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"The Beatles as Musicians" .........the Walter Everett books
12 January 2010
2.29pm
Joe
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QUOTE: MJB: I know a few of you on here have read or are reading these books.  I thought I'd share a few comments as I read through them.

I'm currently on the first book and although, as already pointed out, a lot of the analysis goes over the head on non-musical folk who cannot read or undestand musical quotation (like me), I am enjoying his breakdown on who played what and how the songs were mixed etc.

So far I'm only up to the end of 1964 and was beginning to think this man has really done his research and then I came across a gaping error he made! He has been very particular on the assignement of what was placed on each track during the recording process but he has either overlooked or missed an overdub on Things We Said Today. There is no mention of the acoustic guitar intro beats that also reappear throughout the song.  We know these were added separately as they appear on the Love album isolated.

He also doesn't seem to point out the mistakes that were made on certain recordings, which I find a bit odd given the intricate detail he goes in to. i.e. John's missed guitar strums on She's A Woman.

So am I being too picky here or do other share my wonder?

I don't know if you're being too picky. I think the books are absolutely incredible, though like you I've not read them all. I've been dipping in and out of them since Christmas, though I've read properly up to around 1963.

I think regardless of the odd omission you've got to admire the depth of research he did. My enjoyment wouldn't be impaired by knowing he hadn't mentioned an acoustic guitar overdub. Perhaps he simply didn't notice them - the books were written before Love came out. There are a few other things (can't remember what right now) that I thought he'd comment on and didn't, but you can't have everything.

I hadn't heard of these books until relatively recently. Someone kept leaving comments on my song articles pointing out line-up errors, and cited Everett as his source. It wasn't until I looked them up on Google Books that I realised how great they were. I can see why they didn't have the popular reach of an Ian Macdonald or Mark Lewisohn book, but I'd say they're just as essential if you really want to understand how the songs were written and recorded. The fact that I've never seen them in UK bookshops is disappointing.

EDIT I messed up trying to move an entire thread over to the books forum. Instead it just moved the first post over: http://www.beatlesbible.com/fo.....les-books/
If I try and move it back it'll probably start a new thread all over again, so I'll just leave it as a quote on my reply. Sorry all.

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12 January 2010
3.04pm
mjb
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I resisted the temptation to dip in and out and decided to start from the beginning and work through.  I thought I knew so much about their recordings but I've learned lots just reading up until  the 1964 songs! As you say, great books.

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
13 January 2010
4.34am
8tracktgdesk
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So far I'm only up to the end of 1964 and was beginning to think this man has really done his research and then I came across a gaping error he made! He has been very particular on the assignement of what was placed on each track during the recording process but he has either overlooked or missed an overdub on Things We Said Today.



Point of interest here,  back when the Beatles  did all the recordings at Abbey Road Studios, and elsewhere  the recording sheets where a  afterthought.  A lot of information was left out because at that time they thought that it real didn't matter. No one at that time thought that their would be  a long term legacy  and that the Beatles would last maybe four years at tops.  I read that both Norman Smith  and Geoff Emerick would have done better records on the session  logs had they known  that the Beatles would change the face of music and leave such a huge legacy.


My point here is that a lot of people speculate  about  the recordings and make mistakes based on their own judgment of what they hear.    The idea of  four rhythm tracks bounced down to another four track where  more instruments or vocals where added as overdubs is a correct assumption in most of their recordings after  1964 ( the start of 4 track recordings  "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "This Boy") . But when it comes down to what  instruments or vocals  going on to what track after the initial  instrument bounce down can be  reported incorrectly at times.   Everything before 1964 (  four track start point), as listed above)  is done live on either  single or twin track with minimal amounts of overdubbing , but  sometimes a lot of tape editing ( "She Loves You")


Everthing on the  Abbey Road Album  was done   on a eight track  console/tape machine, including four songs on the White Album. This is the Eight Track start point.  


The Let It be/ Get Back sessions where done  on two (2) four track Redd-51 consoles  with  the Studer four tracks in a eight track configuation


John Senchak  Beatlogist  john@antihotmail.comCool

13 January 2010
7.42am
mjb
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If only they had recorded all the details......what a book THAT would have been to read! Oh well........

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
13 January 2010
10.43am
Joe
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Minor correction - I Want To Hold Your Hand was recorded in October 1963, and released in the UK/US in November/December that year.

