The Daily Beatle: Meet the Threetles
Beatles, The - Meet The Threetles! ( Purple Recordings Encoded: Kbps MP3 oculo-facial-surgery.info html . Deep Purple  In Concert (Radio 2 Broad. Beatles: Meet The Threetles. mp3 kbps. This boot documents the reunion of the three surviving Beatles at the time of the making of The. I had arranged to meet up with Stella and Mary, and they told me to meet them at the Hyde Park Hotel, which was across the street. So I was.
Interestingly, the lyrics to the verses which he always considered rushed and 'less important' than the chorus are all here complete, suggesting this isn't a very early draft of the song. A version exists with Lennon singing a solo guide vocal, however, alongside a saxophone part that's barely heard on the finished version.
Like many a Lennon song, the final version is so over-produced it loses some of it's raw edge and grit but this rough take is terrific, Lennon coming close to some early primal screaming as he tears into his working class supporting lyrics. Lennon is so busy spitting out his words he barely plays any piano and Klaus' bass is way down low, so all you really get is the very different vocal and Ringo's drums ticking away like a metronome.
Lennon peaks much earlier but clips most of his lines throughout the song short as if sobbing.
It is perhaps not quite up to the finished version but it's still hauntingly 'real', especially the 'Children don't do what I have done' verse that's performed at twice the adrenalin of the first half of the song. A handful of different versions exist though, such as a slightly different and much longer version of 'I Found Out' in demo form.
Great as the finished product is I think I prefer the demo version even more, with Lennon truly solo and destroying his acoustic guitar with some very psychedelic guitar slashes in his fury. Although, funnily enough, Lennon's actual vocal is the most 'together' of all the Plastic Ono Band era, dripping with detached contempt rather than wild fury however much of a wreck he's turning his guitar into.
There's a solitary lyric change: Lennon appears schizophrenic, telling Klaus Voormann and Ringo on bass and drums 'okay - you can stop! Lennon starts to sing along and goes into an improvisation 'She was rolling and polling and molling along Enjoying himself Lennon laughs 'avant garde - that's French for bullshit! Till the end though it's thrillingly intense and the album version could easily have lasted up to the six minute mark.
A slightly different mix also reveals that the take actually started with a thump of Ringo's drums before Lennon's thick heavy piano chords joined in and that there's a jew's harp being twanged in the background.
Sung to a country and western style acoustic backing, the song has a surprisingly upbeat feel unlike the careful thoughtful plod of the finished product. Lennon hasn't added 'Beatles' to his shopping list of broken faith systems yet and instead of pausing for emotional effect simply ploughs on without stopping that 'I just believe in me - Yoko and me!
Though less numb with pain and slightly clearer than the finished version, this one is easily the best, capturing more nuances in Lennon's emotional vocal and ending in an instrumental repeat of the 'three blind mice' melody that runs for a full verse instead of simply ending. Lennon's vocal is right upfront where it deserves to be and it's a great one, full of pathos and emotion that makes up for a rather wobbly Jim Keltner drum part.
Interestingly the band back out for the third 'Imagine no possessions' verse' which is performed with the same subtle acoustic vibe as the first verse. Lennon wrote many better lyrics on the theme and the melody is subtler than most in his catalogue.
The first time I fell head over heels for it was hearing the string arrangement part solo, which sounds like the score from the best film soundtrack ever made, sweeping in with sheer unadulterated emotion - and in effect doing the very opposite to Lennon's rather detached performance underneath. This lovely warm arrangement will be a shoe-in if we ever do an AAA classical prom one day! Though the finished version of this song has gone for a more 'dreamy' feel, the rehearsal take is much more up-front and 'human', Lennon's forlorn vocal still smothered in echo but revealing every little nuance.
It's all very fitting to a song about apology and being human. And what a vocal it is, as Lennon wraps his tonsils round the line 'no short haired yellow bellied son of tricky dicky's gonna mother hubbard soft soap me for just a pocketful of dope! There's a longer fade too with Lennon getting increasingly carried away on his 'all I want are the truths'! Lennon at his mocking sarcastic best and so much better than the completed mix.
