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".

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.

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:

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).

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"

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".