John S - there's some speculation that Sie Liebt Dich was a re-recording of She Loves You, as they couldn't find the original multitrack (or it wasn't usable). Any thoughts on that? I confess I've not listened closely enough to it to tell, but I suspect you have.

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Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

13 January 2010
5.57pm
8tracktgdesk
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Joe said:

Minor correction - I Want To Hold Your Hand was recorded in October 1963, and released in the UK/US in November/December that year.

John S - there's some speculation that Sie Liebt Dich was a re-recording of She Loves You, as they couldn't find the original multitrack (or it wasn't usable). Any thoughts on that? I confess I've not listened closely enough to it to tell, but I suspect you have.



Regardless, 1963 or 1964, dates and times to me are kind of pointless but the actual start point of  the Beatles using the four track desk  (REDD-51 or REDD-47 ) with the Studer and or Telefunken  4 track machine is the actual  start point where the Beatles recordings  started  to progess.   That starting point is the recording sessions  of "I wanna hold you hand" and "This Boy" and is a very important time in music history in my opinion


"Sie Liebt Dich" is  a total waste of magnetic  tape in my opinion


John Senchak  Beatlogist   john@antihotmail.com

14 January 2010
9.03am
mjb
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Joe said:

Minor correction - I Want To Hold Your Hand was recorded in October 1963, and released in the UK/US in November/December that year.

John S - there's some speculation that Sie Liebt Dich was a re-recording of She Loves You, as they couldn't find the original multitrack (or it wasn't usable). Any thoughts on that? I confess I've not listened closely enough to it to tell, but I suspect you have.


I cannot understand how anyone can think the backing track to She Loves You and Sie Liebt Dich are the same! They are totally different!

The 'giveaway' is Lennon's "chanking" guitar......it simply doesn't do that is the German release.

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
14 January 2010
5.39pm
8tracktgdesk
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I cannot understand how anyone can think the backing track to She Loves You and Sie Liebt Dich are the same! They are totally different!

The 'giveaway' is Lennon's "chanking" guitar......it simply doesn't do that is the German release.


Listen to "She loves you" through a real good pair of headphones , very LOUD and you can tell the song was created from editing of  different takes or parts where dubbed  over to fix mistakes.    The song  it's core was done on either a single (delta) mono track or twin tack  machine using the REDD-47 tube  console  in studio two.  It appears that the vocals on "Sie Liebt Dich"  are vocal overdubs  to  the rhythm  tracks of takes.   Abbey Road Studios,   would make rhythm takes, then during the over dubbing process (if any),   that take would then would be copied ( tape generation, loss of tape hiss and noise) to another tape machine  in case a mistake was made to the original session. They  then had the original  to redo the process if someone screwed up.  This sounds very labor intensive but remember Abbey Road Studios in the early sixties was very archaic  compared with other studios in  the Uk and the United States.  Most of the equipment was designed by EMI  Hayes  with the idea that it  would be tested at the studio at the address  of 3  Abbey Road. Guess who they used to test that new equipment out?   The timing was just right to see how well that equipment would work   and if it lived up to the standards of the people who ran EMI. When you think about the early Beatles recordings  ( before 4 track start point)  you have to think simple and  don't over  complicate what you think you hear.    It's important to think of the songs as done live with  a minimal  amount of dubbing, but at times large amounts of editing to create the experience you hear. 


John Senchak Beaolgist  john@antihotmail.comCool

14 January 2010
5.48pm
mjb
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Yes, I've always known it was edited together from various takes.  In fact they fixed a really bad edit in the Remasters very well. What I'm saying is there is no way the edited backing track (vocals or no vocals) are the same for each recording. I would therfore imagine at the time of making Sie Liebe Dich they STILL had the master tapes........

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
14 January 2010
9.34pm
8tracktgdesk
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mjb said:Yes, I've always known it was edited together from various takes.  In fact they fixed a really bad edit in the Remasters very well. What I'm saying is there is no way the edited backing track (vocals or no vocals) are the same for each recording. I would therfore imagine at the time of making Sie Liebe Dich they STILL had the master tapes........