There's very little here, just Lennon's scratchy guitar, Klaus' bass and Jim Keltner's drumming but the power trio cook up a real storm of noise and Lennon handles his vocal better, getting louder and louder with each passing verse as the recording takes off and soars from a wayward start. A lyric change has Lennon not wanting to become a 'lawyer' rather than a 'failure'. I don't wanna hear the version with overdubs no more, mamma, that finished version doesn't seem to wanna try.
And yet the rehearsal take edges closer to heaven still, with less production technique getting in the way of one of Lennon's prettiest vocals of all and a backing track that's just the right side of sloppy. I don't know about the world, but everything is clear in the mix at least. Alternate Version John's damning attack on Paul was never my favourite Lennon moment, but for those who love this song they need to hear Lennon's ice-cold rehearsal version in which he growls his way through his most acerbic lyric, sounding less passionate but more quietly vengeful.
A lengthy fade, with George performing some slightly different guitar parts, stretches the song out to some eight minutes but Lennon sounds less than happy with him and ticks George off for 'racing ahead' so that's two Beatles he's insulted with one track! Demo A suitably stuttering, timid demo for a song about uncertainty, this is clearly a version arrangement of the song with Lennon still feeling his way round the piano keyboard looking for 'clues' about where to go. He's also obsessed with the opening line, repeating it several times and coming up with a slightly different lyric 'How can I go home when I don't know the way, I'm not sure of it!
However what does work is what comes next, Lennon reaching out for some 'Hey Jude' style soul lines and wearily moving to an unhappy minor key for some belated resolution 'wo-a-woah no, we don't know, Yo-o-o-ko' he sighs, the song coming to a halt. Lennon's song of hope and peace at yuletide has never sounded more personal or intimate, with Lennon going into falsetto for Yoko's part and 'doo doo doo'ing the lines he hasn't written yet ' My copy comes with a charming attached coda that sounds like a 90 second Beatles Christmas Fanclub outtake.
He spent the afternoon at the revived 'You Are Here' art exhibition where he spent most of it scowling at the patrons and answering their questions at a press conference with more questions. The night was a drunken party full of friends Ringo among them which quickly developed into a taped singalong. In between bursts of 'Happy Birthday' Lennon tackles two highly sarcastic versions of two recent classic by his fellow Beatles.
Lennon doesn't bother to learn Paul's 'Uncle Albert' part but seems keen on the sheer banality of the second 'hand across the water' part which he ad libs and 'doo doo doos' along with, changing the lines to 'hands across the sea' and ending up in his own improvised 'Uncle Albert with nobody' section which bears nothing in common with the original on 'Ram'.
Sadly the tapes cuts out here but cuts back in again in time to hear a drunken Lennon singing 'I really wanna see you lord, oh yes I do! For all his sarcasm, though, note that Lennon has gone to the bother of learning both songs, proudly rattling off the chord changes in the middle. Well, it makes a change for the usual object of Lennon's wrath 'Yesterday' which was performed in every rendition going from horror movie to crooner! Other lyric changes include 'A sitar trying to be a guitar' and 'I was shooting up speed until I couldn't read, say you got to koo-koo today'.
The winner of best line though has to be: Yoko's vocal is more in tune than the finished version and like her husband Yoko sounds much better solo-tracked without echo as per most of her recordings. It became quite annoying to try and keep up with the speed changes. So it was decided that we had to take another approach. We had to isolate John's voice as best we could and then lay it back in on the tape to a click track that would not be heard on the record but would be strict tempo.
Jeff Lynne and the engineers did that. The final pre-produced tracks were then sent back to McCartney's England studio on DAT, Lennon's voice and piano in the left channel, a click track in the right channel Ringo used the click to add live drums.
