Only A Northern Song on Pepper? | Page 3 | Sgt Pepper | Fab forum

Please consider registering
Guest

Log In Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —

  

— Match —

   

— Forum Options —

   

Wildcard usage:
*  matches any number of characters    %  matches exactly one character

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

Only A Northern Song on Pepper?
26 September 2013
2.18am
BBCSessions1963
Strawberry Fields
Royal Command Performance
Forum Posts: 122
Member Since:
28 January 2013
Offline
41

If the lyrics were different and kept the backing track the same, I think it would have a shot. I love the backing track of the song. Ringo's drumming superb, and the organs catch my ear too. The psychedelic atmosphere on Yellow Submarine complements the song's psychedelic vibe so it sounds good on YS album.

And if you saw my love, I'll love her to.
26 September 2013
4.50am
Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Paris Olympia
Forum Posts: 148
Member Since:
25 August 2012
Offline

meanmistermustard said
One of the funniest things in the whole of the Beatles catalogue is hearing Pauls trumpet playing on Only A Northern Song isolated. Its hysterically bad.

And lets not forget Paul was the one who brought in the wailing females and who suggested/pushed for the psychedelic ideas on Across The Universe. ATU is beautiful when unadorned and simple.

Whether or not Paul's deliberately bad trumpet playing was a genuine artistic choice or a 'fuck you' to George, it works within the context of the song.  Let's not forget "Baby, You're a Rich Man" was also originally one of the 4 exclusive songs contributed to Yellow Submarine, but was instead taken to be used for the flip of "All You Need Is Love" at the last minute (the filmmakers even started animating the musical sequence for it when the group freed SPLHCB from the bubble that was trapping them; I actually remember my aunt's old VHS recording of it off of late night TV having the sequence all the way up to the line 'What do you want to be?'… but never on any subsequent DVD/Blu-ray releases  a-hard-days-night-paul-4) -- thus leading "Hey Bulldog" to be included instead.

 

Regarding "Across The Universe," the female background vocals were definitely a mistake, but I really like the tamboura and wah-wah flourishes.  The definitive version of the song for me would be the Spector version minus the orchestra and choir overdubs AND at the correct pitch and speed (though the Naked version would be more appropriate for the Let It Be album itself).

26 September 2013
12.16pm
meanmistermustard
Moderator



Forum Posts: 9302
Member Since:
1 May 2011
Offline

I don't think the trumpet playing was a deliberate fuck you to George, more an anything goes mentality that was prevalent in '67. I cant remember the instrumentation for the basic track of All You Need Is Love but it wasn't the standard Beatle line up (wasn't someone on double bass?). It works because of everything else that's going on but it doesn't mean it was good.

 

There is a speed-corrected Spector ATU out there which is better than what's on Let It Be but considering how slow Spector made it its no real surprise. I don't buy in the whole philosophy that a song can be wonderful regardless of how its recorded which you sometimes see with ATU, the recording and/or mix can still stink.

If you haven't heard it check out the Glyn Johns remix that takes away the overdubbed instrumentation and mixes the female vocals way down (but not out), it is stunning.

 

Yeah, yeah, stay on topic.a-hard-days-night-paul-11

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
26 September 2013
1.24pm
Ahhh Girl
sailing on a winedark open sea
Moderator


Forum Posts: 4599
Member Since:
20 August 2013
Offline
44

^^I do like that mix. Is it really female voices on there? I have been thinking it was young children. OK, someone save this thread with an on topic thought.

26 September 2013
1.37pm
meanmistermustard
Moderator



Forum Posts: 9302
Member Since:
1 May 2011
Offline
45

cbatcu said
^^I do like that mix. Is it really female voices on there? I have been thinking it was young children. OK, someone save this thread with an on topic thought.

 

Yeah. Paul had the idea of ATU needing some female vocals and decided that the answer was getting two fans, any two fans as long as they were female, in off the street. The problem was they couldn't sing in tune so you get this awful wailing in the background. After adding their contribution the fans got their autographs and were shown out.

