Saturday, December 12, 2015

"Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" mixes

Over the course of time, various mixes of the John Lennon composition "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" have been accomplished. The commercial mono mix very interesting for it's amount of "flanging" which is a sort of wobble throughout the song which makes this mix cool to listen to and to compare with the stereo mix (both mixes RM4 and RS5 can be heard on the commerical LP/CD "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band").
Overdubs for the final recording evolving into take seven were accomplished on March 02 1967 and included bass by Paul, vocals by John and Paul, some lead guitar and tamboura fom George and drums from Ringo. The recording of overdubs took place in Studio 2 at EMI in London, England.
For the current mixes one anomoly features a mix whereby John Lennon's vocals are mixed out and the voice of Dick Emery (who did the voice for the "boob" in the movie "Yellow Submarine" speaks/sings the first verse). This mono mix was never used in the movie due to the fact that it's been said the Lennon had no interest in sharing the songwriting credit - nor do I blame him !! This mono mix can be found on the CD bootleg "The Lost Pepperland Reel" and the recording was accomplished on November 01 1967. The mix for the commercial Apple 2-CD/3-LP "Anthology 2" includes a stereo mix of the song which uses take six with some tamboura from take 07 added. The date for this particular mix was probably done in the early 1990s.
Finally the mix for the commercial Apple LP/CD "Yellow Submarine Songtrack" moves the drums to the center of the spectrum and was also probably done in the 1990s since the recording was issued in 1999.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

"Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" - Take 06

A new Beatles composition written mainly by John Lennon has surfaced at this time and it would be an addition to the new LP being recorded. The song was entitled "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" inspired by John's son Julian's title for a painting he had done at school.
There were rehearsals for the song in Studio 2 at EMI on February 28 but nothing exists from these rehearsals and anything recorded was probably erased.
Attempts at a backing track were also recorded on March 01 1967 once again during the evening at the same location as the rehearsal (Studio 2 at EMI) in London. Seven takes were attempted with the seventh one ultimately used.
We also have take 06 of the backing track with Paul McCartney playing the organ including the opening riff, George Martin is on piano, George Harrison is playing an acoustic guitar and John Lennon is singing a guide vocal along with shaking some maracas. Eventually by the next take, the piano would be taken out and not used on the final recording.
This take can be found on the television special "The Making of Sgt. Pepper" whereby George Martin and Paul McCartney sit at a modern control board and pull faders up and down revealing the sounds. From this soundtrack, the song is also available on the bootlegs "Arrive Without Travelling" on LP and "Arrive Without Aging" on CD.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

"A Suitable Ending"

On February 10 1967 which was the day the orchestra recorded their crescendo for the "A Day In The Life" session, The Beatles found that there was really nothing after the orchestra overdub on tape to end the song in a long and drawn-out way. It was suggested to have the group (and probably some friends) stand around a microphone and "hum" a note together trying to make it last at long as possible. This was tried and rejected. This recording of the "hum" version ending can be found on the alternate bootleg of the "Anthology" DVD director's cut bootleg.
On February 22 1967 at EMI Studio 2, another idea spawned out of the group whereby keyboards would be used to sustain notes as long as possible for the ending. It was decided that three pianos and a harmonium would be used. Therefore, the ending for "A Day In The Life" consists of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Mal Evans and (on harmonium) George Martin all play an E major chord together on the various pianos, etc.
It took nine attempts at this ending and the ninth was used on the recording. The final chord is almost a minute long (53 seconds to be exact according to John Winn's book). The sound was layered three times to thicken it up a bit and this was added to the mono and stereo mixes of the song completed the same day.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Snippets of "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!"

Bookends of a rehearsal session as well as attempts as some studio takes are available to the listening public on commercial releases over the years for "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!" which is a mainly John song written in January/February of 1967 inspired by a circus poster advertising the Pablo Fanques Fair and Circus show.
Both takes one and two from February 17 1967 in EMI Studio 2 in London consists of the Beatles preparing the backing takes for "Kite" with George Martin playing the harmonium, John Lennon singing the main vocal, Paul on bass, George on tambourine and Ringo on his usual drums. Both takes are aborted after a few seconds with the first take being counted in by Paul and the band realizing after a bar or two that the song is being played too slow! There is a bit of an adjustment made for the count in and another attempt is realized before a break down of the song occurs. All of this can be heard in the first minute of the track on the 3-LP/2-CD Apple release "Anthology 2". It would eventually require seven takes to perfect the backing which will be discussed in a later post.
The Beatles also tended to record the rehearsals of their takes and sometimes the proper take would erase the previous rehearsals but in this case a couple of snippets from the rehearsals can be heard. One example is on the Anthology DVD set whereby there is a comment by John Lennon followed by the announcement of a rehearsal take 8 by the engineer Geoff Emerick.
Another snippet of the rehearsals lasting only two seconds has been released commercially as part of Paul McCartney's 2000 release "Liverpool Sound Collage" which has John Lennon stating "Well, we'll have the Masked Alberts on by then". This quote also originates from the original rehearsal sessions and is repeated on the track "Plastic Beetle".

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Good Morning Good Morning Take 8

Take 08 of "Good Morning, Good Morning" which was the second John Lennon tune worked on for the new LP - the first being "A Day In The Life". Take 08 consists of an early mix and is not really an outtake per se but more of a basic track work before the overdubbing of other various instruments and used as an example of creation for the commercial "Anthology" project.
The instrumentation is bare bones and you can hear the electric guitar, drums and tambourine from February 08 1967 in Studio Two of EMI in London.
The addition of bass guitar and John's lead vocal from February 16 1967 are added to this and - viola - take 08 is completed. This version of the song was released commercially on the Apple/EMI 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2" as it stood at this point.
The overdubbing of horns and additional vocals would be done almost a month later. The take 08 version would also be reduced with the instruments on one of the four tracks and the vocal on the second of the four tracks. Lennon has said that the song is based on a television commercial that he saw for Kellogg's Corn Flakes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcXVLr83yvI


Saturday, November 7, 2015

"A Day In the Life" Orchestra Session

On February 10 1967, The Beatles and some of their friends made an event out of the recording of a 40 piece orchestra overdub for one of their songs: "A Day In the Life". The orchestra was hired to play a low note on their instruments and move up to the highest note they could muster in a set period of time without following each other. This is a very unorthodox task and very difficult to do as most orchestras "gel" together and rarely to they play as individuals but complement their sections by playing as a group and being "tight" timing wise.
By this time, The Beatles had worked on "A Day In the Life" with Paul re-doing his middle bridge section and adding the "ah" part between his section and the third verse (sounding very much like Lennon). The drums and bass were also re-recorded with an entire different performance from the earlier take with Ringo adding his signature fills as released on the commercial version we all know and love.
The orchestral overdub was conducted in Studio One of EMI Studios with Paul McCartney "conducting" the orchestra. The musicians were asked to wear various prank costume effects and it was more of a party atmosphere than a regular recording sessions. Bubbles, noisemakers, colourful costumes took it all to a new level !!
The two four-track machines were synced up and four of the tracks were used. The orchestra overdubbed themselves four times although they probably didn't know it and thought they were rehearsing a couple of takes. The four track filled, this would be mixed into take seven of the final version of the song when released in mono and stereo on the "Pepper" LP.
A good way to hear this is an the 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2" as part of the various takes within the track, but I've found a youtube link that has the orchestra also you may want to move your spot as it only comes in half way through the song - as you all well know.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDZRrtjxBNQ


Friday, October 30, 2015

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" Remix 1

On February 01 1967, it was time to record what would become the theme song to the new LP, entitled "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". The backing for the song consisted of the Beatles playing their usual instruments from the early days including Ringo on drums, John and George on electric guitars and Paul on electric bass. The bass was plugged in direct rather than going through an amp.
Nine takes were attempted before everyone was satisfied.
On February 02 1967 ( all of which took place in studio two of EMI, including the backing), the vocals were added to take nine bringing up to take ten. Paul recorded his main vocal and the harmonies were also added in the chorus section on this night.
The results were mixed into mono and put on an acetate as a reference. At this point, the introductory guitar is not yet added, the brass is also not added and the ending is extended before editing. The remix can be found on the bootleg CD "Acetates" on the Yellow Dog label. I've added a version from youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAVKEee8b7s


Saturday, October 24, 2015

"Good Morning Good Morning" demo

During the time period of January 1967 it was common for John Lennon and Ringo Starr to get together and fart around with Lennon's recording and musical equipment at John's house "Kenwood" simply to amuse themselves.
It was during a time like this that a demo tape of one of the upcoming songs for the new LP - at the time untitled - was produced by John Lennon at his home.
John sits at his mellotron and plays the (now) familiar tune "Good Morning Good Morning" with lyrics and melody all intact.
Two verses are sung along with one line of the chorus: "Good Morning" and the first middle eight section. The timing of the song is slightly different than what would be arranged for the final version appearing on the "Pepper" LP.
The demo version of the song can be found on bootleg vinyl as "The Lost Lennon Tapes Volume Four" taken from the popular radio show and also on the bootleg CD "The Lost Pepperland Reel".
Here's a listing for it from youtube. Enjoy !!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SO9WDHas3gI


Saturday, October 17, 2015

"A Day In the Life"-RM1

One of my favourite remixes (if there is such a thing) for demo purposes was conducted on January 20 1967 at EMI Studio Two in London. The Beatles had performed the completed rhythm track the previous day with added vocals, some piano, Paul's vocal in the middle section of the song as well as Paul's bass and Ringo's drums (an early version of such).
You will also note that most of the overdubs on this remix would eventually be replaced with better performances as time went on. The middle bars where the orchestral climax would later be added are bare in this version with Beatles' assistant Mal Evans counting out the bars and setting an alarm clock that would ring at the end of the count - this part is kept in on the final version.
Paul's vocal is not perfect and he screws up the final lyric which causes a laugh and a curse word - "shit!". There is also no ending to the song yet in that the final chord has yet to be added to the song.
This version can be found on various bootleg LPs such as "Foretaste", "1967" and "Classified Document" as well as the bootleg CD "Acetates".
I've included some of the remix from "youtube" although the very first part originates from the making of "Sgt. Pepper" special and is then spliced onto the remaining demo.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evNHVHx9BPw


Saturday, October 10, 2015

"A Day In The Life" - Take 1

The Beatles entered Studio 2 at EMI on January 19 1967 in order to start work on a new composition for their as yet untitled upcoming LP. The song was "A Day In The Life Of..." written jointly by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The beginning and ending were John and the middle section was written by Paul. Both tunes were pulled together and held by an overdub of ascending notes of various instrument of an orchestra.
However, on this day, the first take consisted of John performing his vocal and playing acoustic guitar, Paul on the piano, George on the Maraca and Ringo on the bongos although there are photos of John at the piano and Paul at the organ. At the beginning of the take before the count-in you can hear an organ chord being played.
The take can be heard with John counting in the song as "sugar plum fairy, sugar plum fairy" mumbled twice. This version is not very long and I can't find it on "youtube" to give you a sample, but it can be found on the bootleg LP "Arrive Without Travelling" and on bootleg CD as "Arrive Without Aging".

Saturday, October 3, 2015

"Penny Lane" Mixes

It get pretty weird when you start to log on and write about mixes of particular song. I suppose this is Beatles information that some of us enjoy since a lot of us want to have as many variations in our collection as possible. Let me try to sort this out a bit:
First off, it was decided by the Beatles (mainly Paul) that the solo in the song would be played through a piccolo trumpet similar to one that Paul - the composer of the song -  had heard on the BBC 2's "Masterworks" series. The solo and a coda was played by David Mason and added to the the third track of the four track tape. The woodwind instruments were taken out but the previous brass was left in the choruses. Mixing of the song was attempted once the overdubs were completed.
On January 17 1967 in Studio 2 at EMI, George Martin and company mixed the song in three attempts with the last attempt being sent to North America and Capitol Records used this mix on their promotional singles. This mix uses the trumpet coda at the end of the song. (RM11).
One week and a day later on January 25, further mono mixes were attempted and this time the trumpet coda was removed from the song and copies of this mix (RM14) were sent to North America and Capitol Records with the instructions to use this mix for the commercial single.
"Penny Lane" was not mixed nor stereo until after the break up of the group. The commercial version on North America's Capitol LP "Magical Mystery Tour" originally had the song in duophonic or in fake stereo with the highs in one speaker and the lows in the other speaker. The true stereo mix was completed in 1971 and first used on the West Germany Apple LP "Magical Mystery Tour". The current commercial CD also uses this stereo mix.
In 1980, the stereo version with a dubbed section at the end for the original coda was released on the Capitol LP "Rarities".
Lastly, the stereo mix for the Apple 3-LP/2-CD commercial version of "Anthlogy 2" used a remixed version with the addition of the original solo, a normal speed vocal and an extension of the song.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

"Penny Lane" and the addition of Woodwinds/Brass.

On January 12 1967, The Beatles entered studio 3 at EMI Studios in order to add extra instruments in the creation Paul's "Penny Lane" masterpiece. McCartney decided it would suit the song to have some extra sounds on it and so it was that this afternoon/evening session saw additional outside musicians perform at Studio 3 (the smaller one).
The instruments used for the solo part of the song consisted of having trumpets in the choruses, two oboes and two cor anglais used during the solo gap and at the last chorus as well. A double bass was also added on to the last verse of the song. All of the woodwinds/brass overdubs were added to track 2 of the four track recording.
At the end of the session, the song was mixed for mono and entitled RM8 (remix 8). This includes the overdubs explained above and it is before the Bach trumpet was added days later.
This version of the song can be found on some bootleg CDs including the title "Turn Me On, Dead Man: The John Barrett Tapes".
I've included this mix version from the "youtube" site for your listening pleasure.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K1EPpHsq0s


Saturday, September 19, 2015

"Penny Lane" Overdub Tape

On January 09 1967, The Beatles were in the studio to lay overdubs by flutes, trumpets, piccolos and a flugelhorn for the addition to the "Penny Lane" completed tracks. The main basic track as well as various vocals and instruments played by the band were already in place by this session.
It seems that John Lennon decided to tape a part of the overdub session and occasionally adding some effects to the sound, although the reason for this is unknown.
Hearing it this way shows how The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" could have been a major influence on "Penny Lane" for McCartney as there are similarities to my ears. Especially the isolation of the piano and the flutes. The musicians are conducted by George Martin in Studio 2 at EMI.
This tape has been bootlegged on vinyl as "Arrive Without Travelling" and later on compact disc as "Arrive Without Aging". The tape is also available on the CD "The Lost Pepperland Reel" and on youtube as demonstrated below for your listening pleasure.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17BmJHUECFU