Right because once the one or two  instrumnets tracks (rythmn)  where bounced down to a  single track of another machine   either for the purpose of overdubbing vocals or to add   another instrument, the  original   tracks  where locked in place and couldn't be changed forever. Furthemore,  after  a while more and more compression  and limiting was including and this  could not  be changed either because it was added  before the sound went to the tape machine. Due to the lack of tracks, instruments  where locked together for the sole purpose of releasing in mono anyway. It didn't matter to spread  tracks across the stereo  image because it just wasn't necessary , everyone was listening in mono except the elite few who had HIFI sets.   Once four tracks came along you could bounce four tracks,  into  two going into one track and the other two going to the other, which still  gave you two tracks open after the bounce down. This gave the engineer  more options  because not everything was  mixed to one track, then locked in place.

The below is more or less  the signal path  through the  REDD-47(8  microphone  input)  Redd-51 (10  microphone  input) board


microphone~  line amplifier~ limited EQ~  line amplifier~  Microphone  faders 1-10 ~  line amplifier out~ outboard  compressor or limiter~ line amplifier in~- Multi-track-faders  (center four on console) ~- line amplifiers~  echo out  or tape machine out 

Keep in mind  the above is basic, and not very techincal  as the actual  recording  console (either the  47 or 51) was not all that  complicated Note,that their where many switches  to combine  microphone inputs due to the fact that ultimately  you  are dealing with more microphones then you are  with  multi-tracks.


Redd-47  console had 8 microphone   inputs/ two  faders where used for echo out

Redd-51  console  had 10 microphone inputs/ with the  echo chamber Faders ( in and out) placed in front of the level  meters .

The above is key because this is the main reason why the Beatles music  can NOT be remixed from  main sessions tapes  because many of the instruments are locked together and can NOT be changed. 


John Senchak Beatlogist  john@antihotmail.com

15 January 2010
3.55pm
mjb
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Whatever......I will stick by my original statement and that is the backing track on She Loves You is not the same as the backing track on Sie Liebe Dich! Lennon's guitar is quite simply VERY different both in tome and the way he strums. It's so plain to hear........

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
15 January 2010
5.06pm
8tracktgdesk
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mjb said:Whatever......I will stick by my original statement and that is the backing track on She Loves You is not the same as the backing track on Sie Liebe Dich! Lennon's guitar is quite simply VERY different both in tome and the way he strums. It's so plain to hear........



You are fixated  on one Beatles song  but you have to look and the grand picture of Abbey Road Studios and what they did for the development  of   recording music.  Looks at the big picture here, from  "She Loves you" all the way to Pink Floyd's "Dark side of the moon".  From archaic  tube consoles all the way to the development  of transistor  recordings  (TG serious) consoles  to around 1975. It's not "What ever" you can't just look at their Beatles music as just songs.   You have to go much farther and look at the recording process , and the development of what Abbey Road did to change the face of music forever.


It's like the people who look at  sixties music as nostalgia.  These people  are total idiots and are not taking the music very seriously. Music  recordings are history and need to be studied  in great detail , not looked at as being a   vehicle to remember things by. This is why their is so  many books written about The Beatles and if you want to study music  you have to start somewhere. The best place to start is  doing your history lessons  on Abbey Road Studios  from  1931  to  the late seventies.

You might actual learn somethingCool


John senchak Beatlogist john@antihotmail.com

"Music is not nostalgia"

15 January 2010
5.41pm
Joe
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I think someone should be able to discuss just one or two Beatles songs here without being told they're missing the bigger picture. Likewise, a person can analyse the genius of The Beatles' songwriting and performance without caring one jot about tubes, transistors or input paths. The fact is The Beatles helped innovate in so many areas of life, just one of which (and probably the most important, I grant) was studio recording.

Music *is* nostalgia for many. These people aren't "total idiots"; they've just learnt to find joy in something without wanting or needing to know everything about it. Someone outside my window has parked a beautiful Morris Minor car - am I an idiot for admiring it without knowing the history of motoring? I hope not. Would my admiration be enhanced by knowing which spark plugs or carburettors they used in the manufacturing, or what process came before they settled on the final design? I doubt it, as I don't really care about cars.

Likewise, most people don't care about the recording process; they just like The Beatles' music, lyrics, clothes, hair, personalities, films, artwork and anything else that turns them on. The real reason The Beatles were geniuses, and why so many books are still written about them, is that they appealed to millions of people on so many levels. Nobody else before or since has done that.

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16 January 2010
5.35am
8tracktgdesk
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:

I think someone should be able to discuss just one or two Beatles songs here without being told they're missing the bigger picture.