Jeff Lynne did a great job putting it into time and cleaning it up. Only then could we begin overdubbing. Once that had been done we were able to play with it because John was now perfectly in time and there were just little gaps where he'd sped up or gone out a bit. After that we did acoustic guitars and I learned John's piano part.
I'd been studying it a little bit the week before we did the session, and Jeff Lynne had studied it very hard and showed me one or two interesting little variations that John had put in there, that I hadn't picked up.
Then I played it - John and I had very similar piano styles because we learned together - which meant that we now had a voice and a piano separate and could get control over them. Then I put the bass on, which I kept very, very simple: I didn't want to do any of my trademark swoops or get it too melodic, I just wanted to anchor the piece.
I did one or two little tricks but they're very subtle, like I used my five-string bass, which has got a very low string on it, and saved the low string till the tune does a big key change in the solo, and it really lifts off there. So instead of doing the same bass note I went right down to my second lowest note on the instrument. Then Ringo did some great drumming on it, and Jeff Lynne - being very, very precise - made sure that every single snare was exactly correct and he and the engineer Geoff Emerick got a really great sound.
In The Life OfThe Beatles: Purple Chick Discography
McCartney says there was some tension between him and Harrison when it came time to write a few new lines for the song but it passed quickly. When we were working on "Free As A Bird" there were one or two little bits of tension, but it was actually cool for the record. I'm the first one to accept that, so that was OK. Lennon had left one half-finished verse behind: John hadn't filled in the middle eight section of the demo so we wrote a new section for that, which, in fact, was one of the reasons for choosing the song; it allowed us some input, he was obviously just blocking out lyrics that he didn't have yet.
He keeps going as if to say 'Well, I'll get to them later'. George and I were vying for best lyric. That was more satisfying than just taking a John song, which was what we did for the second, "Real Love". It worked out great but it wasn't as much fun. If you hear the original version you know that John plays very different chords changes in it as well. Historically, what we'd say would be, 'Well, hang on, I'm not too sure about that chord there, why don't we try this chord here?
It was the nearest I was ever going to get to writing with John again. Soon, Lennon's high, wavering voice was in their headphones. It was very good fun for me to have John in the headphones when I was working, it was like the old days and it was a privilege. We were all hanging out together in the studio, but we didn't do it like we used to.
Back then, the four of us would just kick in and get the backing track. We couldn't do that. By now, John's original mono cassette had been expanded into analogue 48 track form. Ringo started the song off with two beats on snare. George broke in with a bluesy slide guitar riff and continued with a slide solo.
The demo was further augmented with George's and Paul's acoustic guitars, Paul's bass guitar and new vocals from George, Paul and Ringo. Paul also doubled the piano part to the point where there wasn't much left of John's original playing. Jeff Lynne added harmonizer chorus to that piano to blend it in. You can hear a little bit of mid-range color coming in when John sings. We just got on with it, and treated it like any old tune the Beatles used to do, fixed the timing and then added some bits.
George played some great guitar, we did some beautiful harmonies. What I liked was I played very, very normal bass, really out of the way, because I didn't want to 'feature'. There are one or two moments where I break a little bit loose, but mostly I try to anchor the track. There's one lovely moment where it modulates to C, so I was able to use the low C of the five-string.
That's it, the only time I use the low one, which I like, rather than just bassing out and being low, low low. I play normal bass, and there's this low C and the song takes off. It actually takes off anyway because a lot of harmonies come in and stuff, but it's a real cool moment that I'm proud of. We did the total new record, then we just took his voice and we dropped it in every line where we needed it until we built up the lead vocal part.
Although a long time has passed since they last recorded as one unit, they worked terribly well together. Being in the control room watching and listening to them interact with each other was fascinating.
Paul and George would strike up the backing vocals and all of a sudden it's the Beatles again. They were having fun with each other and reminding each other of the old times.
I'd be waiting to record but I was too busy laughing and smiling at everything they were talking about. It was a lovely, magical time. But it was very scary because it had never been done before and there were no points of reference.