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Strawberry Fields Forever - Take 26 and RM9

A week after the recording of Take 25, on December 15 1966, The Beatles gathered into EMI Studio 2 in London for more work on the song "Strawberry Fields Forever". This time take 25 ( the heavy strings and cello version) was reduced from four tracks to two tracks. This would leave another two tracks to work on since at this time The Beatles still worked with four track mixing !!
On the third track we hear Lennon's vocals along with the addition of George Harrison playing the decending Svaramandal Indian instrument. There is also a mellotron loop of what sounds like backwards flute at the end of the song where Ringo's mad drumming is during the coda. Acetates of the work in progress were made and given to the members of the band at this session as well.
Probably the best way to hear this amazing take/mono mix is on the bootleg CD "Turn Me On, Dead Man" (the John Barrett tapes). I've added an audio sample of the mix via the youtube site:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVM0WE5Fis0


Friday, September 4, 2015

Strawberry Fields Forver - take 25 and Editing

On December 08 1966, it was decided that the song needed to go into another direction - most likely from it's composer's point of view and so a score was written by George Martin for brass and strings. The song was sped up and various percussion instruments added as well by Ringo and the rest of the band. The editing of takes 15 and take 24 were completed on this occasion including the "cranberry sauce" quote used at the end by John who also tells Ringo to "calm down" on the drums.
Some of this recording can be heard on the commercial Apple 2-CD/3-LP "Anthology 2" set. I've included the take 25 link as well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QacJBCcf1Kg


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Christmas Messages for Radio 1966

On December 06 1966, during the sessions for the upcoming as yet untitled LP, The Beatles started working on a new McCartney song entitled "When I'm Sixty Four" which was an early composition written mainly by Paul but with a middle section about grand kids added by John. The very basic track of piano, bass, drums and some lead guitar at the end was attempted and left. Nothing from the very basic track and this date has been released in any form so far.
The other task for the session in EMI Studio 2 was to record some upcoming Christmas messages for the fans and to send these messages to the various off short/ alternate radio stations such as Radio Caroline and Radio Scotland in and around the UK island.
A three minute recording of the original session tape is available via youtube as well as on the bootleg CD "The Seven Years of Christmas". These messages have each individual Beatle sending a greeting backed by either a mellotron or a piano in the studio.  There are several "takes" or attempts at the greetings with some of them in various accents.
Four of the spoken word items ( one for each Beatle ) was eventually overdubbed onto an outtake of the 1967 "Christmas Time Is Here Again" tune and used on the 1995 EMI vinyl single/ CD single "Free As A Bird" and is available commercially.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9371-RJ7XA


Saturday, August 22, 2015

"Strawberry Fields Forever" Takes 5,6 and 7

On November 29 1966, The Beatles once again entered Studio two in order to once again attempt a better recording performance for the new Lennon song: "Strawberry Fields Forever".
Take 5 starts with Paul's introduction at the mellotron but this doesn't last very long as he doesn't end up playing it very well and the false start is aborted.
Take 6 is great with the introduction we all know and love, great drums from Ringo, guitar from George and vocals from John. The entire song is played through with an extend ending similar to a King Crimson sounding coda, especially the flute sounds and guitar. You can also hear remnants of previous attempts/performances of the basic track.
Finally, take 7 is a tape reduction of take 6 with some added bass guitar by Paul and effects (ADT) added to John Lennon's vocal.  The Beatles were supposedly given acetates of the results to take home and ponder the performance.
These studio takes can be heard on various vinyl and CD bootlegs: the vinyl bootleg "Ultra Rare Trax, Volume 5 and 6" and the CD equivalent "Unsurpassed Masters, Volume 3" also has these takes.
I've also included a youtube posting:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssJ-E7mTF98

Saturday, August 8, 2015

"Strawberry Fields Forever" Takes 2,3 and 4.

On November 28 1966, The Beatles entered EMI Studio 2 with their producer George Martin in order to continue work on the new Lennon penned song "Strawberry Fields Forever". Since take 1 was not used nor released at the time, this was an attempt at a rhythm track in order to lay overdubs. Take 2 consists of the famous mellotron with flute setting introduction played by Paul, maracas by John, guitar by George and drums by Ringo.
Take 2 is a fairly completed take and almost makes it all the way through although you can hear various small mistakes on the keyboard (mellotron) and a bit of glitches with the guitar. Ringo is perfect as usual.
Take 3 is basically just the introduction on the mellotron before John interrupts with the statement of this being too loud !!
Take 4 is another attempt at a rhythm track and this time John adds his vocal and there is also a bass part added by Paul. Probably the best place to hear this material is from the CD "Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 3".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFjNYmK-uOI


Monday, August 3, 2015

"Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas" Fourth Fan Club Flexi

On November 25 1966, The Beatles recorded their fourth Fan Club Christmas message in the old traditional form of the English Pantomime/ Vaudeville type play or show. This recording was not done at EMI Studios but was recorded and completed at Dick James' House ( Dick James was their music publisher at the time). The producer and probably editor for this material was George Martin although the scope of his work was most likely "final say" in how the edits and the material sounded at the end.
For this fourth time, The Beatles decided to give their Fan Club something a little different and more creative. The previous Fan Club flexis consist mainly of speeches thanking their fans by the individual members or by the group and/or a singalong or traditional Christmas carols or an older song or even a current hit (i.e. "Yesterday" from the previous year).
The flexi for 1966 consists of edits with some songs and some of the Beatles humour thrown in using the short narrative form that was being used in old traditional British music hall.
The flexi starts with the theme song: "Everywhere It's Christmas" which features Paul on piano and the theme sung by each member of the group in turn. This is followed by "Orowayna" sounding like a choir - the credits stating that this is "conducted by a bearded man in glasses". This segment is narrated by Paul who is likely still on piano. Ringo narrates the next section of "A Rare Cheese" (Two Elder Scotsmen) with George commenting on (wonderful stuff, this)!. John narrates "The Feast" (The King Overindulges). So much indulgence that a doctor is called at the end of the segment. Next up is "The Loyal Toast" which is narrated by George and takes place on the HMS Tremendous. The Toast is conducted to Her Majesty by none other than Ringo !!
The fun continues with the story of "Podgy The Bear and Jasper" narrated by John with George who both play the characters and this segment explains a memory issue and how to solve it without paper - matches, candles and buns !! The next segment of the flex deals with "Felpin Mansions - Part One (Count Balder and Butler)" starring the eccentric son of Baron Landsberg, the inventor of the Rack. This segment segues into "Felpin Mansions - Part Two ( The Count and the Pianist)" whereby the request to play old tunes is accepted by Paul which segues into the next section of the flexi as "Please Don't Bring Your Bango Back". The ending fades with everyone joining in. The next segment features Mal Evans telling the Fan Club members that "Everywhere It's Christmas". The last section of the disc repeats the theme song and title track "Everywhere it's Christmas" sung by all members of the Beatles with the accompaniment of piano. The track ends with the quote "Jolly Good" and lots of clapping.
It must have been weird for the North American market to receive this gift as they would not be familiar with the form of Pantomime so they probably thought the Beatles were getting a little "out there" ...LOL !!
The front cover of the flexi disc has a design by Paul McCartney (photo above) and the back cover consists of the credits, titles, etc. My copy is the UK version. The disc is one sided and has brown lettering with the catalogue number LYN 1145. The Fan Club logo is at the top and the logo is also featured at the top of the back cover.
The flexi disc was never commercially released and only issued to the Fan Club the following month on December 16 1966. It can be found on the bootleg vinyl and CD Christmas Collections readily available as well as on the official Apple LP "The Beatles' Christmas Album" in North America and "From Then To You" as the UK version of same which were also only issued to the Fan Club members. I've added a clip:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFMr2fp9w6k