 

On topic. Does anyone find it interesting that George changed the lyrics from the self focused  "I sing it myself" (Anthology 2) to the more band inclusive "there's nobody there" (Yellow Submarine)? Maybe it was in reaction to the lack of interest from the others. No? Well, I tried.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
26 September 2013
4.55pm
Bungalow Bob
Seattle, Washington
Hollywood Bowl
Forum Posts: 354
Member Since:
16 September 2013
Offline

meanmistermustard said

On topic. Does anyone find it interesting that George changed the lyrics from the self focused  "I sing it myself" (Anthology 2) to the more band inclusive "there's nobody there" (Yellow Submarine)? Maybe it was in reaction to the lack of interest from the others. No? Well, I tried.

 

MMM, I think following George's journey as a songwriter is endlessly fascinating. Yeah, "there's nobody there" is more than likely a bitter comment on the encouragement he was was getting (or not getting) at the time. Often, John wouldn't even show up at a session featuring George's songs, and as we've seen, Paul would treat those sessions as fun, experimental times.

I am a songwriter, with varying degrees of success. Lyrics come easier to me. If I am lucky, I can come up with a decent melody. Many of my successful songs are the result of co-writing with folks that can wrestle a melody any number of ways. Whereas with my own melodies, I don't have the gift of tweaking them very much once they've been created. But co-writing is a very difficult balancing act involving egos, and I've had some good experiences, and lots that ended, uh… not so good.

So, I think about a tune like "Only A Northern Song," and I wonder: It could have made the grade for Sgt. Pepper if… If maybe Paul had helped "brighten up" the slightly dreary melody, and John had contributed some witty, ironic, artsy-abstract passages to the pedestrian lyrics. But was George even willing to accept their collaboration at that point? There's a lot of "ins" and "outs" when it comes to taking a sad song, and making it better.

26 September 2013
5.23pm
BBCSessions1963
Strawberry Fields
Royal Command Performance
Forum Posts: 122
Member Since:
28 January 2013
Offline
47

Another thing, on YouTube there's a mix that only features bass, drums and trumpet. There is also shouting from John telling Paul to stop playing the trumpet. Anyone else think that John was trying to tell Paul not to add trumpet. Search Only A Northern Song trumpet. 

And if you saw my love, I'll love her to.
26 September 2013
5.47pm
Ahhh Girl
sailing on a winedark open sea
Moderator


Forum Posts: 4599
Member Since:
20 August 2013
Offline
48

BBCSessions1963 said
Another thing, on YouTube there's a mix that only features bass, drums and trumpet. There is also shouting from John telling Paul to stop playing the trumpet. Anyone else think that John was trying to tell Paul not to add trumpet. Search Only A Northern Song trumpet. 

Would you post a link to the video? Please and thank you. I'm not sure which one to click on.

27 September 2013
12.45am
BBCSessions1963
Strawberry Fields
Royal Command Performance
Forum Posts: 122
Member Since:
28 January 2013
Offline

cbatcu said

BBCSessions1963 said
Another thing, on YouTube there's a mix that only features bass, drums and trumpet. There is also shouting from John telling Paul to stop playing the trumpet. Anyone else think that John was trying to tell Paul not to add trumpet. Search Only A Northern Song trumpet. 

Would you post a link to the video? Please and thank you. I'm not sure which one to click on.

 

Certainly, apologies. Here is the link.

And if you saw my love, I'll love her to.
27 September 2013
12.50am
acmac
Carnegie Hall
Forum Posts: 231
Member Since:
1 August 2013
Offline
50

Bungalow Bob said

So, I think about a tune like "Only A Northern Song," and I wonder: It could have made the grade for Sgt. Pepper if… If maybe Paul had helped "brighten up" the slightly dreary melody, and John had contributed some witty, ironic, artsy-abstract passages to the pedestrian lyrics. But was George even willing to accept their collaboration at that point? There's a lot of "ins" and "outs" when it comes to taking a sad song, and making it better.

Even if they'd spent the time polishing it up to "Pepper-grade" musically, I think the content simply wouldn't fit on the album. It's just so… meta. You know? Goes against the entire concept and feeling of Pepper

27 September 2013
1.51am
Ahhh Girl
sailing on a winedark open sea
Moderator


Forum Posts: 4599
Member Since:
20 August 2013
Offline
51

BBCSessions1963 said

cbatcu said

BBCSessions1963 said
Another thing, on YouTube there's a mix that only features bass, drums and trumpet. There is also shouting from John telling Paul to stop playing the trumpet. Anyone else think that John was trying to tell Paul not to add trumpet. Search Only A Northern Song trumpet. 