What do you do on a Beatles record when the singer's not there? It came to the backing harmonies and George said to me ' Jeff is such a big Beatles fan, he'd love to get on this record, he'd just die!
Even if he goes 'hey! And I was a little bit reluctant. I'm a bit sort of precious, a bit private about who's in the Beatles and we didn't do too badly on that philosophy. Even when Billy Preston came in I was in two minds.
The others were so definite that I went with their thinking, as I always did, because I knew they had right-on opinions. They ran out of Beatles riffs. John said it was alright! At the time, Ringo was reported as saying that the reunion sessions, which had been planned to last a week, had gone "much better than expected" and had been extended right until the end of the month where work may also have briefly commenced on "Now And Then" and "Grow Old With Me".
I am quite proud of it. I think it worked great, it's actually a Beatles record. It's spooky to hear John singing lead, but it's beautiful. People said beforehand we shouldn't do it, but that kind of focused us up a bit. It's fatal if they come out in the papers and say we shouldn't do it, because I want to do it even more.
It was a joyful experience, it was magic, it was a really good laugh to be making music together again. Me and George ended up doing harmonies and Ringo's sitting in the control room. He says, 'Sounds just like the Beatles! Oh I was shocked, it just blew me away. I don't know why I didn't think it is us anyway, but, I just had a moment there of being far enough away from it to look at it like a real thing.
And it's just like them, it was a mind blower. It sounds like the bloody Beatles, it sounds like a Beatles track. It could have been recorded in So much has gone down since those days, twenty odd years ago, but when I played the track, I thought, 'Sounds just like them!
Doing this project has brought us together. Once we get the bullshit behind us, we all end up doing what we do best, which is making music! It was better when there were three of us than when Ringo said "Oh I've done my bit" and left me and George to do it. Me and Georgeas artists, we had a little bit more tensions. But I don't think that's a bad thing. It was only like a normal Beatles session; you've got to reach a compromise.
We pulled it off, that's the thing, and I don't care what anyone says. We could work together. We did a bit of technical stuff on tape, to make it work, and Jeff Lynne was very good. We had Geoff Emerick, our old Beatle engineer; he's solid, really great.
He know how Ringo's snare drum should sound. The end of the track features Lennon muttering ther old George Fromy catchphrase "Turned out nice again" to tie in with some ukulele playing Harrison had taped for the outro. There is real magic going on. On the end of 'Free As A Bird', just for a joke - in case people were thinking, "God, they really mean it, this is so serious, this isn't like all their other records, this is serious homage" - we re-entered with the drums, then George did his George Formby stuff on the ukulele and then, to even take it one stage further, we put in something backwards.
We got the guys at the film production office to find a clip of John talking - we gave them a certain phrase to look for, which I'm not giving away - and then we put it in backwards, just as little joke, a bit of fun that ties in with the ending. Anyway, the incredible thing is, the other day Eddie [Klein, Paul's studio manager] was working on the tape and he said, "Paul, listen to this" and he played it to me and, I swear to God, the backwards stuff says, "Made by John Lennon".
None of us had heard it when we compiled it, but when I spoke to the others and said "You'll never guess They'd heard it, independently. And I swear to God, he definitely says it! We could not in a million years have known "what that phrase would be backwards.
So there is real magic going on. We hadn't seen each other or been together in 25 years, and suddenly we were all working like before. The old magic was there instantly. And there was a kind of crazy moment, thinking, oh yeah, 'cause, not having done it for so long, you become an ' ex-Beatle '.
But of course getting back in the band and working on this Anthology, you're in the band again. There's no two ways about it. And it was good, it was good being them again for a little while. We work well together, that's the truth of it, we just work well together. And that's a very special thing.
When you find someone you can talk to, it's a special thing. But if you find someone you can play music with, it's really something, y'know. It was interesting to actually get back together. For Ringo, Paul, and I, we've had the opportunity to let all the past turbulent times go down the river and under the bridge and to get together again in a new light.