Saturday, July 25, 2015

"Strawberry Fields Forever" - Take 1

The Beatles gathered into EMI Studio 2 on November 24 1966 in order to begin sessions for what was to become the new LP. Of course, no title yet, but most of the evening - starting at 7 PM - and into the early morning was spent on a new Lennon song entitled "Strawberry Fields Forever".
The instrumental line up for this session consisted of John Lennon conducting lead and backing vocals as well as playing electric guitar. Paul McCartney playing a keyboard named the Mellotron which was an early version of a keyboard sampler including tapes of strings, flutes and whatever could be sampled on tape, basically an early version of a synthesizer. George Harrison also on guitar and slide guitar and finally Ringo Starr on his drums.
The track reminds me a bit of a King Crimson-type structure. Lots of mellotron, a slow type melody and overdubs of exquisite backing vocals on the later verse. The first verse was probably composed lyrically between the last set of composing tapes and this session. The famous flute mellotron intro is not yet present on this version. No outside musicians were used during this session. A very satisfactory performance but the song would eventually be remade in later sessions.
This take can be found on various bootlegs including the bootleg vinyl LP, "Nothing Is Real", and on the 2-LP "Ultra Rare Trax, Volume 5 and 6". It can also be found on the bootleg CDs "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Unsurpassed Masters, Volume 3". The television special "The Making of Sgt. Pepper" has a version of the session with an isolation of the slide guitar and various parts from the original tapes manipulated by George Martin. Finally, the song was released commercially on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2" although Lennon's second overdubbed vocal and the backing vocals are mysterious cut out and missing from the original version. I've included the commercial version for you from youtube if you haven't heard it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53jCLYdArfY



Sunday, July 12, 2015

Composing Tape 2 For "Stawberry Fields Forever"

Sometime probably in early to mid November of 1966, John Lennon made a cassette with experimental instrumentation - mainly electric guitar and mellotron and vocals - for arrangement purposes and composing purposes related to the song "Strawberry Fields Forever" which would be the first song recorded for the new (at the time) Beatles LP sessions at Abbey Road. It was eventually released on a single with "Penny Lane" and issued on LP until the end of 1967 when it was included on the North American version of "Magical Mystery Tour".
These takes were likely home recordings from "Kenwood" - John Lennon's home in Weybridge near London, England.
The first seven takes consist of John playing both guitar and lead vocals while strumming the guitar in various ways while searching for words to fill out the melody. There is another set of takes that have John overdubbing mellotron over takes 3 to 7.
Most of these demos could be heard on the "Lost Lennon Tapes" radio series in the late 1980s and were copied onto various volumes of the "Lost Lennon Tapes" bootleg vinyl LP series (namely, volumes one, three and nine). Take 6 and an edit of take 7 were commercially issued on the Beatles Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2" albums. You can also find the complete demos on the bootleg CD "It's Not Too Bad".
I've included a part of the demoes listed at takes 2 to 7 from the youtube site:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRd5hlRG4nA


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Composing Tape 1 for "Strawberry Fields Forever"

Sometime in September 1966, while John Lennon was filming the anti-war film "How I Won The War" in Spain, a new creation popped into his head and the tune was to be released for the new Beatles recordings commencing the following month in late November. The new song would be entitled "Strawberry Fields Forever" and the composing tape for the song exists in two parts. The first part was recorded in a hotel room at Santa Isabel in Spain.
The proceedings were recorded on a cassette. First up is a short instrumental lasting less than thirty seconds which was probably a warm up and then "Take 1" begins with a verse and lasts less than a minute. A second take is performed and once again only contains a verse with a lyric change for the first line of the song as it stands.
The next take and the fourth take introduce the chorus part of the song: "Let me take you down..." and then some ad libbed lyrics.
The last two takes feature a couple of verses and the very last section of the composing take also contains the lyrics to the chorus being put in place.
Most of these takes can be found on the CD "Revolution" as well as the bootleg LP "The Lost Lennon Tapes Volume Thirty. These can also be found on the bootleg "It's Not Too Bad".
I've included takes 5 and 6 from these sessions:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaOZFz1ZJp0


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Beatles Live at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, USA

It's amazing that the 1966 world tour has very, very little audio of the actual full concerts. Apart from Germany and Japan, the only complete show that I know of from the US is the final show at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on August 29 1966.
The new LP was "Revolver" and the single was "Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby" but none of these were played. Only "Paperback Writer" was attempted from the "Revolver" sessions and nothing else. By this time The Beatles were sick of touring and looking forward to establishing themselves as a recording unit which they would do quite nicely.
This concert was supposedly recorded on cassette by the Beatles' press office Tony Barrow who was instructed to do so by the group. The Beatles would normally forbid any filming or recording of their concerts without special permission and as this was a special occasion (the entire group knew this would be the last concert) they went ahead and recorded most of it. The last song on the tape is the beginning portion of "Long Tall Sally" (replacing the usual "I'm Down") and then the 30 minute tape ends abruptly.
The set list for the show is as follows: "Intro"/ "Rock And Roll Music"/ "She's A Woman"/ "If I Needed Someone"/ "Day Tripper"/ "Baby's In Black"/ "I Feel Fine"/ "Yesterday"/ "I Wanna Be Your Man"/ "Nowhere Man"/ "Paperback Writer"/ "Long Tall Sally" (portion).
The entire show can be found on various bootlegs including the vinyl LP "Candlestick Park, San Francisco '66"/ the CD "Live In Paris 1964 and San Francisco 1966"/ "Candlestick Park: Big Events of '66"/ "Shea/Candlestick Park".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZqmEnjvS2M


Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Beatles Live at Nippon Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan (Second Show)

The second show filmed by NTV Channel 4 in Japan included  a Friday afternoon concert performed at the Budokan Hall in Tokyo on July 01 1966. This performance can be distinguished by the Beatles wearing white suits rather than the earlier performance with the dark suits.
This "white suits" performance is a bit rare than the original first performance. The audio for this performance can be found on the bootleg LP "The Beatles Tour: the Great Take Over" as well as "Budokan 66".
The playing and singing on this version is a bit better than the first one although there is still a lot of sloppyness but I'll let you, dear listener, be the judge of that. None of the tunes have been released commercially.
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xfygz_the-beatles_music


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Live At Nippon Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan

The Beatles continued onto their 1966 tour with a visit to Tokyo, Japan and the first two shows (of five) were videotaped for Tokyo's NTV Channel 4 television. The program was called (in English) "The Beatles Recital, From Nippon Budokan, Japan".
The first show of the series can be distinguished by the fact that the stage suits for this particular concert were dark green. The television show is of excellent quality with full colour and good sound. The Japanese audience in these shows are relatively quiet and the music can be heard throughout, The Beatles can also hear themselves during the show as well. The entire setlist is recorded in order and it is probably one of the truest and best documents of a Beatles concert.
The problem lies with the performance. Both recorded shows sound as if The Beatles lack rehearsal, the band sounds out of tune and lazy. Only McCartney really puts any effort into it; the playing is sloppy. A bit of a shame.
The "dark green" suits show was from July 31 1966 and the Beatles were on stage at approximately 06:30 in the evening. The line up of songs include: "Rock And Roll Music", "She's A Woman", "If I Needed Someone", "Day Tripper", "Baby's In Black", "I Feel Fine", "Yesterday", "I Wanna Be Your Man", "Nowhere Man", "Paperback Writer" and "I'm Down".
The entire audio of this set can be found on the vinyl bootleg "Five Nights In A Judo Arena". The Swinging Pig version on compact disc used a videotape of the concert for it's sound. The video/audio of the entire set was also released in Japan by Apple on laserdisc "Beatles Concert At Budokan 1966" in the early 1990s. The first two songs from this concert were commercially released on the 3-LP/2-CD Apple "Anthology 2".
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xsvsky_the-beatles-live-in-japan_lifestyle