Would you post a link to the video? Please and thank you. I'm not sure which one to click on.

Certainly, apologies. Here is the link. [snip]

Interesting. Thanks for posting the link.

Oh, yeah, Paul needed to get his hide tanned. For sure. blue-meanie

27 September 2013
2.15am
meanmistermustard
Moderator



Forum Posts: 9302
Member Since:
1 May 2011
Offline

So folks know the above vid is the Centre Channel – 5.1 Surround Sound Mix from the Yellow Submarine dvd and there are another 4 of them. All of them have been bootlegged on the cd Kaleidoscope along with all of the other YSS tracks (dvd lengths so IATM is the 2 1/2 minute edit). They are so much fun to listen to and like with OANS a lot of hidden instruments are brought to the surface. The amount of instruments and chatter that were added to songs that got buried or are difficult to hear fully is quite incredible at times. Obviously a lot of that was shown with Rock Band as well but some of these tracks aren't on RB.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
27 September 2013
2.16am
Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Paris Olympia
Forum Posts: 148
Member Since:
25 August 2012
Offline

acmac said

Bungalow Bob said

So, I think about a tune like "Only A Northern Song," and I wonder: It could have made the grade for Sgt. Pepper if… If maybe Paul had helped "brighten up" the slightly dreary melody, and John had contributed some witty, ironic, artsy-abstract passages to the pedestrian lyrics. But was George even willing to accept their collaboration at that point? There's a lot of "ins" and "outs" when it comes to taking a sad song, and making it better.

Even if they'd spent the time polishing it up to "Pepper-grade" musically, I think the content simply wouldn't fit on the album. It's just so… meta. You know? Goes against the entire concept and feeling of Pepper

I don't know why so many people have gotten this idea into their heads that Sgt. Pepper is some sort of bona fide 'concept' album.  Even John subsequently said that apart from the first 2 tracks and the reprise, every other song could've been presented in any order AND on any other Beatles album.  a-hard-days-night-john-5

 

On a related note, I've finally uploaded my personal (preferred) cut of Sgt. Pepper (as well as that of Let It Be) to YouTube if anyone is interested/curious/has the time --

 

and

 

, respectively.

27 September 2013
2.46am
Von Bontee
A Hole In The Road
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 2175
Member Since:
14 December 2009
Offline
54

meanmistermustard said

cbatcu said
^^I do like that mix. Is it really female voices on there? I have been thinking it was young children. OK, someone save this thread with an on topic thought.

 

Yeah. Paul had the idea of ATU needing some female vocals and decided that the answer was getting two fans, any two fans as long as they were female, in off the street. The problem was they couldn't sing in tune so you get this awful wailing in the background. After adding their contribution the fans got their autographs and were shown out.

 

On topic. Does anyone find it interesting that George changed the lyrics from the self focused  "I sing it myself" (Anthology 2) to the more band inclusive "there's nobody there" (Yellow Submarine)? Maybe it was in reaction to the lack of interest from the others. No? Well, I tried.

I've wondered about all the minor changes in the two sets of lyrics – didn't George even change the colour of his hair from brown to grey? Crazy that he'd work up TWO sets of lyrics for a song in any event. I can't decide whether he was putting more effort into his 1967 lyrics, or less. And all the emphasis he put on organ compositions that year…completely enigmatic.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
27 September 2013
2.55am
acmac
Carnegie Hall
Forum Posts: 231
Member Since:
1 August 2013
Offline
55

Duke_of_Kirkaldy said

I don't know why so many people have gotten this idea into their heads that Sgt. Pepper is some sort of bona fide 'concept' album.  Even John subsequently said that apart from the first 2 tracks and the reprise, every other song could've been presented in any order AND on any other Beatles album.  a-hard-days-night-john-5

Well, I wasn't really talking about the ostensible "We're a different band!" concept, though that's part of it. Without getting too longwinded, Pepper to me is joyously immediate and visceral, even when it's not joyous -- even when it's reflective, coy, or existential. It exists in the moment; it is not self-conscious. IMO, "Only A Northern Song," a song that is about itself (meta), to the point of name-checking the Beatles publishing company, would totally pull me up short, and not in a good way. It'd break the fourth wall, and Pepper isn't an album that would be improved by that. It'd be like Woody Allen wandering onto the set of The Wizard of Oz and striking up a conversation with the camera. Do not want.

