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Only A Northern Song on Pepper?
22 August 2013
4.11am
knethen222
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Your thoughts on Only A Northern Song being on Pepper instead of, or in addition to Within You Without You...

22 August 2013
10.18am
Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
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My preferred cut of Sgt. Pepper does include "Only a Northern Song" as Track 5 (with "Getting Better" omitted and "Fixing a Hole" bumped up to Track 4; "Penny Lane" as Track 6 instead of "She's Leaving Home;" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" as Track 9, with "When I'm Sixty-Four" bumped down to Track 10, thus omitting "Lovely Rita").  I find it much more aurally interesting than the said tracks I omitted from the album (I don't give a shit about lyrical content; the lyrics are just there to shape the tone of the voice, as far as I'm concerned  a-hard-days-night-paul-11).  Of course, the inclusion of this on Sgt. Pepper would've then likely caused a chain reaction, causing "Baby, You're a Rich Man" to still be one of the 4 exclusive songs contributed to Yellow Submarine, but I don't really have that much of a problem with that.

1 September 2013
11.49pm
BBCSessions1963
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I would've enjoyed it as track 5 on the first side of the LP. Honestly I never really liked Within You Without You. Cutting the song up could allow Penny Lane and Fixing A Hole for example be on the second side of the album or something.

And if you saw my love, I'll love her to.
2 September 2013
6.15am
SatanHimself
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Wasn't 'Only A Northern Song' hated by John & Paul, hence its shelving and inclusion in the dumping ground of Yellow Submarine?

I can't remember the quote or the source, but I recall one of the two saying something about their opinion of George's song output in '67 as being generally dismal.

E is for 'Ergent'.
7 September 2013
3.27am
Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
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SatanHimself said
Wasn't 'Only A Northern Song' hated by John & Paul, hence its shelving and inclusion in the dumping ground of Yellow Submarine?

I can't remember the quote or the source, but I recall one of the two saying something about their opinion of George's song output in '67 as being generally dismal.

Granted, I often wonder how many contributions George would've actually had to Help!, Rubber Soul and Revolver had John and/or Paul had another up-to-snuff song or two (or three) available at the time of their respective recording sessions.  ahdn_george_01  I feel they were often overly critical of George's songs; as if George wasn't a part of their little 'songwriting club' purely because he didn't show an interest in it as early as they did.  Yes, "Only A Northern Song" and "Blue Jay Way" are, at their core, not very inspired songs... but what they lack in tunefulness they more than make up for in aural landscape.  They were transformed into wonderful tone poems, if you will.  And, perhaps because of that, they both managed to stick with me after my first hearing of them, while "Getting Better," "Fixing A Hole," "She's Leaving Home" and "Lovely Rita" did not.  ahdn_paul_02  And I do, however, think "It's All Too Much" ranks as one of George's better Beatles contributions (and arguably the group's most criminally underrated song), and "Within You Without You" is the best of his 3 Indian-inspired tunes (once you get used to that 'foreign' [particularly to Western ears] sound they have).  It's just more proof of how much more interesting George made the group by being able to add his own different composition method to the group's output.

7 September 2013
3.43am
SatanHimself
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Oh yeah, I LOVE "It's All Too Much".  The trumpet part alone makes it something that could have easily fit into Pepper.

I hate to armchair anything they did, but there are a few George songs which would have been far better in place of Lennon-McCartney songs.  The biggest crime is "Not Guilty" being excluded from White, while lesser stuff like "Wild Honey Pie" and "Revolution 9" (which I do love, for the record) making the cut.

E is for 'Ergent'.
7 September 2013
4.52am
BBCSessions1963
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SatanHimself said
Oh yeah, I LOVE "It's All Too Much".  The trumpet part alone makes it something that could have easily fit into Pepper.

I hate to armchair anything they did, but there are a few George songs which would have been far better in place of Lennon-McCartney songs.  The biggest crime is "Not Guilty" being excluded from White, while lesser stuff like "Wild Honey Pie" and "Revolution 9" (which I do love, for the record) making the cut.

