes recorded this evening do exist - note that all takes were recorded at EMI Studios in number 2.  The first take is more of a "run through" but it is complete and you can hear the members of the group trying to figure out the arrangement and what will be played. Take 2 features an attempt at a backing track but John breaks a string on his acoustic during the middle of the song so the band stops playing. Take 3 starts and stops, while take 4 also ends at the first verse when there is a discussion about the arrangement of the song once again. Take 5 has a wrong chord being played and is discarded. Takes 6, 7 and 8 are loose and there are mistakes during the attempt at the backing track. Take 9 is good due to the fact that the entire song is played through and is an acceptable backing (although this is eventually improved on).
Both takes 10 and 11 finish abruptly at the beginning of the song, by take 14 The Beatles complete the backing track with no mistakes and this is the take used for the commercial version of the song. The three part harmony vocals and percussion are overdubbed.
The song was mixed for mono two days later on February 18, with a lot of reverb added to the backing and the vocals. Oddly enough, whenever this song was released, it remained in mono or fake stereo for the longest time and it wasn't until 1988 and the release of the commercial Apple/EMI 2-LP/CD "Past Masters Volume One" did we get to hear the track in true stereo when it was originally mixed on February 23 1965. Takes 1, 2 and 14 appeared on the bootleg vinyl LP "Ultra Rare Trax, Volume 3 and 4" as well as having all of the outtakes on the bootleg CD "The Ultimate Collection, Volume Three Studio Sessions, 1965/66".
Take 14 mixed in with the commercial version appears on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2" from the stereo mix. The Youtube mix below states take 13 but it is actually takes 1 to 8. (For your
pleasure, dear reader).

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saturday Club For the Last Time In 1964

On November 25 1964, The Beatles recorded a couple of songs for the upcoming "Saturday Club" radio show in order to promo the new LP and single for the approaching holiday season. The radio show would be aired a month later on Boxing Day of the year (December 26 1964).
There seems to be a bit of confusion linked to this show. There were only two new performances aired for the show and the rest of the tunes had been previously aired on "Top Gear". Since records show that the Beatles were indeed present for the recording of a radio show in November at Studio Two, Aeolian Hall in London, the question becomes why did they not record an entire show?
The show starts with an intro with Ringo who in turn introduces "The Beatles" to much laughter and then the tape is edited to feature a performance of the Chuck Berry cover "Rock And Roll Music" sung by John and from the latest LP (Beatles For Sale). After a long intro which talks about visiting other countries such as America and Australia and the second film to be produced in the next year, the show features the original Lennon/composition "I'm A Loser" which is from the previous "Top Gear" radio show (see former post). The next song we hear is also from the previous "Top Gear" radio show which is a cover of Carl Perkin's "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" which is sung by George and is also from the "For Sale" LP.
After wishing everyone holiday greetings by the band, the A-side of the new single is featured; the Lennon/McCartney original "I Feel Fine" is played which is also from the previous "Top Gear" show. The Beatles launch into another cover from the "For Sale" LP, mainly Little Richard's "Kansas City/ Hey Hey Hey Hey" sung by none other than Paul. The show ends with a performance of the B-side of the current single; another Lennon/McCartney original which features Paul's voice "She's A Woman" and the final re-broadcast from the "Top Gear" show.
All of these numbers can be found on the bootleg LP "Beatles At the Beeb, Volumer Twelve" as well as on the Great Dane Complete BBC Sessions box set (CD 9).
Commercially, you can find the performance of "Rock And Roll Music" on the Apple 2-CD/ 2-LP "Live At the BBC" (3-LP if it's the remastered version.). "Kansas City/ Hey Hey Hey Hey" can also be found commercially on the Apple 2-CD/3-LP "On Air - Live At the BBC Volume 2".

Friday, August 8, 2014

Ready, Steady, Go! (For The Final Time)

On November 23 1964, The Beatles appeared on the Rediffusion TV series "Ready, Steady, Go"! with hosts Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan. This was the final mimed performance on this show for the group.
The Beatles mimed to four tunes: the latest single (of course) with both the A-side "I Feel Fine" written mainly by John and "She's A Woman" written mainly by Paul. The other two songs mimed on the show included "Baby's In Black" and the cover version of Little Richard's "Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey!".
The show was broadcast four days later on November 17 1964
The entire can be found on a Japanese import laserdisc but I've found a view of the song "She's A Woman" form this particular performance on youtube and I've included the link for your viewing pleasure.