Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Bertles? The Beagles?

My friend, a bass player, sent to this me last night. We had been playing around with this in the studio, amazed yet again by how The Beatles music can seem approachable until you start to play it. Then you realize, it's not just about the right chords and tuned instruments. These guys were pretty good.

But something feels odd about hearing this with the bass and drums (sort of) isolated.  It almost doesn't feel like The Beatles. The first wail of "She's SO..." doesn't sound like John to me, or any of them really. And while the bass and drums absolutely sound like Paul and Ringo, something about it feels different.

Is it me?

(h/t A.V.)


buzzbabyjesus said...

This is the Beatles minus John. It's Paul's voice, on the "She's So". I'm pretty sure I've heard a version with Paul's vocal throughout.
After this John and George overdubbed so many guitars the tape hiss sounds like wind, and then the tape runs out.
During the "Let It Be" sessions Paul sang a take of "I'm So Tired", which he's said he did to engage John in the proceedings, who was distracted by Yoko and heroin.

Here are the basic tracks for sgt pepper. Track two of four.

Anonymous said...

Don't think it was Paul on Bass. Sounds like a Fender VI which they were using during the Let It Be/Abbey Road Sessions. And since it was a right handed bass, I'm assuming it was John or George playing the part.

Sal Nunziato said...

I don't think John or George were capable enough to play that line.

Anonymous said...

It's Macca on bass. But if it's 'tone' that is confusing, try his Rickenbacker 4001 for size (tonally speaking) rather than the Hofner. The Rick seems to get far more of a workout in the studio, longer neck, a rolling tone, than we sometimes imagine, the Hofner being the one we associate with Macca. My money is on the Rick being used on 'She's so heavy'.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Paul didn't play the Hofner much after 1966. All the pictures in "Magical Mystery Tour" show the Rick. He played it on some of "Let It Be", but I think it had more to do with nostalgia. They were supposed to end up playing some live dates.

I don't think George ever played bass in the Beatles.

The recording in question is definitely the tracks appearing on "Abbey Road". I know this music like the back of my hand.

Anonymous said...

George plays Fender VI bass on the 'Hey Jude' David Frost programme. John & George both play the VI in the Let it be sessions. Indeed, I think Ian MacDonald in 'Revolution in the head' criticises John for 'sabotaging' some of Paul's songs by playing lousy out of tune (more 'wrong notes' ) bass (on the VI) with those Lennon-played bass tracks being part of 'the finished product'. Possibly the track in question is 'The Long and Winding road' (well hidden in the original version under Spector's add-ons, more obvious (but not 'lousy', just basic) on the 'Let it be Naked' version.


(who also posted the 'It's Macca on bass' comment above).

buzzbabyjesus said...

I didn't realize that was a bass on the Frost clip, but you're right. Thanks. I know John played bass on some "Let It Be" footage, but I don't think it was deliberate sabotage, just ineptitude, and lack of engagement. Yoko and heroin again.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Here's the Paul on vocals I was talking about. Supposedly. Seems to be a lot of controversy here. Apparently there is some support for this in MarK Lewisohn's book which I read about 20 years ago.