what I can hear on Beatles records

The history and music of the Fab Four

what I can hear on Beatles records

Postby (wolfgang) » Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:39 am

hello,
after a long, long while I would like to share some of my findings from listening to some Beatles records with you.

Rain: I recently watched the youtube video "The Radical Innovations of the Perfect Beatles Song" about the song Rain.
What was forgotten here:
in the fade out of the song (Paul McCartney remembers somewhere about the use of doublespeed) a guitar repeatedly plays 3 or 2 notes (originally probably A,e,a), which in addition to the slowdown by varispeed ended at half speed on the record. No drop-down tuning. I found it while fiddeling with Cool Edit Pro years ago.
To make it clear: 1) they recorded the basic track (guitars,drums) in an up-tempo version. 2) the fade out was then played at doublespeed and another guitar part was added playing only 3 or 2 notes, but very fast. §) this basic track was slowed down. Bass was added in the new "normal" speed.

Long Tall Sally:
both solos were played by John on his new 325 Miami. Listen to the left channel of the stereo-CD version: you hear Lennon on guitar, Paul on bass and singing and Ringo on drums. A nice mix in its own, no rhythm guitar, no piano, no reverberation. Remenber, it was recorded in just one single take.

Day Tripper:
no doubt, George uses the ES345 with varitone in the "bass-cut-position" The solo: to me it sounds like John playing the first part (the signature lick) on his Strat and Paul is playing the second part (on his Casino) while John is strumming his Strat heavily (playing a B7 chord louder and louder). George is playing the ascending single note theme.

Nowhere man:
even though the song is in a minor key, Paul plays a cheerful major walking bass. Perfect. About the guitar solo: it's double tracked (by George or George and John). Only at the end of the solo one guitar plays the descending notes, the other plays the flageolet note

enough for today, I'm looking forward for comments

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Re: What I can hear on Beatles records

Postby (wolfgang) » Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:25 pm

Got to get you into my life:
if you listen carefully to the left channel of the Revolver stereo CD, you can hear a distorted guitar playing some sort of melody. No chords. For me, this is the only time they've used the WEM Rush Pep on Revolver

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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Postby (iiipopes) » Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:48 am

It is possible the Day Tripper riff was recorded on the Tennessean.

Nowhere man is NOT in a minor key. It is in E MAJOR. Everyone thinks it is in a minor key because the instruments join on the F#minor chord. But that is simply the ii-minor chord in the E major scale. Also, they do alter the IV chord to minor for melodic effect at the end of each verse. And like most pop songs of the day, by most artists, the bridge modulates, in this song to a iii-minor before turning around to the V chord back to the verse. But the song is in E MAJOR.

And for those reading - a flageolet is a small flute, also known as a fife or pennywhistle, know for high notes. The actual note is the harmonic played on the 5th fret.
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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Postby (wolfgang) » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:49 am

Hi iiipopes,
thanks for your comments. Well, I've tried the varitone on my "Lucille", it's quite the sound. If I'm not mistaken it is varitone position 2, bridge pu.
Certainly you are righ in the case of Nowere Man. But, dispite all the minor chords they have used additionally, Paul played a nice Emaj run. In contrast to the mellow vocals.
iiipopes wrote:The actual note is the harmonic played on the 5th fret.
Right, we call it flageolett, sorry

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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Postby (wolfgang) » Sun May 09, 2021 9:12 am

I want to hold your hand:
the Beatles were fond of using new features immediately.
As far as we know nowadays, two guitars were new on I want to hold your hand. George Harrison's Rickenbacker 425 guitar with only one center-p.u. and Paul McCartney's new 2nd Hofner Violin Bass, where the treble p.u. was moved close to the bridge. If you have had the opportunity to listen to the seperate 4 tracks of the song in the internet, you could have heared on the so called 2nd.track: additional handclapping, additional high-piched harmony vocals ("hand"), reverberation of the vocal track and the signature 5-note lick, played by Paul with the bridge p.u.of his new Hofner.
When recording the German version in Paris, they used the original basic track (bass, drums, 325-Hamburg and 425), they couldn't use the english vocals (no surprise) and not the (english) reverberation of the vocals. Because they could not use the 2nd track, Pauls lick was lost. So George played it on guitar.
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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Postby (wolfgang) » Mon May 10, 2021 2:38 pm

Addendum to I want to hold your hand / Komm, gib mir deine Hand:
the separate tracks mentioned above seems to be an 5.1 Dolby mix: lead guitar, rhythm track, vocals and ambience track (in stereo: reverb out of phase, handclaps and additional vocals in the center (plus an additional take by John "and when I touch you...") and on the right side Paul's bass guitar lick.