I think that has been a good thing, it's like going full circle, and I feel sorry that John wasn't able to do that, because I know he would have really enjoyed that opportunity to be with us again. Most of the track was completed by the end of February with the addition of George's closing guitar part.
I was worried because it was going to be George on slide. John might have vetoed that. George started to work on his guitar parts, and he did a secondary guitar part, between a lead and a rhythm, sort of arpeggio rhythm you'd have to call it. He came up with some nice little phrases there which are very subtle on the record: I tend to hear them about the third time through.
And then finally he came up with his slide guitar. I told Jeff Lynne that I was slightly worried about this because I thought it might get to sound a little bit like "My Sweet Lord" or one of George's signature things.
I felt that the song shouldn't be pulled in any way, it should stay very Beatles, it shouldn't get to sound like me solo or George solo, or Ringo for that matter. It should sound like a Beatles song. So the suggestion was made that George might play a very simple bluesy lick rather than get too melodic. And that really sealed the project. I thought - I still think - that George played an absolute blinder, because it's difficult to play something very simple, you're so exposed.
But it was fantastic and Jeff Lynne and Geoff Emerick got a great sound on him. In fact he got a much more bluesy attitude, very cool, very minimal, and I think he plays a blinder. I've played it to a few people who've cried, because it's a good piece of music and because John's dead. The combination of that can be emotional. But I love that. I don't have a problem with something that grabs you by the balls so you've gotta cry.
I rather respect that. We did the end bit, put little extra vocal things on that, and then the ukuleles, which was a tip of the hat to George Formby, whom George is particularly enamoured of.
And I like George Formby a lot too, he's a great British tradition - and John's mum, Julia, used to play the ukulele so I suppose there was a point of contact there too. And then we got the phrase of John's to turn backwards, laid it into the mix and thought, "That's it, it really sounds like a Beatles record. But we went through a lot of changes musically in the s so it's hard to actually put your finger on what was the Beatles sound. When you say it sounds like the Beatles, people may expect it to sound like 65 or It's very similar in some respects to Abbey Road because it has the voicing, the backing voices like Because.
But the whole technical thing that has taken place between and is such that, you know, it sounds a lot more like now. No, we didn't go "We'll go for Beatles circa It's a great song. Although I must say I find it hard to hear Dad's vocals. When George Martin heard it he was very pleased with it, so that was nice. They stretched it and compressed it and put it around until it got to a regular waltz control click and then they were done.
The result was that in order to conceal the bad bits they had to plaster it fairly heavily so that what you ended up with was quite a thick homogeneous sound that hardly stops. The Beatles rounded off with a trip to the local pub and a visit to Paul's neighbour, Spike Milligan.
When we'd done it, I thought, we've done the impossible. Because John's been dead and you can't bring dead people back. But somehow we did - he was in the studio. We always said the Beatles was us four and if ever one of us wasn't in it then it's not the Beatles, and the idea of having John as the singer on the record, it works, it is the Beatles. There was talk about us doing stuff on our own but I have no desire really to do a threesome. When the Anthology DVDs were released insome video footage from these inital "Free As A Bird" sessions was included on a bonus disc it's easily differentiated from the later "Real Love" footage as George has no beard at this point.
The group can be heard rehearsing the song and discussing the chord structure. It was an exciting week and shortly afterwards I went on holiday to America.
On the plane I wrote down what had gone on at the session. Just to remember the facts really, before they were forgotten.
This was apparently their first get together in the studio since February, the delay being put down to George's business negoatiations for the sale of Handmade Films. During this session, the group apparently continued work on the "Now And Then" demo. Speaking in DecemberJeff Lynne claimed the song which has a chorus but is lacking in verses was technically still without formal title, but should it ever be completed, it would probably end up as either "Now And Then" or "Miss You".
The composition had not been included in The Lost Lennon Tapes radio series, despite claims that it had access to the complete Lennon archive. Yoko Ono has confirmed it was her who chose the recording, selecting unreleased Lennon songs "very carefully". Because these songs were to come from the Beatles. The Beatles will be singing to the world again. The implication of that was tremendous. I thought, this was a song which would release people from their sorrow of losing John.