(agree, but  I disagree that if one did the proper  research, he or she would have a lot better understanding of the Beatles Music. For years, I use to think that there was more, some hidden data that no one knows about, and in fact I was right.  People should know about this information, otherwise they are missing out on  a lot of things that put their songs in perspective . This is all I am doing, puting their music in proper perspective because the truth is real out there)

Likewise, a person can analyse the genius of The Beatles' songwriting and performance without caring one jot about tubes, transistors or input paths. The fact is The Beatles helped innovate in so many areas of life, just one of which (and probably the most important, I grant) was studio recording.

(Oh..... but this is where I disagree with you my friend,  because the  Beatles did a lot of music history, with  the least amount of technology, and this is what makes it so amazing. Without the staff  at Abbey Road (and Sir George Martin), that great song writing and  amazing performances  would have  never taken place. Something,  a passion for music,  a desire of being part of  something so phenomenally  great, that  it drove ordinary people  to do things that to this day,  can be considered revolutional . These people where the Edison's , Alexander Graham Bell's  and Tesla's  of modern pop recording and it all happened in the UK. )

(Yess  it still it hasn't been duplicated  and it never will,  this is why  it should be studied in full because the Beatles are  music art on  magtic tape, and guess who was controling the canvass, you guessed it the people who worked at  3 Abbey Road )

Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream !Cool

John Senchak  Beatlogist ,  john@antihotmail.com


16 January 2010
9.41am
mjb
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8tracktgdesk said:


You are fixated  on one Beatles song  but you have to look and the grand picture of Abbey Road Studios and what they did for the development  of   recording music.  You might actual learn somethingCool



If you read back over this thread you will see that my reference to She Loves You / Sie Liebe Dich is NOT A FIXATION but merely an answer to a comment made by Joe. And I do read and I do learn, so maybe you could try not to be quite so condescending my friend Wink

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
16 January 2010
7.57pm
8tracktgdesk
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If you read back over this thread you will see that my reference to She Loves You / Sie Liebe Dich is NOT A FIXATION but merely an answer to a comment made by Joe. And I do read and I do learn, so maybe you could try not to be quite so condescending my friend Wink



Wow, interesting post, but  I don't think that I am condescending,  but I do consider myself very passionate  regarding  Abbey Road Studios and how they influenced the Beatles (other other well known groups) recordings. It's not the other way around. Sie Liebe Dich is just what they call a varation of a theme , just the same song or rhythm  tracks that are rearranged to appease a certain group, and or trying to obtain a goal (hit record). Many groups in the sixties did this  and a   a very good example of this is Spooky Tooth who used the the same organ melody  in many of their hit  songs.  Why spend time talking or debating about a song that real doesn't matter, has no real merit, and is just geared for the people in Germany. Wow, the Beatles went back into Abbey Road Studios, did new vocal (in another language) overdubs over rhythm tracks that where edited. Maybe it matters to the people in Germany because they can understand it, but to me  it's just a waste of magnetic tape, nothing more, nothing less. It just doesn't matter.

Now if you wanted to discuss a song like Girl well, now I will  go  on and on about song structure, middle eights, bars, verses ,  timing  refrains, lyrics, and other points of  interests.  Try me.....

John Senchak Beatleogist  John@antihotmail.com

(middle 8's   you just got to love them !!!)

4+5=9 Number 9 Number 9

17 January 2010
7.07am
mjb
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Joe - we should have had our own thread on She Loves You / Sie Liebe Dich.  That would have at least pleased John who isn't quite grasping it in this particular one Wink

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
17 January 2010
4.12pm
8tracktgdesk
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mjb said:Joe - we should have had our own thread on She Loves You / Sie Liebe Dich.  That would have at least pleased John who isn't quite grasping it in this particular one Wink


 Excuse me..... okay getting back on topic here,  as stated before any person who writes a book about the Beatles and didn't work during that period at Abbey Road Studios or was part of their recording process , real doesn't have a clear understanding of how their music was developed. Sure Walter Everett  wrote a book about the Beatles, but was he there during the recording process?  What he is  writing is his own speculation, interpretation, opinion or  basing  information on other third party research to  come  up with some type of conclusion about their music.  If you are talking  about books written by Sir George Martin or Geoff Emerick then you can base what they write as one hundred percent fact, not speculation.  I seen to many Beatles books that are  one hundred percent crap and  don't  write in  the theory of musicology. The point is that I do grasp it, maybe if more people would read the right books  then more people would understand where I am coming from.   The point  being is that if you want to study the Beatles  and have a clear understanding of their  music, then you must research Abbey Road Studios first.  Who else here is doing it?  From the many  posts in the forums that I've read , it apparent the admin  might know where I am coming from, then again I could be wrongCool

John Senchak  Beatlogist  john@antihotmail.com

20 January 2010
11.43am
Joe
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Various parts of Geoff Emerick's book have been disputed (particularly http://www.komosproductions.co.....8;m=200603

As for it being a waste of magnetic tape: in Revolution In The Head, Ian Macdonald posits the theory that The Beatles' unwillingness to re-record any of their other hits in foreign languages essentially ended the practice (which had been common up until then). He cites this as one of their less-acknowledged but nonetheless significant achievements. You may disagree with that, but I'd say it demonstrates why those songs are worth discussing.

"it apparent the admin  might know where I am coming from, then again I could be wrongCool"

Please, call me Joe Smile As for understanding your points, I do, but if you actually read Walter Everett's books you'll find that he's less interested in the recording process as a central focus. As the titles suggest, he's primarily interested in their development as musicians, and he uses different methods at various times as appropriate - lyrical, notation, choice of cover versions, recurring musical motifs, recording notes and so on. Now, we know you think the studio is the basis for everything, but as a music theory professor he explores a different (and no less important) angle. Have a look at the books on Google and you'll see that they're more than worthwhile:

http://books.google.co.uk/book.....mp;f=false
http://books.google.co.uk/book.....mp;f=false

Any decent historian can illuminate a period from the past without having been there. That's why they're writers. They can use the same research tools and read the same books that you may have done, and carry out extensive interviews to get to the story. That's what the writers of Recording The Beatles did, and that's what Walter Everett did too. George Martin and Geoff Emerick were incredible in the studio, but they're not great writers. It's true that there are a lot of crap Beatles books out there, but to say every one that doesn't focus on the studio is worthless is massively missing the point.

Anyway, I guess you've established that you think the studios should be the starting point for any discussion. But to keep coming back to it time and time again might inhibit others from joining in what might otherwise be a varied discussion. This is a forum for everybody, not just for musicians, studio staff or historians (amateur or otherwise), and I wouldn't want to keep covering the same old ground unless it's directly relevant. Would that be OK?

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

21 January 2010
7.25pm
8tracktgdesk
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Anyway, I guess you've established that you think the studios should be the starting point for any discussion. But to keep coming back to it time and time again might inhibit others from joining in what might otherwise be a varied discussion. This is a forum for everybody, not just for musicians, studio staff or historians (amateur or otherwise), and I wouldn't want to keep covering the same old ground unless it's directly relevant. Would that be OK?



Joe

I found  some parts  of  Geoff Emericks  book rather  fascinating   especially the parts of about the" Band on the Run"  album and Nigeria.  The actual  words  of McCartney's song actual make sense in the context of what he wrote.  Anyway, I just see  Beatles music  much differently  then most people. After I started reading the book  "Recording The Beatles" (which is well worth the money) my opinions drastically  changed about the Beatles songs.  I  always  thought that their was a lot more to their music then  what was previously  written. The book Revolution in the Head pointed me in the right direction.  Then  I accidentally  found the  holy grail of Beatles book (Recording The Beatles) and a lot of my opinions  came up to be quite  correct.  The Beatles sound, like any other  group is more then the  performance done in  a studio room, it's the recording console  the acoustics,  the microphones,  the tape machine and all the other  equipment that is used during the session. It's  looking at music  from another angle of perspective that most people can't even  comprehend. With today's digital music and sampling,  this art is lost and  artist have moved to simplicity with computers  then  developing  sound over tracks, with the  minimal amount  of technology. At it's  core the Beatles music is   the development of a group  along side the development of studio equipment.  A lot of listeners just don't understand that concept.  I think if a lot of Beatles fans came up to a higher education of learning Beatles music then they  would  have a lot better understanding of  music at many levels.  I am all for, educating people  about the Beatles music , but not  with pushing it on someone who doesn't   real  care. It's a balance, to  appease the people who are  amateurs and to find other forum users that  will be able to fully understand what you are trying  to put across.


I am just very passionate about Beatles music  and Abbey Road Studios and this comes accross  rather strong at times.


Anything you  want, sounds good to me Laugh


John Senchak  Beatlogist   john@antihotmail.com

"Sitting  in a english  garden, waiting for the sun"

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