Saturday, June 6, 2015

"Paperback Writer" in Essen

As in the previous post and chatting about the concert in Essen and the afternoon early show, the late show has not been bootlegged..or has it?
It seems that there was a reporter from WDR in Essen Germany on June 25 1966 at the Grugahalle especially being present in order to interview fans during the show. Luckily, it seems that he also caught the performance of "Paperback Writer" which was the only tune performed by the Beatles on this tour from the 1966 sessions and was the latest A-side to their new single.
This portion can be heard on the CD entitled "Die Beatles En Essen". The CD contains various interviews  with the Beatles on this day as well as the individual Beatles.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Beatles Live at the Grugahalle, Essen, Germany

The Beatles performed two shows at the Grugahalle in Essen Germany as the 1966 European tour rolled on. The shows took place on June 25 1966 the day after the performances in Munich.
The entire afternoon show has been taped and is available on the bootleg "Mythology, Volume 2" although I have not heard it but I hear it's not of best quality.
I did find, however, about a minute and a half of the Essen show with an edited version of "If I Needed Someone" with George on lead vocal that someone has (what it looks like) synced with some audio on youtube. I've included the link below.
The songs for the afternoon show that are bootlegged are as follows: "Rock and Roll Music", "She's A Woman", "If I Needed Someone", "Day Tripper", "Baby's In Black", "I Feel Fine", "Yesterday", "I Wanna Be Your Man", "Nowhere Man", "Paperback Writer" and "I'm Down".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXcd0H8qpEg


Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Beatles Live at the Circus-Krone-Bau, Munich Germany

The Beatles' evening concert show at the Circur-Krone-Bau on June 24 1966 was recorded on video and was re-played a few weeks later on July  05 1966 on ZDF television. The television special was entitled "Die Beatles". It also featured songs from some of the opening acts as well as silent footage.
The set list for this show was featured in edited form with a little over half of it shown on television and bits of pieces of other songs. The tunes featured in the film include: "Rock And Roll Music", "She's A Woman/Baby's In Black", "I Feel Fine", "Yesterday", "Nowhere Man" and an edited version of "I'm Down" (different from the previously mentioned version from the last post).
"Nowhere Man" was eventually commercially released as a video on the Apple documentary "Anthology" series showing the opening of the song. The Beatles would be a little rusty at the live shows of 1966 and no music from the "Revolver" LP (which was to be released in August) was played at the shows with the exception of the single "Paperback Writer".
The audio from the show can be found on CD bootlegs "Atlanta, Munich, Seattle" and "Beatles' 66: Munich/San Francisco".
Here's a clip of the Beatles' musical portion on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBnnxPZ-Ypk


Saturday, May 16, 2015

"I'm Down" at the Afternoon Circus

Once the new LP (eventually entitled "Revolver") was completed as far as recording goes, the Beatles set off on a world tour for the year 1966. This, of course, would be the last major world tour of their career. Interesting that the first stop on the tour was Germany where it all began.
On June 24 1966, the Beatles played two shows (afternoon and evening) at the Circus-Krone-Bau Hall in Munich, Germany. In this post we will be discussing the afternoon show.
There is only one complete tune from this show that has surfaced as well as some partial music since most of the material from the afternoon show was taken from a newsreel.  Less than a minute of "I Wanna Be Your Man" sung by Ringo and the complete version of "I'm Down" (the evening show only airs a portion of the latter tune).
According to John Winn's amazing book "That Magic Feeling": Both songs appeared on the bootleg CD "Beatles '66": Muich/San Francisco"; the newsreel footage is traded on video.
There you go, I"ve taken a look on youtube and I can't seem to find anything although there are lots of clips of  "I'm Down" from the evening show and not the afternoon show. This is because the evening show was videotaped while the afternoon show was not.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

"He Said, He Said" Composing Tape

There exists a cassette recording which features John Lennon composing a new song along with a recording of a phone conversation with who and where, I 'm not sure. The interesting part is that the song being composed would end up on the Beatles' LP "Revolver" to close out side one, namely "She Said, She Said".
The composing tape doesn't have a precise date but it is between September 1965 and June 1966. The song would be recorded on June 21 1966 at EMI Studio 2 with all four playing on the backing track but only John and George contributing to the vocal (Paul had walked out on the session at some point due to a supposed argument).
But I digress, the composition tape consists of two sessions. The first session has John with acoustic guitar repeating "He Said, I know what it's like to be dead" over and over. This was due to the Beatles relaxing in Los Angeles during their 1965 tour when actor Peter Fonda approached John (who was on acid at the time) and repeating that he knew what it was like to be dead !!
The second session on the tape is a little clearer and the verses are complete lyrically. The only other change in the song is the middle waltz "When I was a boy" part which was completed with the help of George Harrison.
I've included a portion of the tape for your listening pleasure:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMRdcUHq92Q


Saturday, May 2, 2015

"Here, There and Everywhere" Early take w/harmonies.

There is a version of "Here, There And Everywhere" that is contained on the commercially released Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2" that is an example of a sort of "out fake" that would permeate a lot of this set. I know it's not nice to criticize these things as it is very entertaining and also it's cool to hear some of the early guide vocal stuff, this uses an early vocal attempt (and not the one that was to be used as it was strictly a guide) combined with the later additional harmonies "flown in" from a different take. It all sounds great in the end but it loses a bit of it's authenticity.
The backing tracks for this Macca tune were started on June 14 1966 at EMI Studio 2. There were four takes completed and some vocals were also attempted. This was not to be used in the end and The Beatles decided to start over a couple of days later and they re-entered the same studio on June 16 1966 for another attempt at the song starting fresh.
This time, thirteen takes of the backing instrumental (drums, bass, guitars) was completed and as this was taking place Paul would sing a guide vocal as the guys played in order to placemark the arrangement for the song. The guide vocal on the Anthology set comes from take seven. The backing vocals - three part harmonies were then taken from take thirteen and added to take seven to accomplish the final version as heard on the commercial release. The backing vocals enter during the last verse, also notice that cadence on the main vocal is different than the commercial version would provide.
The next day (June 17 1966) and at the same location, Paul would add his final vocal as heard on the "Revolver" LP/CD and even harmonize with himself during the double tracking of his vocal. Here's a link to the "Anthology" version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vNtjSQ-lVE