By listening to the song, they will eventually be able to release their sorrow and arrive at an understanding that, actually, John is not lost to them. Paul, George and Ringo lost a great friend as well. If they sung this song from their hearts it would have helped many people around the world who felt the same. Mann recalls that the demo they worked with had been recorded on a four-track John's voice was doubled and he'd used a tambourine.
Lynne didn't want the tambourine, so they frequency notched around it so the filter would not affect John's vocals substantially. Soon after this work was done, a demo of "Now And Then", complete with an annoying electrical buzz throughout, circulated on bootleg CDs. This bootleg demo had no tambourine, suggesting it was either a different recording to the one the Beatles had worked on, or perhaps this was a copy of the altered tape with the tambourine removed unless Mann is confusing this song with "Grow Old With Me", which has a tinny click track that sounds quite like a tambourine?
Unfortunately, the "Now And Then" recordings the Beatles attempted on this day did not go well and the session was aborted early. We had a go at it but there were a lot of words that hadn't been completed on it.
The playing on it was fine. It was just that the words weren't finished, and quite a lot of them weren't finished. It was a decision to do something that was already complete, so we could actually get it down on tape. George apparently suggested the group continue the next day, this time at his Friar Park Studios in his Henley-on-Thames mansion.
Another rumour spread that the three men were about to record there on 17th July. Mark Lewisohn's liner notes on the Anthology albums make no mention of any new recordings being made at Abbey Road, stating both of the new tracks were recorded at Paul's studio. It is possible that any Abbey Road sessions the group attended around this time were playback or mixing sessions for the forthcoming Live At The BBC release.
George, Paul and Ringo convened accompanied by their respective wives at George's studio at his Friar Park mansion, apparently to perform a symbolic version of "Let It Be" to be filmed for the conclusion of the Anthology TV series. John's absence was apparently so overwhelming that, after a long private discussion between the three out in the garden unconfirmed rumours suggest George was particularly unhappy with the plan and that the 'discussion' lasted three hoursthe idea was abandoned and the Fab Three turned their hands instead to re-working rock and roll classics much favoured from their Quarry Men and pre-Beatlemania days.
Ringo confirmed that the trio played an acoustic jam; "It was just two acoustic guitars and me on brushes". It was just like a time-warp kind of thing. The jam was filmed for possible inclusion in the upcoming Anthology videos but, initially, only a minute long segment of the threesome performing "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" was screened publicly on the television program 'Good Morning America' December 6th The more we include of the three guys together, the more we realise that John isn't there.
In years to come people might get the chance to see that footage of the three of them playing together at George's place. Knowing the way Apple works, it'll come out eventually, in some shape or form. There's a whole load of that stuff, we were there for a full day and the Beatles started playing songs like "Thinking Of Linking" and "Ain't She Sweet".
A little bit of this film was used when George sang "Dehra Dune". They did a whole load of rock'n'roll songs. And we shot a load of stuff at Abbey Road, with the three guys and George Martin, which was fantastic.
For the Beatles fan, it's priceless, I'm sure that somewhere down the line, that stuff will come out. The songs performed out in the garden feature Paul and George on ukeleles. Unconfirmed press reports at the time claimed that George, Paul and Ringo had now completed around ten hours of recordings, prompting rumours that the trio were working on an entire album. What exactly was recorded apart from the above specified tracks is still a mystery, although it's unlikely those ten hours of tape all comprise new Beatles songs.
The August Beatles Monthly reported that in recent weeks the Beatles 'came up with some fresh musical ideas for the soundtrack of their Anthology series' and speculated the bulk of the recordings may also be comprised of 'warm-up demos'. It's also possible that producer Jeff Lynne often left a tape running during the 'reunion' sessions to record the occasions for posterity.