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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Postby (wolfgang) » Thu May 20, 2021 1:21 pm

Good Morning, Good Morning:
a) the cockcrow crackles at 992 msec after starting. Maybe it was recorded on shellac disc for the sound archive many years ago
b) in the first line of the song the words "to do to save his life" were dubbed. As we can hear on the Anthology track (disk 4, track 6) John sings the word "save" almost a half tone too low in pitch. This was fixed with the gentlier sounding edit piece.
c) as can be heard on the "Rock Band" video play, at the end of the song the harmony vocals changed from singing "good morning, good morning" to the German words "guten Morgen, guten Morgen".
George and Paul were seriously frightend when John starts yelling like Adolf Hitler in fake German, You may perceive it. Understandably he wasn't fond of Germany.
This end wasn't used for the record.

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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Postby (wolfgang) » Wed May 26, 2021 7:43 am

Something:
I have mentioned it here years ago: at the end of the middle 8 Paul should have played (as bridge to the song's Cmaj chord) a descending line C B A (3rd str.) G E (4th str.) D (2nd str.) and finally C (3rd str.). But he played C B A (3rd str.) G F E (4th str.) and finally C (3rd str.). Although this might not be musically completely wrong (G F E C might belong to the Gmaj key ?) there was definitely no drop D string, as some suppose. But the line is hardly to hear in the on-/outgoing crescendo, anyway.
b. t. w.: as the "Rock Band'" videoplay mix proves, the quite funky played bass at the end of the song (to hear at the end of the Rock Band's bass track) was eventually straighten out (bass edit on the guitar track)
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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Postby (wolfgang) » Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:13 am

The "A Hard Day's Night "- movie mixes:
special mixes were made for the film

If I fell:
the intro was mixed w/o reverberation and not with double tracked vocals (like in the stereo record mix).
And I love her:
Pauls vocals were mixed w/o reverberation and not double tracked. Only in the middle 8 there were two Pauls, as you can see in the "TV control room "
Tell me why:
here, a very charming vocal track of John was used, maybe by accident (probably they used vocal track two instead of track one and in the bridge even a third vocal edit piece was used?)

Unfortunately this "Tell me why"-mix did not made it to the movie's HiFi- revision of 2006

The Medley:
does anybody know where these mixes are gone? Certainly they mimicked the songs in full length, not as medley?

b. t. w. : George plays his acoustic guitar in his solo appearance "I'm happy just to dance with you". But I can't hear it on the record. To me, it is only John on his Miami 325, probably with an edit piece at the intro (first note: 1st string, open e and simultaneously 2nd string 5th fret e).

Supplement: when the final mixes for the record were made (in a hurry), one of the sourcing 4-track tape recorders had a malfunction: it was about 1% too slow ( this is confirmed somewhere in the literature). So some songs sound in an odd way inconsistent in timing and pitch. This is even true for the flip side "I know you" of Dave Clark Five's hit "Glad all over".

This topic comes slowly to an end, so feel free for comments and questions

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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Postby (wolfgang) » Wed Jun 09, 2021 6:49 am

I call your name:
there are at least three mixes of the song:
1) mono mix, possibly used since the English "Long Tall Sally"-EP. Available on the 2009-mono-CDs (disk 15, track 11). A not so perfect edit piece from the start to "but you're not there" with cowbell from the start on.
2) stereo mix, mixed for the 1976 Rock'n'Roll-Music-album. Available on the 2009-stereo-CDs (Disk15 Track 11) Another not so perfect edit piece from the start to "but you're not there" with cowbell from just before the word "but" on.
3) a mix for Capitol Records: probably a second mono-mix of 1964, but converted to fake-stereo with lots of reverberation by Capital records. But if you combine the stereo channels to mono, it's the best (and best sounding) mix with the best edit piece in respect to the guitars (George's 12-string and John's 325-Miami) and Johns vocals. The cowbell comes in just with the word "I".
This mix (in mono) was used in Germany for the original 1964 single "Long tall Sally/I call your name". To me the ultimate version of this outstanding Beatles' classic.