 

Not Guilty being left of the White Album was the biggest mistake in the group's tracklisting history. I love that song, and the clashing guitars that seem to follow with each other near the end makes it my favorite. It could've easily replace Savoy Truffle.

And if you saw my love, I'll love her to.
7 September 2013
1.49pm
Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
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SatanHimself said 
 
I hate to armchair anything they did, but there are a few George songs which would have been far better in place of Lennon-McCartney songs.  The biggest crime is "Not Guilty" being excluded from White, while lesser stuff like "Wild Honey Pie" and "Revolution 9" (which I do love, for the record) making the cut.

I agree "Not Guilty" should've made it onto the White Album, but I don't agree stuff like "Wild Honey Pie" or "Why Don't We Do It In The Road??" should've been sacrificed to make room for it.  The throwaway tunes are what adds to the the album's personality.  They might as well have just thrown both "Not Guilty" and "What's The New Mary Jane" on there as well.  Everything plus the kitchen sink.  a-hard-days-night-george-10  Even worse is that neither "Sour Milk Sea" nor "Circles" were even given a chance in the studio.  And it's been well-documented how it was like pulling teeth for George to get John and Paul to sit down and properly record "While My Guitar Gently Weeps;" it wasn't until George brought in Clapton that they actually sat up and started taking it seriously.  WTF was up with them during this period?  George was finally starting to catch up with them and they couldn't handle it or what?  a-hard-days-night-paul-3  Is it any wonder they disbanded just over a year later?  They were even less kind to his songs he brought in for Get Back/Let It Be.  Of course, in hindsight, "I Me Mine" and "For You Blue" were probably the only 2 songs he brought in that were genuinely compatible with that album's 'back to basics production values' concept.  I'm glad "Something" was held over until Abbey Road... though I do wish he'd also been able to record "Isn't It a Pity," "Let It Down," "Wah-Wah" and "All Things Must Pass" with the group.

7 September 2013
2.55pm
SatanHimself
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If you listen to the outfake of "Sour Milk Sea", it's apparent (to me, at least) that it could easy have been another wildly popular rocker in their catalogue.  For those of you not familiar, this is the Jackie Lomax version (featuring Harrison, McCartney, Starr, Eric Clapton and Nicky Hopkins) with George's original demo vocals in place of Lomax's:

E is for 'Ergent'.
7 September 2013
6.27pm
meanmistermustard
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It was mostly John and Pauls egos and continually treating George as the kid brother that kept his number of songs to a minimum regardless of the quality of material offered by whoever.

There is no question that Not Guilty should have been on there but they wouldn't have failed to realise who and what the song was about and so it made if far easier to let it pass by and remain in the vaults. Even now 45 years later we are still waiting for a decent Beatles version of the song to be released since the Anthology edit was so heavily butchered it destroyed the song.

George finally recorded Not Guilty for his eponymous LP in 1979 and whilst nowhere near as stinging in its feel it's still a great version.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
19 September 2013
6.12am
kelandwood
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I think Sgt. Pepper is perfect the way it is. "With a Little From My Friends" is one of Ringo Starr's best song, "Within You, Without You" is one of George Harrison's best songs, and "Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite" is as unforgettable as it is under-appreciated. There really isn't a bad song on their. And while "Only A Northern Song" has great lyrics, it's too musically derivative. I can love psychedelic rock but this song just goes completely overboard. Not a bad song in any way but definitely one of the weaker songs from the group. 

19 September 2013
6.24am
Ron Nasty
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Couldn't agree more. Only A Northern Song wouldn't work Sgt. Pepper.

Welcome to the forum, kelandwood. Should you wish to introduce yourself to the forum there is a thread for that in "All Together Now".