According to an excellent and lengthy article in L. E King's book Fixing A Hole, the first time anyone at EMI officially went looking through the archives for unreleased Beatles material was inwhen the Beatles contract with them legally expired. At irregular intervals between then andEMI executives and staff, including Geoff Emerick, worked on mixing and compiling a single album of previously unreleased material eventually called "Sessions".
Although the album made it as far as the test pressing stage and was subsequently bootleggedthe whole project was finally abandoned mainly due to the objections of George, Paul and Ringo, who were apparently never consulted about the album and the EMI tapes were left to gather dust for another decade. We've just accidentally wiped every take of "Obla-Di-Obla-Da"!
There could be a knighthood in this for us! I am trying to tell the story of the Beatles lives in music, from the moment they met to the moment they split up in I have listened to everything we ever recorded together.
Every take of every song, every track of every take, virtually everything that was ever committed to tape and labelled 'Beatles'. I've heard about separate items in all. I didn't start any serious listening until early this year, when I got Paul, George and Ringo to come in occasionally and listen with me the Beatles began attending these sessions on 31st March The material guarded at Abbey Road Studios was largely in excellent condition.
In fact inAbbey Road engineer Allan Rouse was given the mammoth task of copying all of the Beatles' analogue recordings onto digital as a safety precaution. As a result, Rouse holds the unique distinction of being the only person to have heard literally every surviving Beatles tape stored at Abbey Road historian Mark Lewisohn comes close, but even he didn't have the time to listen to everything when he spent several months compiling his stunning Complete Beatles Recording Sessions guide.
Allan Rouse quickly joined the Anthology project, serving as co-ordinator and George Martin's assistant. They really know how to look after their tapes. Those that they have kept, that is, because they destroyed an awful lot of the early ones. In fact, there are few tapes left from the early sessions. A lot of the material that has come to light from that period has been in the from of laquers and acetate discs. Occasionally, some quarter inch tapes have emerged, but no masters as such.
We only managed to get hold of two tracks from the very first session the boys did in Juneand I happened to have one of them. My wife found it and it transpired that no one else had it. There are other things which I thought had gone forever, such as an early version of "Please Please Me" which we recorded in September It doesn't have the harmonica on it but it's very interesting, with a totally different drum sound.
Archived Beatle tapes are never allowed outside the Abbey Road building. As a result, all the listening and subsequent mixing sessions were held at the studio's penthouse suite. The normally beneficial modern technology that is plentiful at Abbey Road posed a dilemma for George Martin.
If I was going to remix a recording made in the s on four or even eight tracks, there would be no point in processing it in a modern manner. What I really wanted was an old valve desk, although I knew that it would be causing more trouble that it was worth, because if we found something suitable it would inevitably be unreliable.
To our great fortune we discovered this early s console and there is no question that it does affect the sound. We discovered that Jeff Jarrett, who used to be an engineer at Abbey Road an actually did some work with the Beatles, had bought one of these old consoles when it was sold off in It was one of EMI's first transistorised TG Series desks, and although this particular one had been taken out of the studio, and adapted for use by Mobile Recording Unit, it was basically the same desk that I'd used for the Abbey Road album.
In the spirit of the exercise I couldn't justify using modern effects processors like digital reverb, or even echo plates, which didn't exist in the 60s. The only way we could achieve echo was by using either a chamber or tape delay.
Unfortunately, neither of the two echo chambers that we used at Abbey Road was available. One has an enormous electrical plant in it, emitting terrible humming noises. Eventually they were able to dig out and refurbish the second chamber to make it work for us the way it used to, even to the extent of putting back a lot of the old metalwork sewage pipes, which were originally glazed and actually contributed to the chamber's acoustic qualities.
As each item was eventually given approval by the Beatles, it was passed onto Geoff Emerick and his assistant, Paul Hicks son of Hollies guitarist Tony Hicks for remixing. I have fought very shy of being pushed into using alot of the modern devices. So many of today's digital processors are based on the sounds that we used to achieve manually, but quite honestly I don't think they sound as good. We can still get those sounds by old methods quite easily, and much quicker too.