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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Postby (wolfgang) » Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:31 am

Drive my car:
now we come to my own personal taste: this song, although the lyrics are a bit silly, is pure "Swinging London".
A pure modern rocker of the time. To me, the best versions of the Rubber Soul songs are the original right/left- stereo mixes.
In "Drive my car" I especialy love the piano part, to me an appreciation to the "Sounds Orchestral" version of "Cast your fate to the wind", the big hit in 1965. Best heard on the right channel of the 2009 stereo CDs (disk 06, track15). And enjoy, as in "You can't do that" and "I call your name", the "4 in a bar" cowbell.

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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Postby (wolfgang) » Sat Jun 12, 2021 8:26 am

Last but not least
And your bird can sing:
we all know, it was Peter Fonda's wailing what John Lennon caused to write "She said, she said".
But at the same L.A.-party David Crosby of "The Byrds" was present.
After the release of the "giggling 12-string" version of "And your bird can sing" (Anthology disk 3 track 19), it should be clear to everyone: it should have been "And your Byrd can sing". Prized possessions (Byrds' 12-strig guitar, Ludwig drumset etc), and: "When your bike is broken, will it bring you down? You may be awoken, I'll be 'round , I'll be 'round". This was three years before the Easy Rider film, in which Dennis Hopper played a version of good David Crosby.
You will get a good sounding, non giggling mono mix, if you take the "difference-combination" l-r of both channels (i.e. the Karaoke feature)

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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Postby (wolfgang) » Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:51 am

Conclusion:
luckily the world wide Beatlemania started with the "two Rickenbacker-guitars song" "I want to hold your hand". Furthermore they came back from the "Ed Sullivan-U.S-tour" with two new Rickenbackers: the electic 12-string 360/12 for George and the 325-Miami for John.
This caused a new joy of playing (listen to George in "If I fell" or the excellent solo in "I should have known better", listen to John's outstanding rhythm-guitar work in "I'm happy just to dance with you" or in "Long tall Sally". The sound of the Rickies, especially with the Vox amps' inherent bass cut, the massive use of the octaved strings of the 360/12 with its "electric" jangly sound (use the bridge p.u. and a guitar cable with a capacity of about 1300 pF- that's quite a lot - to get this sound) was The Beatles' signature sound.
In 1966, when they used their beloved Epiphone Casinos, a kind of this bright, bell-like sound was achieved with the special mid control knob of their new UL7120 Vox amps.
Listen to the end of "Got to get you into my life" or the rhythm guitar of "She said, she said". It's not so easy to get such a good sounding tone for a Casino with a Fender or Marshall amp. And if you want to hear a real Rickenbacker of the time, listen to the Anthology mix of "And your bird can sing"
Peace and Love
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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Postby (Kiddwad57) » Wed Jun 16, 2021 12:54 am

Lots of valuable insights, Wolfgang. Big Vox fan here, but which tunes do you think they used their Showman amps on? There are several famous pictures that show them set up immediately in front of the Vox ULs. Never have actually seen a Vox UL in person, let alone played through one, so I don't know what they sound like up close and personal. The Beatles' adoption of the Fenders also coincide with those jangly tones which weren't heard so distinctly before. I've read that McCartney used his Bassman amp and Rickenbacker for Rubber Soul, but that Harrison soon took it as his own. Meanwhile, Paul seemingly began using a Foundation and/or favoring the UL730 for bass during those middle years, maybe more on Sgt. Peppers. Anyway, always interesting to delve into Beatles tones and to get impressions from other fans of those fantastic sounds.
"It don't make since if you can't make peace." Willie Dixon
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Re: what I can hear on Beatles records

Postby (Kiddwad57) » Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:44 am

Here's a picture, just always curious as to the Beatles' use of these amps and which sounds we hear of them on recordings:

Beatles' Showmans.jpg
Beatles Gear
McCartney Getting It.jpg
Beatles Gear
McCartney getting it with the Rickenbacker and what is likely a Vox 730?
"It don't make since if you can't make peace." Willie Dixon
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