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.

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:

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".