In fact, thinking about it we haven't really progressed that far, if anything it's probably the opposite. The old 4-track masters are on one inch tape, so every track is almost a quarter of an inch wide. As a result, apart from the lack of noise, the quality of the bass is outstanding, you just can't create that now.
The same applies to the snare and and bass sound, they sound so natural it's uncanny. Geoff Emerick, Jon Jacobs. In February the Beatles reunited again to record more tracks. Having had troubles working on "Now And Then" during the 22nd June session, the group started instead with "Real Love", considering it more lyrically complete. It took us another year to get the steam up to go and do it again. George, Paul and Ringo worked on "Real Love" in much the same way as they approached "Free As A Bird" - by using John's original demo as a backing track and recording around it.
For Jeff Lynne, there were unwelcome technical problems: There was a buzz all the way through the cassette. We just shoved that all onto Jeff. Once he'd got the buzz off, it showed up all the clicks that were on it, so he had to get them off as well.
The problem I had with "Real Love" was that not only was there a 60 cycles mains hum going on, there was also a terrible amount of hiss, because it had been recorded at a low level. I don't know how many generations down this copy was, but it sounded like at least a couple. Then there were clicks all the way through it.
There must have been about a hundred of them. We'd spend a day on it, then listen back and still find loads more things wrong.
We would magnify them, grab them and wipe them out. It didn't have any affect on John's voice because we were just dealing with the air surrounding him in between phrases. That took about a week to clean up before it was even usable and transferable to a master. Putting fresh music to it was the easy part! The "Real Love" demo needed to be almost totally re-arranged to make a coherent song.
The piano introduction was not solidly played, but when the introductory figure was repeated after the first chorus, it was done much better, so the intro that finally appeared on the final product was actually the second appearance of the figure, copied and pasted onto the beginning of the song.
Also, John never sang a proper ending for "Real Love", so Marc Mann took every other phrase of John singing "real love" from the interior choruses and created a fadeout coda. Timing was as problem. Lennon recorded without a click track, requiring a bit of time compression and expansion to lock down the tempos.
Lynne thought it was important to have a "good, steady pulse to record to," so time edits were done, but, recalls Mann, "subtly enough to not lose the original feel of John's phrasing. We're talking about within, maybe, plus or minus three or four percent. Phrases were edited in Studio Vision, transferred to Logic Audio for time compression and expansion and then the audio was pulled back to Studio Vision for sequencing.
Other processing jobs included the removal of unwanted instruments. There was one real nice moment when were doing "Real Love" and I was trying to learn the piano bit, and Ringo sat down on the drums, jamming along. It was like none of us had ever been away. An acoustic guitar take had already been issued on the Imagine soundtrack and a piano demo was subsequently issued on the John Lennon Anthology in neither of these two archive releases contain the exact demo that Yoko delivered to the Beatles.
On all the available demos, John's voice is strong and clear, without a hint of the clipped, distant sound that was an obvious problem on "Free As A Bird". It was more difficult, actually, to turn it into a real Beatles track. The Beatles sped up John's demo recording, so that their new version is a semi-tone higher than the original, and decided to use as little state of the art equipment as possible to give a timeless Beatles feel to the track.
The introduction to the song is played by Paul on a celeste the very same instrument which John played on the Abbey Road track "Because" and which is now in Paul's collection.
Paul went direct to the desk but also used his Mega Boogie amp and we took a mixture of the two signals. George used a couple of Strats, a modern Clapton style one and his psychedelic Strat that's jacked up for the bottleneck stuff on "Free As A Bird". They also played six string acoustics and Ringo played his Ludwig kit.
Almost all the piano heard on the completed "Real Love" is John's original. Paul also doubled John's solo vocals, almost subliminaly, in parts where the original was "thin". So we had these two tracks that had been a really great pleasure to work on, really cool working with the other guys, no crazy thing about the three of us have got to make a great new sound or something, because it was the four of us.
It really was just The Beatles.