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I'm Looking Through You
Read the original blog post
18 November 2011
1.55am
RunForYourLife
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Howdy all. This is my first post here (Sorry if I'm in the wrong place), and I've got a question that's been bothering me for a while...

 

 

On the Anthology 2 version of "I'm Looking Through You", what are the chords that Ringo (According to the album notes) is playing on the organ during the instrumental breaks at 1:12 and 1:59? It's a I-IV-V progression in G, but it's not the standard "G-C-D". They're actually pretty funky sounding (Particularly between the transition from G to C), but I can't quite figure the notes out simply playing along (They sound like simple 2-note chords, but I'm at a loss).

Any musicians/keyboardists out there have any clue? It sounds kind of similar to the funky chord progressions in "The Word".

 

Thanks!

18 November 2011
3.45am
GniknuS
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I'm not necessarily a keyboardist but I can throw down a little bit of Hammond funk...but it just sounds like a C to me. You have to consider who is playing .a-hard-days-night-ringo-9

It would be interesting to find out what kind of an organ Ringo was playing, maybe he had the top keys set to something strange and was just alternating with the bottom keys and he had the vibrato way up or something, it almost sounds like a Harmonium. But I can't imagine that Ringo was intentionally playing some sweet chord, maybe he accidentally is playing something.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
19 November 2011
12.42pm
minime
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Oy, doesnt that sound a little dismissing ? Maybe ringo had some hidden keyboardist skills

19 November 2011
10.18pm
RunForYourLife
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*See Below*

16 May 2012
2.41am
RunForYourLife
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Not to bring back an ancient thread, but I've solved the mystery. When the song changes from G to C, the organ changes from G to G minor, so it's a G minor chord being played on top of a C that's creating that "funky" sound.

16 May 2012
3.08am
Into the Sky with Diamonds
New York
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Hmmm. Like the opening chord of "A Hard Day's Night": a variation on an F on top of a variation on a D.

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
21 May 2012
4.25pm
Joe
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Presumably it's the clash of the C note in the C chord and the adjacent D note in the Gm that does it. Apart from those notes Gm and C7 would be largely the same.

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23 February 2014
7.37pm
LikeASir
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I was flicking through the What Goes On site and noticed that there is a theory that ILTY was actually entirely made by Paul. The evidence is that the record is rather sloppy in terms of playing and that they were a rush to finish recording the album. What do you think?

 http://afloydianslip.tumblr.com/

"White Album - My joint-fave Beatles album along with Revolver. They show the two sides of Beatles. Revolver's very controlled - even though it's also very innovative. The White Album's playful and almost ramshackle. It's like a scrapbook kept by a genius. Fantastic stuff."

23 February 2014
8.46pm
Ron Nasty
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Not to beat around the bush, complete and utter rubbish!

Firstly, let's put one big spanner in the works, if made entirely by Paul, that would suggest that Paul performed John's harmony vocal - and the harmony vocal is clearly John.

Let's look at the history of the song. It was a song they struggled to get sounding like they wanted. The first version was recorded on 24 October 1965. A fine version but they weren't happy. They did a re-make on 6 November, closer but a bit too fast. Deadline closing fast, after recording The Word, they go for a 2nd re-make of I'm Looking Through You on the 10th.

Is it being suggested that, knowing time was nearly up, after nailing The Word, Paul said, "Right, lads, let's see if we can get I'm Looking Through You this time. Third time lucky, eh?"

John, George, and Ringo, look at each other, look at their watches, and say, "Feck the deadline! Time we were at home in bed!"

They leave Paul alone to struggle through overdub after overdub on his own - and it would have needed at least six or seven to get that rhythm track (that's assuming he got every track exactly right every time, and there were no flubs or mistakes along the way which meant he didn't have to have another go). Obviously, such a fast way to record something.

So, they all come in the next day, hear the instrumental track that Paul put together all by his lonesome the night before, and pat him on the back. They then get on with the tasks for the evening, recording You Won't See Me and Girl, and overdubbing the Helpleftover Wait.

Paul then watches them all start to pack up, and coughs, "Er, lads? Looking Through You? You know, still needs vocals?"

"Well, you've done such a good job on your own so far," they chime up in unison, "and we've got a drive out to Surrey, and past our bedtimes, why don't you just finish that up by yourself?"

"But, John," Paul protests, "you do the harmony vocal!"

"But you know what Cyn's like Paul," John tells him. "She doesn't like it when I stay out late. I'm sure you can do a passable-enough me if you want to. We'll just tell people it's me and they'll believe us. After all, we're gonna tell everybody we played on the backing you struggled so hard with." Adding, with one of those Lennon stares, "And you're not going to tell, are you, Paul?"

They then saunter off into the night leaving Paul to work on the vocals.

When you walk it through, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
23 February 2014
9.04pm
LikeASir
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Now that I think of it it is a bit ridiculous paul-mccartney. I'm being the devil's advocate here, but I'll just leave the offending article if anyone wants to investigate further.