Saturday, April 25, 2015

"Yellow Submarine" mixes

On May 26, 1966, The Beatles started work on a new John/Paul song for Ringo entitled "Yellow Submarine". This tune would prove quite popular as it was pulled from the LP and issued as a single along with "Eleanor Rigby" and a number one all over the world.
The basic tracks featured acoustic guitar, bass, drums, tambourine and Ringo's lead vocal. An overdub of all four Beatles singing along was also added at the session.
Fast forward to June 01 1966 and the effects were added to the song including John blowing bubbles, bells being clanged,a noisemaker, party chatter, etc. An edit piece was also added at the session with the sound of marching feet and a "rap" style chatter from Ringo. The edit piece was not used on the original LP nor was it used on the original single in the 60s but was commercially released on the Apple single 45/CD "Real Love" as a bonus track.
The mono mix has the acoustic guitar on the first strum but the stereo mix has the acoustic guitar entering the sound picture on the second strum. The stereo mix for some reason omits a backing line from John in the third verse with his "life of ease" response vocals. The mono has the effects throughout the song yet the stereo mix for some reason fades them out temporarily.
The "real love" mix has the effects turned up all the way through the song and includes the spoken intro while the commercial  Apple LP/CD "Yellow Submarine Songtrack" which synchs up take four with take five. The intro is not present on this one, but the effects are nicely heard and mixed evenly and spread over the stereo spectrum.
Here's an example of take 5 with the lead vocal, backing vocals and effects overdub.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nV5bCrA3Kvw


Saturday, April 18, 2015

"I'm Only Sleeping" Rehearsal and Take 1

On April 27 1966, a new composition by John Lennon was recorded in eleven takes by The Beatles for their new upcoming LP. The song title was "I'm Only Sleeping". For some reason or another, this song was left in the can for the time being.
Two days later on April 29 1966, The Beatles returned to record another version of the song in Studio 3 of EMI Studios in London. There was a brief rehearsal with a bit of experimentation including adding vibes with an acoustic guitar and then recording a proper take with acoustic guitar, percussion and dual vocals by John and Paul.
Both the rehearsal and the song can be heard on the 3-LP/2-CD Apple "Anthology 2" set.
Eventually , take 1 from the 29th was not used but The Beatles decided to use the previous take 11 from the 27th instead and Lennon overdubbed his vocal on this instead of continuing with the "Anthology" version.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXYK6Ma5lso


Sunday, April 12, 2015

"Taxman"/ "Tomorrow Never Knows" Cleaning up and a mono mix.

On April 22 1966, a session at EMI Studio Number 2 saw The Beatles and George Martin clean up a couple of previously recorded songs via overdubs and edits.
The first tune worked on was "Taxman". This included erasing a couple of stray upwards bends on the guitar for the second verse (you can hear it on the previous "Taxman" post via the link I put up). Also, the "Anybody Got a Bit Of Money" vocal from John and Paul was taken out and replaced with the now famous "Mr. Wilson/ Mr. Heath" backing vocal in it's place. Cowbell was added to the song (more cowbell !!) and it's interesting to know that the mono mix of the song has the cowbell coming in about ten seconds earlier than on the stereo mix.
Lastly, the ending of the song was extended by taking the guitar solo from Paul and adding the entire sequence to the ending of the song in order for the tune to eventually fade out at the solo. The last syllable of the George lead vocal was brought in from a previous verse as well.
In addition, there was also work to be done on "Tomorrow Never Knows": the addition of an organ fading in and out and tambourine as well. The backwards guitar solo was added - again played by Paul - and John's lead vocal double tracked. The tack piano was also added at this session. You can hear this as the song fades out.
There are two mono mixes available commercially on the "Revolver" LP in the UK - the original mix was RM 11 which included artificial double tracking on the guitar solo and actually made it onto various early copies of the LP when it was released. George Martin decided to change the mono mix and RM 8 was used instead with no artificial double tracking on the solo. It has never been explained as to why the different mix was conducted and finalized when some of the LP vinyl was already pressed and ready for release. You can tell which copy of the LP you have by the run out groove number: the original mono mix has the code 606-1 on side 2 meaning it's remix 8, 606-2 means that you have the more common remix 11. Also interesting to note is that there is feedback heard right after the guitar solo on the stereo mixes, but eliminated during the mono mixes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7dtC4_dKhg


Saturday, April 4, 2015

"Taxman" - Alternate Edit

The Beatles entered EMI Studio 2 on April 21 1966 in order to record a George Harrision composition entitled "Taxman" which would eventually open their newest LP released four months later. This song had the composer complain about the British tax system - a bit of a political comment which at the time was rare for the Beatles in song form.
There is an alternate edit released on the Apple 3-LP/2 CD "Anthology 2" title which is interesting. It contains an early edit of the song but uses the same take as the released, commercial version on "Revolver". This would be take 11.
The difference between the two has John and Paul singing backing vocals in a high pitched falsetto during one of the later verses with the words "Anybody got a bit of money" rather then mentioning the political British names "Wilson...Heath" on the commercial version. Another difference is the ending of the song whereby it fades out with the guitar solo repeated - actually edited so that the first and second solo are the same - played by Paul. The alternate edit on "Anthology" lets us hear the original thought of having the song end "cold"...i.e. no fade out. There also seems stray guitar notes during the second verse that was not used on the commercial version.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDM4E7xm9Qk



Saturday, March 28, 2015

"And Your Bird Can Sing" - Take 2

The first attempt at a new "John song" from the session completed on April 20 1966 from EMI Studio 2. This first attempt for "And Your Bird Can Sing" had been officially released and basically unheard of before the mid 1990's when it was released on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD title "Anthology 2".
This is take two containing a vocal overdub from both John and Paul for backing. It seems that there was something causing them both to break out into laughter for some reason or another. The song is in a lower key than what would be the second attempt along with a slightly different arrangement. The guitars in this are killer. Instead of an overdub or double tracking for the solo and the riffing; it's both George Harrison and McCartney playing together !! Very cool indeed.
The CD mix of the song allows one to remove the "laughing vocals" using the Out of Phase process if one chooses to and it's been done in certain cases on certain bootlegs in order to present the song without the annoyance of laughter but just the pure first version.
I've included a link below which contains the second the third track of the song: on the second track is Paul's bass and a tambourine added by Ringo. The third track contains the previous vocals (including John's lead vocal) as well as the attempt at the "laughing" overdub by John and Paul. The third track also contains the guitar solo and the end by Paul and George.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApI7YXQTVZQ


Saturday, March 21, 2015

"Paperback Writer" - Takes 1 and 2

The Beatles entered EMI Studios number three on April 13 1966 for a late evening/overnight session in order to try and record a basic track recording for the new Paul McCartney composition "Paperback Writer". After recording the basic track for George Harrison's "Love You To" in the afternoon, the Beatles took a well deserved dinner break and were back for the session later that day and into the next day.
The initial backing track consisted of Paul and George of guitar (Paul using his Epiphone), Ringo on drums and John Lennon on tambourine. Amazingly, it only took two takes to get the backing track right. The first take consists of a mistake during the first verse where there is a chord switch and the switch from G to C comes in with hesitation (enough to stop the take).
Take two of the backing track is the one that is used on the commercial take, the single, etc. The instrumentation is the same as take one with the completion of the song until the end. Overdubs were recorded the next day in the same studio on April 14 1966 consisting mainly of vocals, backing vocals and bass guitar. On the bootlegs, the overdubs have been added in so you can hear the vocals, etc. During the intro, you can still hear Ringo tapping his drumsticks in order to keep time as in the backing track this was done before the vocals were added. On the commercial version, the tapping was faded down during the vocals only periods. The mono mix of the song lasts a little longer than the stereo mix of the song. Also, on take two of the bootlegs, the song does not fade out but plays until the song collapses - you can also hear a bit of jangle piano playing at the end . The jangle piano ended up not being used in the song.
Various bootlegs contain both takes one and two including: "Ultra Rare Trax, Volumes 5 and 6" (vinyl) and on "Unsurpassed Masters, Vol. 3" (compact disc). I've included a youtube link.
On a final note, "Paperback Writer" would be the only tune from 1966 that The Beatles would perform during their final world tour.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jp_7q78PLY

