Saturday, June 25, 2016

Overdubbing and Mixing the Title Track "Magical Mystery Tour"

On November 07 1967, the final session for the soundtrack LP "Magical Mystery Tour" was completed. This consisted of a few "tweaks" for the title track. For the television special, there was a spoken introduction during the opening of the title track by John Lennon which basically went like this: "Roll up, roll up, roll up for the magical mystery tour !! Step right this way !! Hurry, hurry, hurry !!!".
During the mixing session for the song, it was decided to have the intro on tape along with the music for record release. I suppose John was not available as it was Paul who stepped up to the microphone and stated the same phrases without the "hurry, hurry" part of it. So, you instantly have two versions of the title track with one intro by John (from the TV/film special) and by Paul (from the LP/CD commercial version).
There are also differences in the mono and stereo mixes completed on this day: the mono version has heavy "phasing" on both the lead vocal and the group backing vocals whereby the stereo version does not - at least it's not as heavy. There were six attempts at the stereo mix and ten attempts at the mono mix for this song. Both of these are commercially available on the mono and stereo Capitol LP/CD "Magical Mystery Tour" and released in the UK during the 70s - I recommend you seek out the yellow vinyl copy, it looks "fab" !!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

"Jessie's Dream"

In the Beatles film "Magical Mystery Tour", there is a weird scene whereby Ringo's Aunt Jessie is having a dream while sitting in the tour bus. She dreams of sitting at a table with Buster Blood-vessel (you gotta see the movie to understand what I'm talking about) as they eat spaghetti served by John Lennon in a waiter's outfit. The outlandish thing is that the spaghetti is served by John using a shovel as he takes it from a heap and pours it on the dinner plate/table.
It's a very interesting scene with a soundtrack playing in the background. The soundtrack is mainly piano with some chant and noises added
. It's even in stereo on the re-issue !! There is no record of who is playing what but this would have been recorded sometime in October 1967.
The soundtrack to the movie scene can be heard on the CD bootleg: "Back-Track Part Two" and "Magical Mystery Demos".

Saturday, June 11, 2016

"The Fool On The Hill" Re-make And Final Mix

The Beatles recorded three version of "The Fool On The Hill": the first being the piano demo featuring Paul only, the second slower group version recorded September 25 1967 (see previous blog entry). Both of these recordings can be heard commercially on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2" project.
The third and final version - the one we all know and love - was recorded with the basic track on September 26 1967 (the day after version two) with Paul playing piano, John on acoustic guitar, either George or Ringo playing the finger cymbals and maracas. There were five takes of the basic track with take five being used for the commercial version. The overdubbing process included Paul's vocal, the harmonicas played by George and John as well as the solo recorder by Paul. On September 27 1967, Paul doubled his vocals in the choruses. At this point, the track was left until almost a month later when the flutes were added on October 20 1967.
The flutes were probably added to track four (the harmonica overdubs) or they may have been synced to a second four track machine. At this point, the take number switched to take seven as the song was completed.
The mono mix was conducted on October 25 1967 and was satisfactory after twelve attempts and this is was appears on the "Magical Mystery Tour" LP and UK EP. The stereo mix of the song was conducted on November 01 1967 after five attempts and this naturally appears on the stereo versions of the "Magical Mystery Tour" LP, UK EP and CD. As a side note, it's been said that almost a minute and a half of the song was edited from it's original version. I've always wondered what the entire recording sounds like - that's a pretty long song considering the structure of the song and the arrangement of the demo and second variation. It could also be rumour.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

"Hello Goodbye" Overdubs and Mixes

On October 19 1967, The Beatles were continuing on the development of "Hello Goodbye" in Studio 1 at EMI on Abbey Road. The overdubs completed on this day was some lead guitar by George Harrison and the main vocals by Paul McCartney. There were also counterpoint vocals added as well as the coda vocals during the "Hey - La, Hey -Ba-Hello-Wa" segment. This was considered take 16 and was later released officially in this early form on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2" project. You can hear some lead guitar bits that were eventually scrapped as this take 16 was "reduced" on the four track (combining tracks 3 and 4 of the vocals) to create take 17. The song stood in this form at the end of this session.
The next day on October 20 1967, violas were added to the middle part of the song as well as an echo laden vocal for the "Why why why" section of the song by Paul. This was once again reduced with both the guitar track and viola tracks combined - Paul added his bass to the remaining empty track and the recording of the song was basically completed.
The mixes for the song were attempted and completed on November 02 1967 with at least six mono attempts and at least two stereo attempts. Thus, remix 6 for mono and remix 2 for stereo. The mono mix can be found on the original Parlophone/Capitol single. The stereo mix can be found on the "Magical Mystery Tour" LP as well as the Apple double LP/double CD "1967-1970" and the original mixes of Apple's double LP/CD "Beatles 1" project.