Plastic Beetle

Liverpool Sound Collage album artworkWritten by: Lennon-McCartney-Harrison-Starkey
Recorded: 1963-1965, 1967-8, 2000
Producer: Paul McCartney
Engineers: Paul Hicks

Released: 21 August 2000

John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr: vocals, instrumentation

Available on:
Liverpool Sound Collage

Plastic Beetle was the opening track on the 2000 album Liverpool Sound Collage. It was credited to Paul McCartney and The Beatles.

Lasting 8'23", the electronica track consists largely of synthesiser sounds and drum machine loops, upon which a range of speech and instrument samples were overlaid.

The snippets of speech were from studio dialogue captured during Beatles recording sessions in the 1960s, included alongside some musical samples from the era. This is a breakdown of the contents:

  • 0'39" - John Lennon: "'Cause it's our song anyroad, innit?" (I Call Your Name session, 1 March 1964)
  • 0'46" - Paul McCartney: "Must be all right" (Think For Yourself, 8 November 1965)
  • 3'33" - George Harrison: "Chinga chinga ching, boom, boom, boom" (Think For Yourself)
  • 3'38" - Ringo Starr: "A lovely time" (Good Night, 28 June 1968)
  • 5'04" - instrumental outtakes from the Sgt Pepper sessions (1967)
  • 6'00" - Harrison: "It's OK. We know. I think we know"; Lennon: "This might be it. We'll just go..."; Harrison: "Chinga chinga ching, boom, boom, boom. The bit that John finally got just after that" (Think For Yourself)
  • 6'08" - McCartney and Lennon: ad-lib singing (This Boy, 17 October 1963)
  • 6'15" - Lennon: "George's tune, though" (Think For Yourself)
  • 6'17" - McCartney: "Who-sus" (Think For Yourself)
  • 6'18" - Lennon, McCartney and Harrison joking and ad-libbing; Lennon and McCartney pretending to be preachers (Think For Yourself)
  • 6'38" - Lennon singing Mr Moonlight (18 October 1964)
  • 6'55" - Lennon: "Okay, Paul, you ready, boy, this is it. All right, cut this tomfoolery out" (Think For Yourself)
  • 7'00" - Starr: "A lovely time" (Good Night)
  • 7'02" - laughter (Think For Yourself)

The majority of the speech came from the rehearsals for George Harrison's Think For Yourself. George Martin had recorded the group in the hope that some material could be included in their 1965 Christmas fan club single, although none was used.

The first bit of dialogue - John Lennon saying "'Cause it's our song anyroad, innit?" - was a reference to Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas' previous recording of I Call Your Name. The song was released as the b-side of their August 1963 single Bad To Me - both songs were written by Lennon.

The Beatles' version of I Call Your Name was recorded on 1 March 1964. Lennon's full quote - "Do you think it's a bit much doing Billy J's intro and solo? 'Cause it's our song anyroad, innit?" - were spoken prior to the recording of take one, and addressed to George Martin in the studio control room.

Other samples have been identified due to their inclusion in the Anthology programmes. The Good Night quotations by Ringo Starr were a part of an unused spoken preamble recorded during early takes of the song.

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