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
24 September 2013
1.08am
Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
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kelandwood said
I think Sgt. Pepper is perfect the way it is. "With a Little From My Friends" is one of Ringo Starr's best song, "Within You, Without You" is one of George Harrison's best songs, and "Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite" is as unforgettable as it is under-appreciated. There really isn't a bad song on their. And while "Only A Northern Song" has great lyrics, it's too musically derivative. I can love psychedelic rock but this song just goes completely overboard. Not a bad song in any way but definitely one of the weaker songs from the group. 

Um, how is "Northern Song" 'musically derivative'?  No other group was doing that sort of thing (yet) when the song was recorded.  And I'll still take it over most of Paul's pleasant-but-unremarkable contributions to the album.

24 September 2013
3.38am
trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
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kelandwood said
I think Sgt. Pepper is perfect the way it is. "With a Little From My Friends" is one of Ringo Starr's best song, "Within You, Without You" is one of George Harrison's best songs, and "Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite" is as unforgettable as it is under-appreciated. There really isn't a bad song on their. And while "Only A Northern Song" has great lyrics, it's too musically derivative. I can love psychedelic rock but this song just goes completely overboard. Not a bad song in any way but definitely one of the weaker songs from the group. 

I agree with what you are saying except about the 'derivative' bit.

It's nice to play 'what if' with the albums; but honestly, they all seem pretty well constructed to me - except maybe 'The Beatles' could have been a triple instead of a double :)

 

24 September 2013
3.50am
CorporationT-shirt
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Only A Northern Song isn't very good, in my opinion.  I'm glad it got axed from Pepper.  

24 September 2013
12.27pm
Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
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trcanberra said 

It's nice to play 'what if' with the albums; but honestly, they all seem pretty well constructed to me - except maybe 'The Beatles' could have been a triple instead of a double :)

  Given what all that was recorded from each respectable album, Sgt. Pepper and Let It Be are the only ones I feel could have been improved upon.  In fact, since putting together my own preferred versions of those 2 albums, I haven't really listened to their original incarnations at all.  Yeah, it would've been nice to have had "Not Guilty" on the White Album as well, but its absence isn't a HUGE detriment to it.  And some believe replacing "Mr. Moonlight" with "Leave My Kitten Alone" would've made Beatles for Sale better, but I remain unconvinced.  Granted, I'm not as down on "Mr. Moonlight" as much as most.  a-hard-days-night-paul-11

24 September 2013
12.55pm
Ron Nasty
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The real problem with the Only A Northern Song suggestion, that everybody who suggests it ignores is that, bar the run-out groove which didn't in any way affect the rest of the album, Northern Song received major overdubs the day after the master of Sgt. Pepper had been completed. And it wasn't just a simple little overdub that completed the song, it was a series of complicated overdubs that on completion required the mixing together of two separate takes. The last recording session for Pepper, excepting the run-out groove, was on the 3 April. George did not finish with Northern Song until 20 April. Had the version that George had when they started putting Pepper together on the 3rd, it would not be the version being championed.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
24 September 2013
1.45pm
meanmistermustard
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8OANS was pretty much dropped from the Pepper line-up due to the others not thinking it was one of George's best efforts. If it had of been for consideration then time would have been spent working on overdubs to finish the track before the cut-off period.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
24 September 2013
1.50pm
Ron Nasty
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 Or, you could argue, George didn't know what was needed to get it to where he wanted it before the cut-off date.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
24 September 2013
2.12pm
meanmistermustard
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True. He certainly went around it in a very complicated manner, syncing up two different takes to get one complete recording, and pretty much destroying all hope of creating a true stereo mix back then (not that stereo was a big thing).

I do find it a strange argument calling for OANS to replace Within You, Without You. I don't know if its more down to ease, simply switching one George song for another, but WYWO has such depth to the lyrics and thought into the musical arrangement and feel. Maybe for some the words are too heavy, pace too slow, and its got a funny Indian sound. 

I do admit that as a kid I skipped WYWO but then I also skipped When I'm 64 and started side two with Lovely Rita. Now it's I really look forward to and always turn up (tho not When Im 64). The Rock Band isolations that Helter Skelter put out before he quit the scene are something to behold. The instrumental passageheartheartheart

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
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