Saturday, February 24, 2018

"Come Together" Take 1

On July 21 1969, a John Lennon composition was attempted at EMI studio 3 with The Beatles and George Martin. "Come Together" would eventually open side one of the classic LP as yet untitled. On the Anthology 3 2 CD/3 LP, we have take 1 from these recording sessions.
The take consists of John on hand clapping, vocal and tambourine, Paul on bass, Ringo on drums and George on guitar. John is doing a guide vocal with variations on the lyrics and his voice is shot...haha.
Interestingly, this is the final song Lennon wrote specifically for The Beatles. It was originally intended to be used as a campaign song for Timothy Leary as the story goes.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

An early take of "Something"

This George Harrison composition started life as a demo recorded in February 1969 as a solo recording. The Beatles started work on the song May 02 1969 with John on the piano, George on guitar, Paul on bass and Ringo on the drums. The basic track was completed in 36 takes with a prolonged jam at the end of the song which brought the timing up to (almost) eight minutes.
On May 05 1969, the song was put back on the recorder and Paul re-did his bass part with George adding his superb middle guitar solo. The song remained in this state until July 11 1969 at EMI Studio 2 when vocals were added by George - double tracked in the chorus parts. A reduction of the tracks combining various instruments left two tracks open and bringing the song to take 37.
This version of "Something" can be heard on the vinyl bootleg "No. 3 Abbey Road N.W. " as well as on the CD bootleg "Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 5". Later on in August 1969 a new vocal, new guitar solo and the orchestration would be added.
As an aside, pictured above is the Canadian version of the Apple single, who had originally put "Come Together" on the whole side (A side) of the single and had relegated "Something" to the sliced Apple side (B side). These first pressings were subsequently corrected and they remain collector's items.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

"Maxwell's Silver Hammer"

On July 09 1969 The Beatles (minus John) started work on the McCartney composition "Maxwell's Silver Hammer". The first trials for the tune were being worked out earlier in the year in January 1969 via the "Get Back/ Let It Be" sessions at Twickenham studios. The song was later discarded when recordings for the January project moved in mid month to Apple Studios.
Fast forward to the summer of 1969 and the new LP as yet untitled. These sessions in July feature Paul on piano and guide vocal, George on bass and Ringo on drums. Take 05 has survived and is now commercially available on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 3" project. It's interesting for the vocal improvisation from Paul in the third verse as well as the instrumental part of the song. There is also a piano flourish ended. It's good take but more takes would be recorded later in the day until take 21 was chosen as the "best" take with acoustic guitar overdub.
The next day on July 10 1969, more overdubs were added to take 21 with some extra piano bits here and there played by Paul, George Martin adding hammond organ to the original two bar intro which would be edited out of the commercial "Abbey Road" LP version. Other additions included a leslie'd electric guitar from George and Ringo added some anvil hits in the chorus and at the end of the song.
The main lead vocal from Paul was added as well as backing vocals on the choruses by Paul and George and the final "Maxwell Silver Man" end chorus included Ringo as well. Once this was completed, a mono mix of the song appears on the vinyl bootleg "No. 3 Abbey Road N.W. 8" as well as on CD as "Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 5" with both containing the original intro and the take announcement "take 21".