27 September 2013
11.51am
meanmistermustard
Moderator



Forum Posts: 9302
Member Since:
1 May 2011
Offline
56

Duke_of_Kirkaldy said 
 

I don't know why so many people have gotten this idea into their heads that Sgt. Pepper is some sort of bona fide 'concept' album.  Even John subsequently said that apart from the first 2 tracks and the reprise, every other song could've been presented in any order AND on any other Beatles album.  a-hard-days-night-john-5

 

I don't buy into the concept album, more that the track listing is perfect and to alter that, either by including/removing songs or fiddling with the running order, would completely change everything. It would be like adding Her Majesty back into the Abbey Road medley (or never taking it away) or even returning to the original running order of switching the two sides and ending with I Want You (She's So Heavy).

Interestingly both Pepper and Abbey Road had their running order altered before final release.

Original Pepper side A (side B was the same)

  1. Pepper
  2. With A Little Help
  3. Benefit of Mr Kite
  4. Fixing A Hole
  5. Lucy In The Sky
  6. Getting Better
  7. She's Leaving Home
"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
27 September 2013
4.27pm
Bungalow Bob
Seattle, Washington
Hollywood Bowl
Forum Posts: 354
Member Since:
16 September 2013
Offline
57

acmac said

Bungalow Bob said

So, I think about a tune like "Only A Northern Song," and I wonder: It could have made the grade for Sgt. Pepper if… If maybe Paul had helped "brighten up" the slightly dreary melody, and John had contributed some witty, ironic, artsy-abstract passages to the pedestrian lyrics. But was George even willing to accept their collaboration at that point? There's a lot of "ins" and "outs" when it comes to taking a sad song, and making it better.

Even if they'd spent the time polishing it up to "Pepper-grade" musically, I think the content simply wouldn't fit on the album. It's just so… meta. You know? Goes against the entire concept and feeling of Pepper

I think that the lyrics of "Only A Northern Song" could have been massaged to fit "Pepper's" loose theme pretty easily. Lines like "You may think the chords are going wrong," and "the harmony is… out of key" are not that far away from "What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?"  The words could have been re-written to steer it more toward the concept of the "Lonely Hearts Club Band," which I always imagined was a ragtag bunch of very modestly talented, socially inept lovable losers. The more I think about this, the more I feel it was a lost opportunity to provide the album with a song that actually fit the "theme." The swirling, carnival-like background music is quite similar to "Mr. Kite." In that context, Paul's pathetic trumpet tootling actually works well. If only John, Paul and George Martin had cared enough about George's contributions… Isn't it a pity?

27 September 2013
4.47pm
BBCSessions1963
Strawberry Fields
Royal Command Performance
Forum Posts: 122
Member Since:
28 January 2013
Offline
58

Bungalow Bob said

acmac said

Bungalow Bob said

So, I think about a tune like "Only A Northern Song," and I wonder: It could have made the grade for Sgt. Pepper if… If maybe Paul had helped "brighten up" the slightly dreary melody, and John had contributed some witty, ironic, artsy-abstract passages to the pedestrian lyrics. But was George even willing to accept their collaboration at that point? There's a lot of "ins" and "outs" when it comes to taking a sad song, and making it better.

Even if they'd spent the time polishing it up to "Pepper-grade" musically, I think the content simply wouldn't fit on the album. It's just so… meta. You know? Goes against the entire concept and feeling of Pepper

I think that the lyrics of "Only A Northern Song" could have been massaged to fit "Pepper's" loose theme pretty easily. Lines like "You may think the chords are going wrong," and "the harmony is… out of key" are not that far away from "What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?"  The words could have been re-written to steer it more toward the concept of the "Lonely Hearts Club Band," which I always imagined was a ragtag bunch of very modestly talented, socially inept lovable losers. The more I think about this, the more I feel it was a lost opportunity to provide the album with a song that actually fit the "theme." The swirling, carnival-like background music is quite similar to "Mr. Kite." In that context, Paul's pathetic trumpet tootling actually works well. If only John, Paul and George Martin had cared enough about George's contributions… Isn't it a pity?