"My main argument surrounds the recording of the Rubber Soul track I'm Looking Through You, possibly one of the messiest recordings the Beatles made. It is rushed, terribly recorded and not particularly played well. Thus, I have a theory. I believe, contrary to all other reports (including Lewisohn and Macdonald) that this could be a solo Paul recording. After all it was his song and quite a personal subject for him. The drumming is awful, with a noticeable rimshot being missed, no bass drum [MB: untrue, it's there, flumping away!] or hats and cymbals. Sounds like the old patting-the-knees percussion to me, recorded on top of a snare to keep time. The guitars sound out of tune and sound like Paul's style of play, especially at the end. George was always a more organised guitarist and I can't see him committing this to tape when the Beatles where at their height! The guitar sound is also Paul, maybe his Epiphone Casino? The tambourine work is poor also and the organ stabs should have been heavily compressed. In fact, the best input is the acoustic - capo'd? - guitar most audible at the start of the song. Whatever, it's a messy recording, especially when compared to other Rubber Soul tracks which are well played and nicely produced. I don't have the date at hand when it was recorded but I'd guess it was one of the last songs recorded for the album. I do know however that Paul had had the main part of the song for some time. Was it dusted down, quickly recorded to complete the album? Anyway, my main point is that it sounds like a song in which neither Ringo or George (and probably John) contributed.

Well, according to Lewisohn's Recording Sessions, "I'm Looking Through Youwas almost the last track recorded. This version was recorded on the 10th and 11th November, 1965. 11th November is described as a marathon recording session. Final remixing was done on the 15th November. So yes, there was a deadline looming very hard. Also, Lewisohn's Recording Sessions states that there was an initial attempt to record a backing for this song on 24th October. No list of who was present, or who-played-what is given. Interesting. On the 6th November, a re-make was performed of this track, described as "too fast and frenetic". Again, no details of performance credits. "Verrrry interesting" as they say. 10th November, it was "finally made in a way that pleased everyone". Were the others even present? Could it be that this recording pleased Paul as it was completed to his satisfaction, and the others were pleased, because the thing was finished without them having to do it again with deadlines looming! The album sleeve credits Ringo as playing a Hammond organ on the song, "but it cannot be heard on the recording, nor is the instrument detailed on the tape box" (Lewisohn again). In which case, what are those loud stabs on the organ? Evidently the tape box is not accurate either, as there is an organ there.As a "conspiracy theory" it's an interesting idea, and I wonder how many other tracks might fall into this category. Suggestions on a postcard, or e-mail ..."

 http://afloydianslip.tumblr.com/

"White Album - My joint-fave Beatles album along with Revolver. They show the two sides of Beatles. Revolver's very controlled - even though it's also very innovative. The White Album's playful and almost ramshackle. It's like a scrapbook kept by a genius. Fantastic stuff."

24 February 2014
7.48am
Von Bontee
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I remember mentioning that very blog post in some thread or another awhile back! I don't put any stock into that guy's theory whatsoever either. What's his rationale for formulating this theory anyways - just that the recording sounds a bit rough? Makes more sense to me that it sounds rough (to the author's ears: it sounds fine to me) because they were on too tight a deadline to polish it up properly. Which would also help explain why Ringo was delegated to adding the organ - presumably John or Paul were both occupied with other instruments at the time. (But hmmm...why wouldn't they have employed George Martin? And why didn't GM play the organ part on "You Won't See Me", instead of Mal Evans, for that matter? Questions, questions...)

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
24 February 2014
1.43pm
IveJustSeenAFaceo
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I really don't think so. The lead guitar seems to have that Harrison touch. And the harmony is undoubtedly John

(This signature brought to you by Spaghetti Tuesdays. Occurring on Wednesdays since 2013.)

24 February 2014
3.27pm
LikeASir
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It's an interesting, if not deluded theory. After the paul is dead one I think everyone was trying to make something out of nothing.

 http://afloydianslip.tumblr.com/

"White Album - My joint-fave Beatles album along with Revolver. They show the two sides of Beatles. Revolver's very controlled - even though it's also very innovative. The White Album's playful and almost ramshackle. It's like a scrapbook kept by a genius. Fantastic stuff."

24 February 2014
3.36pm
IveJustSeenAFaceo
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Oh, and Like A Sir, I love your avatar!

 

 

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24 February 2014
4.30pm
fabfouremily
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IveJustSeenAFaceo said
Oh, and Like A Sir, I love your avatar!

 

 

Me too :D

 

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24 February 2014
5.43pm
PeterWeatherby
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I don't think that's John doing the harmonies. Sounds like Paul, just singing a harmony line on his vocal overdub.

Edit: here's a clip of just the lines with harmonies, minus instruments - http://chirb.it/KAnM7a

Not a bit like Cagney.
24 February 2014
6.59pm
IveJustSeenAFaceo
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PeterWeatherby said
I don't think that's John doing the harmonies. Sounds like Paul, just singing a harmony line on his vocal overdub.

Edit: here's a clip of just the lines with harmonies, minus instruments - http://chirb.it/KAnM7a

That's definitely John. It's got the nasal shortness of him. I don't want to turn this into the Aaaahs thread,where people won't accept other people's reasoning, but listening to it, I'm 100% positive it's John

(This signature brought to you by Spaghetti Tuesdays. Occurring on Wednesdays since 2013.)

25 February 2014
9.15am
Atlas
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Ringo plays the percussive  organ…...

25 February 2014
1.44pm
Von Bontee
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Yep. Also the percussive drums and matchbox!

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
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