Saturday, September 27, 2014

"That Means A Lot" Session - Second Attempt

On the evening of March 30 1965, The Beatles decended back into Studio Two at EMI studios in order to try once again to salvage the original composition "That Means A Lot". This was a remake of the previous attempt a month earlier. It says something about this song in that there were not that many remakes of tunes during the Beatles' recording career. They are far and few between. The band must have seen potential in this number although judging by the outtakes, it's clear that this tune became a bit of a lost cause after a few takes. Too bad, it's a great melody and may have fit well on the soundtrack.
Take 20 is played in a different key (the original key is E and this one moves up three semi-tones to G making it quite high). I don't know why the band decided to try it in this key as it is obviously way to high for McCartney to sing, but they get through it OK. Take 22 has a nice riff at the beginning and in the verses and is back in the key of E. Takes 23 and 24 are played in the higher key again and they both consist of abandoned attempts with the band eventually purposely playing sloppy near the end of both takes.
All of this can be heard on the excellent CD compilation bootleg "Turn Me On Dead Man: The John Barrett Tapes" in excellent sound.
It should be noted that overdubs for "You're going To Lose That Girl" were also completed at this evening's sessions.
I've included takes 20-24 from Youtube for your listening pleasure:

Saturday, September 20, 2014

"That Means A Lot" Session - First Attempt

The Beatles gathered back to Studio two at EMI studios on February 20 1965 ostensibly to finish this portion of recording as they would be starting to act in the second film as yet untitled but eventually becomding "Help!". This day was spent working on a new original Lennon/McCartney composition - written mainly by Paul- entitled "That Means A Lot".
The band rehearsed a few takes and then a proper take (take 1) was completed and some piano/ maracas were later overdubbed as well as some double tracked vocals. A second attempt at this number would also be recorded a month later but we'll deal with that in a later post.
This first attempt yielded a place on the commercially released Apple 2-CD/3-LP "Anthology 2" project but the mix that was used is full of reverb and a little muddy for my liking. This same mix also appears on various bootlegs including the "Sessions" CD and the "Unsurpassed Masters, Vol. 2" CD as well. The best mix for this tune can be found on the "File Under" vinyl bootleg which uses an earlier mix done in the mid 1970s whereas the former mix was done in the 1980s especially for the aborted "Sessions" LP/CD.
The song was "given away" to PJ Proby to cover and his version is horrible. Here's a nice clean stereo mix from take 1:

Saturday, September 13, 2014

"You're Going To Lose That Girl" production acetate.

On February 19 1965, The Beatles were in the midst of recording the soundtrack for their upcoming second movie eventually entitled "Help!" at EMI Studios number two and created a rarity.
After three takes, "You're Going To Lose That Girl" (an original Lennon/McCartney tune written and sung mainly by John) was completed and a production acetate for the film was mixed in mono. This production version of the song is missing the piano and the overdubbed bongos (added the next month). There is also a completely different Harrison guitar solo in the middle of the song. Whether The Beatles intended to leave this song as it is for the moment or not is pure speculation. The released commercial version has the further overdubs as well as a new guitar solo. The song can be found on the vinyl bootleg "Not Guilty" as well as on the CD bootleg "Help! Sessions".
Here it is on youtube:

Saturday, September 6, 2014

"If You've Got Trouble" plus one.

The second half of the Beatles recording session for February 18 1965 featured two tunes recorded in the evening. Both of the songs were original Lennon/McCartney spectaculars.
The first song was given to Ringo for vocals and entitled "If You've Got Trouble". The band ended up only performing the song for one take and then some vocals and a bit of guitar were added to the backing. Very early in the session the song was deemed weak and thus did not appear commercially for over twenty years.
It was eventually mixed in mono on April 21 1976 simply for reference. Eight years later, EMI decided to try and release an album of studio rarities so "If You've Got Trouble" was once again mixed and edited. This version was also not released and ended up on various bootlegs.
Finally, the song was remixed for stereo and was released commercially on the EMI/Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2" project.
The other tune recorded and completed at this session was written mainly by Paul and entitled "Tell Me What You See" which ended up on side 2 of the UK Parlophone LP/CD "Help!". It took four takes and addition vocals and percussion were overdubbed.
"If You've Got Trouble" can be found with early mixes on the following bootlegs: the vinyl "File Under: Beatles", "Sessions" and the CD "Unsurpassed Masters, Volume 2".
Here is a sample of the Unsurpassed version: