Paul's drumming on "Back in the U.S.S.R." | Paul McCartney | Fab forum

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Paul's drumming on "Back in the U.S.S.R."
2 January 2013
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Funny Paper
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Well, I listened to the whole song with drums isolated for the first time, and I must disagree with all those people who commented to the song (up above in the Songs section outside the forum) saying they thought Paul's drumming on that song was mediocre or sloppy. 

My sense is that Paul is purposefully sounding a bit almost childish (or child-like) in his drum fills and rolls, and in his almost relentlessly breathless pace because he wanted to imbue the song with energy from below, as it were. 

Sometimes when accomplishing this effect, one has to be a bit off-rhythm and sounding like it's "falling down the stairs".  He sort of does that a bit when he drummed on the Band on the Run album, in a couple of songs ("Jet", "Band on the Run" -- though he was more straight-ahead when the song needed it, as with "Hell On Wheels").

 

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2 January 2013
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Gerard
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The drumming is alright, since it Paul's songs he probably knows what's good for it. The first time I heard the track I thought that Ringo had a new style, guess it was just Paul.

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2 January 2013
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Ron Nasty
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According to Lewisohn, the drumming on Back In The USSR is a compilation of Paul, John and George.

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2 January 2013
1.48pm
Ron Nasty
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And checking Joe's entry under Songs in main site, he also gives drumming credit to all three. Impossible to say who is drumming, where and when. It's a composite.

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2 January 2013
1.49pm
Ben Ramon
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Yeah, it's a composite. I do like Paul's drumming on Dear Prudence a lot.

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2 January 2013
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Linde
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Never thought it was bad. But who am I, I don't know anything about drumming.

2 January 2013
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Ron Nasty
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The relevant part of Lewisohn, Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, 22 August 68:

"Someone who was there at this session was Ken Scott. '...They did Back In The USSR with what I seem to recall was a composite drum track of bits and pieces, possibly with all of the other three (ie. not Ringo) playing drums...'

"...the song was also a composite recording in other ways, with three bass guitar parts, played by John, Paul and George respectively, and both Paul and George playing lead guitar..."

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2 January 2013
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mja6758 said
The relevant part of Lewisohn, Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, 22 August 68:

"Someone who was there at this session was Ken Scott. '...They did Back In The USSR with what I seem to recall was a composite drum track of bits and pieces, possibly with all of the other three (ie. not Ringo) playing drums...'

"...the song was also a composite recording in other ways, with three bass guitar parts, played by John, Paul and George respectively, and both Paul and George playing lead guitar..."

If the drums are a composite, then what does the "isolated" track isolate, exactly?  Shouldn't there be available THREE different tracks of drums for us to hear now, each one digitally isolate-able?

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3 January 2013
11.12am
Ron Nasty
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Parts of several drum tracks were edited together to produce one drum track that all were happy with. The full drum tracks used doubtless are there in the vaults somewhere, but the isolated drum track is the result of the editing process. One drum track created from various "bits and pieces" from several drum tracks. So far as I understand it anyway.

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3 January 2013
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mja6758 said
Parts of several drum tracks were edited together to produce one drum track that all were happy with. The full drum tracks used doubtless are there in the vaults somewhere, but the isolated drum track is the result of the editing process. One drum track created from various "bits and pieces" from several drum tracks. So far as I understand it anyway.

But back then, producing "one track" is done by combining several tapes.  Why can't we access the layers beneath the finished product -- peel back the layers, so to speak?  I thought that was what this whole "track isolating" was about...  Surely John, George and Paul were not all crowded together drumming into one microphone.

 

 

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3 January 2013
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Ron Nasty
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I'm guessing here, but I imagine that all you can hear in the "multitracks" and the "isolated tracks" is what they have left audible. They may have had three or more drum tracks with parts they thought worked, bounced down the parts they wanted to use onto a single track, and it would be that single track which would make it to the master. It may be that they simply dropped in where they thought it wasn't working, and replaced what was on the tape originally with an overdub.

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4 January 2013
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mja6758 said
I'm guessing here, but I imagine that all you can hear in the "multitracks" and the "isolated tracks" is what they have left audible. They may have had three or more drum tracks with parts they thought worked, bounced down the parts they wanted to use onto a single track, and it would be that single track which would make it to the master. It may be that they simply dropped in where they thought it wasn't working, and replaced what was on the tape originally with an overdub.

And so "underdubs" are not retrievable?

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4 January 2013
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I have listened to the separated 5.1 channels from the Love version of Back The USSR, and I think it's clear enough that there are indeed 3 different drum tracks and I believe Paul's is the one that is most audible. John and George seem to be just playing a simple rock pattern all the way through and Paul's is the one with fills. In the first chorus you might be able to hear John or George as Paul does not hit the snare on beat 4, so if you hear another snare it's John or George. This is just a theory though.

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