Yeah you do have a point about how Paul's trumpet fits the lyrics to the song. And you also have a point comparing both WALHFMF and OANS's lyrics. Good eye on that. 

And if you saw my love, I'll love her to.
28 September 2013
2.01am
acmac
Carnegie Hall
Forum Posts: 231
Member Since:
1 August 2013
Offline
59

Bungalow Bob said
I think that the lyrics of "Only A Northern Song" could have been massaged to fit "Pepper's" loose theme pretty easily. Lines like "You may think the chords are going wrong," and "the harmony is… out of key" are not that far away from "What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?"  The words could have been re-written to steer it more toward the concept of the "Lonely Hearts Club Band," which I always imagined was a ragtag bunch of very modestly talented, socially inept lovable losers. The more I think about this, the more I feel it was a lost opportunity to provide the album with a song that actually fit the "theme." The swirling, carnival-like background music is quite similar to "Mr. Kite." In that context, Paul's pathetic trumpet tootling actually works well. If only John, Paul and George Martin had cared enough about George's contributions… Isn't it a pity?

Well yes, I suppose that "if only" they had rewritten the music and lyrics and changed the entire premise of the song (and somehow injected the Pepper vibe that I tried to explain further up, which is more important than the rickety "other band" concept), then it might've fit. But then it wouldn't have been the "this is me, George Harrison, a Beatle, singing a song, about the song that I'm singing, to poke fun at our publishing company, Northern Songs, which is also the title" statement that George apparently wanted to make. And I'm not so sure George would've gone for that; he might just as easily have seen it as John/Paul/Martin riding roughshod over HIS ideas and HIS work.

28 September 2013
2.53am
Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Paris Olympia
Forum Posts: 148
Member Since:
25 August 2012
Offline

meanmistermustard said

I don't buy into the concept album, more that the track listing is perfect and to alter that, either by including/removing songs or fiddling with the running order, would completely change everything. It would be like adding Her Majesty back into the Abbey Road medley (or never taking it away) or even returning to the original running order of switching the two sides and ending with I Want You (She's So Heavy).
Interestingly both Pepper and Abbey Road had their running order altered before final release.
Original Pepper side A (side B was the same)

 Granted, that's very easy to say when you've had a certain running order burned into head after all these years.  ahdn_paul_01  (And, yes, I'm aware of those early track listings.)  Personal example: when I was young, my parents had a copy of Abba's The Album on 8-track.  The 8-track put the "Girl with the Golden Hair" suite after "Eagle" and "Take a Chance on Me" (i.e. the latter half of Side 1 on a record or cassette), while "The Name of the Game" and "One Man, One Woman" were put after "Move On" and "Hole in Your Soul" (i.e. the latter half of Side 2 on a record or cassette).  I was quite taken aback when I later learned that the latter halves of the 2 sides had been reversed on 8-track, and didn't think it sounded as natural in the proper order.  But, as Yoda said, sometimes you must 'un-learn what you have learned.'  a-hard-days-night-george-10  And my attitude is that I'm trying to make Sgt. Pepper a stronger overall album by adding what I perceive to be stronger songs (i.e. PL, SFF and OANS -- though I know I'm in the minority on the latter) in place of 3 of the lesser ones.  I'm well aware that most are just fine with the way the album is and that this is all purely subjective.  But after all these years I still feel the album's content does not live up to its massive reputation… and this is just an attempt to amend that in my mind as much as possible.  george-martin

Forum Timezone: Europe/London

Most Users Ever Online: 597

Currently Online: Father McCartney, Beatleva
59 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

meanmistermustard: 9302

mr. Sun king coming together: 6916

parlance: 4942

mithveaen: 4651

Ahhh Girl: 4599

Zig: 3772

Annadog40: 3670

Mr. Kite: 3325

Ron Nasty: 2968

fabfouremily: 2927

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 87

Members: 2528

Moderators: 4

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 3

Forums: 34

Topics: 3171

Posts: 130051

Newest Members: JStarStar, StrawberryWalrus, Ringorules2002, surfjabroni, SaxonMothersSon

Moderators: Ahhh Girl (4599), meanmistermustard (9302), Zig (3772), Joe (3418)

Administrators: Joe (3418), Ellie (1)

Members Birthdays
Today: Filipe
Upcoming: Regular John