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.

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