Saturday, March 14, 2015

"Got To Get You Into My Life" - Take 5

On April 07 1966 into April 08 1966 - during the late evening past midnight into the early , early morning - The Beatles entered EMI Studios and used room Studio3 for two tasks:
The first task was to add some home made tape loops, some guitar and other effects onto the existing take 3 of "Tomorrow Never Knows" in order to fill up some tracks by looping the tapes over and over in various areas of the studio.
The second task was to record a new song written mainly by Paul entitled "Got To Get You Into My Life" which was inspired (according to Paul) by his habit of smoking pot and his love for the weed.
Here we have take 5 of the song - an early version - including an acoustic guitar, some drums by Ringo and a studio organ played by (it's been said) George Martin. Some vocals are also added: Paul sings the main line while both George Harrison and John Lennon add to the backing vocals.
This version of the song can be found on some of the "Alternate Revolver" bootlegs and is available commercially on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2". I've included a link to the tune:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4KnMaxN81k



Saturday, March 7, 2015

"Tomorrow Never Knows" - Take 1

After a very long, lengthy break (for The Beatles)...my gosh, almost three months.....the group re-convened to start work on the follow up LP to "Rubber Soul". On April 06 1966 using EMI studios 3, the first song recorded for inclusion on the new project was entitled "The Void" (also known as "Tomorrow Never Knows"). This track would end up closing the "Revolver" LP when released.
On this day three takes of the backing were recorded with take three being the commercial version we all know and love. However, the first take includes Ringo and Paul on drums and bass respectively hashing it out along with a tape loop. The timing is a bit weird and goes out of sync while John records his vocal over take one.
This bit of the song ended up commercially in thirty years later on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2". There are also a few bits of the tune and the same take that appear on the "Anthology" DVD as well during a playback by George Martin.
The famous tape loops would be added to the backing for take 3 the next day on April 07 1966.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaF4GGAvf3I

Saturday, February 28, 2015

"The Beatles At Shea Stadium" Overdubs and Sync To Film

The first task for The Beatles in 1966 was to overdub or "sweeten" the soundtrack to the film "The Beatles At Shea Stadium" which had been filmed back in August of the previous year during their tour of  North America. So, they gathered at CTS studios in London on January 05 1966 especially for this task. Most people were not aware of this session at the time.
George Martin supervised the recordings as the Beatles re-played in it's entirety the following songs from the film:  "I Feel Fine", "Help!" and "Ticket To Ride". Paul added bass guitar to the following songs from the film:  "Dizzy Miss Lizzy", "Can't Buy Me Love" "Baby's In Black" and "I'm Down". The overdub was due to a complaint of needing more bottom end for these tunes. John Lennon also overdubbed his organ part for "I'm Down" in order to fortify the performance.
The remaining tunes were also substituted from the original August performance "Twist And Shout" (which was replaced by the Hollywood Bowl Capitol Records recording of 1965) along with "Act Naturally" (which was replaced by the commercial version from the LP recording of the song"). This leaves only one tune that was left untouched : "A Hard Day's Night". The song has dialogue over the performance so in fact the entire Shea Stadium concert was never presented in it's true original audio form.
The Shea Stadium soundtrack has been released in various bootleg forms over the years with titles such as "Shea, The Good Old Days"/ "Shea/Candlestick Park" etc.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

"I'm Looking Through You" Take 4

On November 11 1965, The Beatles entered EMI Studios number 2 in order to finish their sixth LP "Rubber Soul" (in the UK). This marathon session saw them record from six in the evening up until seven in the morning - a 13 hour session.
Three new songs were completed including "You Won't See Me" written mainly by Paul and "Girl" written mainly by John. The third song "Wait" was also recorded and this was a joint composition between John and Paul.
The last task at hand was to complete "I'm Looking Through You". This would be the re-made version with the middle eight added. Paul overdubbed a vocal (double tracking it with John on harmony). Also, Ringo played a chord on the hammond organ and gets a credit on the back of the original LP.
The songs were mixed for mono and stereo four days later at EMI on November 15 1965. Interestingly, "I'm Looking Through You" contained two false starts on the acoustic guitar which were left intact on the North American stereo version of "Rubber Soul" whereas the false starts do not appear on the North American version of the LP nor on the UK mono and stereo versions on Parlophone.
I've included a complete mix of "I'm Looking Through You" with the take number being announced by Norman Smith (the recording engineer), the two false starts and the complete recording with no fade as on the record- known as take 4.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Lfz1YSOL2c


Friday, February 13, 2015

Beatle Speech/ Christmas Message

A very busy session carried out on November 08 1965 for inclusion of the George Harrison composition "Think For Yourself". Mainly instruments being the usual Drums, Bass and Guitars. Also recorded this evening were the backing vocals in three part harmony. For some unknown reason; many they decided that they could use some of the chatting from the session to use for their upcoming Christmas message released on a flexi disc for the fan club.
In any event, almost 20 minutes of the Beatles chatting and trying to get the harmony for the song was recorded in mono. Also at the session, more chat was recorded for what would be their Third Christmas message released a month later on December 17 1965 for the Fan club.
In my opinion, I find nothing really fascinating about the speech during the backing vocal session as various issues and inside jokes are discussed, a few passages of "Yesterday"; both as a backing speech and brought up again during the Christmas message when released as a flexi.
Also interesting is that a few seconds of this backing vocal session was used in the movie "Yellow Submarine" in 1968. This includes an acapella three part vocal with no instruments repeated electronically.
The backing vocal speech can be found on bootleg CD "Unsurpassed Masters, Vol. 07" as the final track. Parts of this speech can also be found commercially on the Paul McCartney project "Liverpool Sound Collage" from 2000.
The fan club message recorded after the backing vocal speech can be heard on the official flexi disc "The Beatles Third Christmas Record" (Lyn 948). This can also be found commercially on the Apple LP "The Beatles Christmas Album" (SBC-100) as well as the UK version Apple LP "From Then To You" (LYN 2153/4) .
I've also included the backing vocal speech session below - see link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCnzIJ3Z-3k


Saturday, February 7, 2015

"12-Bar Original"

On November 04 1965, The Beatles entered Studio Two at EMI Studios in order to continue work on the fine album eventually to be released as "Rubber Soul". Time was running out as the LP had to be released within the month as the Christmas season was approaching and the ideas were a little "dry" songwise at this point.
There were two songs recorded during the evening/night session: the first one was a Ringo vocal entitled "What Goes On" with the usual line up of instruments and vocal overdubs. The second song recorded was an experiment known as "12-Bar Original".
Basically, it was a blues number; not very original - that plods on forever. The tempo is a bit boring and I think they are trying to be Booker T and the MGs or something like that. Fortunately, it was not released commercially until the Anthology series came out in the 90s.
The line up for "12-Bar Original" is George and John on guitar, Paul on bass, Ringo on Drums and George Martin on harmonium. It is your typical blues and repeats as an instrumental with no vocals whatsoever. It could have been used somewhere as back ground music, but the tune never really goes anywhere. Maybe they were just taking up time in the studio.
There are two takes of the song, the first take being about five bars before the song ends when the change of key is missed. The second take was the one mixed in mono. The tune lasts for almost seven and a half minutes before being called to a halt. Quite long for a simple blues instrumental. The final mix lasts just under seven minutes.
The song first appeared on vinyl bootleg "Ultra Rare Trax Vol. 3 and 4" and also appeared on the bootleg "Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 2" on CD. It also appears on "Acetates" (CD), the vinyl bootleg "Arrive Without Travelling" and the CD bootleg "Arrive Without Aging". Finally, the entire takes one and two (in stereo) appears on the CD bootleg "Turn Me On Deadman" which is where the link below sounds like it originates.
The song was also released commercially and heavily edited on the 3-LP/2-CD Apple "Anthology 2".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0iApf-p0AM


Saturday, January 31, 2015

"I'm Looking Through You" (Take 1) - Early Song Version

The Beatles entered EMI Studio 2 in the afternoon and evening of October 24 1965 to record a new piece by Mr. McCartney (mainly) of "I'm Looking Through You". Most of the day was spent rehearsing and polishing the music and then a take of the song was recorded and overdubs were added.
The main backing consists of an acoustic guitar, bass/drums and some percussion. Added to this was Paul's vocal doubled and a harmony by John, some organ, maracas and an electric guitar solo twice by George.
The song sounds incomplete these days due to the fact that there was no real middle eight written for the song at this time, so the guitar solos compensate for the lack of the middle eight and is played in the rock and roll style of the root chord, fourth chord and fifth chord.
The song was left on that day and probably shelved with the possibility of adding the song to the "Rubber Soul" set but this was not to be. The song would be re-recorded with the middle eight a couple of weeks later. This version would remain unreleased during the Beatles career.
The song first came out on bootleg vinyl and CD under the "Sessions" title when it was mixed for stereo by Geoff Emerick in the early 1980s. The song would eventually be released commercially on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vHWmVMS7as


Saturday, January 24, 2015

"Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" Outtake (Once Again)

The Beatles were dissatisfied with the current state of "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" as it stood and they decided to work on it again. They entered EMI Studios number 2 on October 21 1965 as part of the "Rubber Soul" sessions to record another take. This time Take 2 was produced with The Beatles playing the bridge ahead of the verse with the sitar prominent in the beginning of the tune. Eventually, this arrangement would be discarded in favour of going right onto the verse.
Take 3 is not available and take 4 is the backing on which most of the overdubs were added and released commercially on the LP. Take 4 also has the song being played with capo on John's acoustic and is in the key of E (a little higher than previous attempts).
Take 2 is available on the vinyl bootleg "Arrive Without Travelling" and on the bootleg CD "Turn Me On, Dead Man" while take 4 is available with a short comment by John "I'll Show Ya" on various bootlegs such as the LP "Ultra Rare Trax, Volume 2" as well as the CD "Turn Me On, Dead Man".
I've added a link below for the audio of Take 2.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rFY2ekh2xY



Saturday, January 17, 2015

"We Can Work It Out" Outtake/Early Mix

On October 20 1965, The Beatles were at EMI Studios in Studio 2 in order to record the new song "We Can Work It Out" during an afternoon/evening session.
There is an outtake available consisting of Take 1. This starts with the engineer's announcement (the engineer being Norman Smith in this case) and the instrumentation of acoustic guitar, bass, tambourine and drums. John, Paul , George and Ringo playing the song in that order of instrumentation.
The song rolls along quite nicely until the second bridge when a rare mistake by Ringo is taken. The bridge falls into 3/4 timing at the end but Ringo misses the cue and continues along in 4/4 until the music stops.
Take 2 was complete and the harmonium along with John and Paul's vocals were added as overdubs. An early mix was conducted on October 28 1965 until the group decided to add a bit more harmonium and a double "Paul" vocal on October 29 1965.
You can hear Take 1 on the vinyl bootleg "Ultra Rare Trax Vol. 3 & 4" as well as on the CD bootleg "Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 2". Take 2 can be heard on the vinyl bootleg "Arrive Without Travelling" and on the CD bootleg counterpart "Arrive Without Aging".
I've included takes 1 and 2 on this youtube clip for your listening pleasure:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4MW8IrX8N8


Sunday, January 11, 2015

"Day Tripper" Outtakes

"Day Tripper" was recorded by The Beatles on October 16 1965 from mid afternoon into the evening until midnight. There are three takes of the song; all of which are available.
The recording is quite economical in the sense that it has the two guitars, bass and drums line up and the overdubs in include lead and backing vocals along with tambourine by Ringo. Pretty straightforward stuff. "Day Tripper" would not end up on the "Rubber Soul" LP but would be part of the future single released less than two months later.
The first take is purely instrumental without vocals. The take goes as far as the middle section and then breaks down.
The second attempt at the song makes it only as far as the first verse where someone (maybe John) switches from the E to the A too early and the process stops again. Finally, the third take is the one kept and the one where the overdubs were added.
There are also two distinct stereo mixes for the song. The first mix was done for the US (who released the tune on the "Yesterday...and Today" LP) and it features a guitar starting on one channel with the other coming in on the next. The second mix was completed for the UK (who released the tune on the "A Collection of Beatles Oldies...But Goldies"/ "Past Masters" and " 1962-1966" LPs) and it features both guitars starting at the same time. Also , there seems to be a bit more reverb on the vocals for the UK mix. Anyway, the mono/ single mix is the best and last a few seconds longer than either of the stereo mixes mentioned above.
There is also a major glitch in the last verse after the build up of vocals. The guitar drops out for a half bar during the verse. This was fixed when the compilation disc "1" was released by taking a piece of the music from earlier in the song and editing it in. The stereo mix used on this disc is the same as the UK mix.
All three takes can be heard on the bootleg vinyl version of "Ultra Rare Trax: Volume 3 and 4". I've included a youtube version that contains takes 2 and 3 (with no fade out).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljH19g019MQ


Saturday, January 3, 2015

"Run For Your Life/ Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" Outtakes

The Beatles started recording sessions for what would be the "Rubber Soul" LP starting on October 12 1965 which was a bit of a late start considering EMI wanted the LP released for the Christmas season. It turned out to be the classic we all know and love.
The first two songs attempted were both Lennon original compositions: "Run For Your Life" which would end up closing the LP on side two and "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" which would not be released in this particular form.
There are no real outtakes of "Run For Your Life" per se, but there has been some dialogue released including the "take one" announcement from the engineer (Norman Smith) and some drifting chat between the group. There is also an early recording of a playback coming from the studio monitors that is floating around as well.
"Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" was attempted on this day as well. This is an early version of the song with more sitar and in a lower key than the official recording. This attempt would eventually be discarded and re-made at a later date down the road. This October 12 recording has the lyrics intact with a change of "Drinking her wine" and "Biding my time" reversed as well as having an "answer" of the sitar in the middle part of the tune.
The studio chat from "Run For Your Life" can be heard on booted material from the "Live at Abbey Road" multimedia presentation such as the vinyl LP "Abbey Road Video show". I've included a youtube version where there is chat about the backing section of the song by Lennon followed by a slowed down version "sans backing vocals"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQQ3LQWsTUc

Take 1 of "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" can be found on the bootleg CD compilation "Turn Me On Dead Man". Take 1 of "Norwegian Wood" has been officially released on the Apple 3-LP/ 2-CD "Anthology 2".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYJmktPgjDo