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Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)
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25 September 2020
Ron Nasty
Apple rooftop

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@Joe said

Fools illusions everywhere
Joan and Molly sweep the stairs

I assume Joan is Derek Taylor’s wife. Anyone know who Molly was? Maybe they were just George’s housekeepers, and that’s not a reference to Joan Taylor after all. Who knows?

They are sisters who worked at Friar Park, Joe, Molly & Joan Eufrosyne; they’re mentioned among the thanks on Somewhere in England – in the “Special Thanks Department” list.

The following people thank Ron Nasty for this post:

sir walter raleigh, WeepingAtlasCedars, Joe, Beatlebug

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

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The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

26 September 2020
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Amazing. Thanks very much – I’ve amended the article with the info.

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Ron Nasty

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29 November 2021
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I’ll do this one in pros and cons.

First, the pros. This is a lush production, with many moving parts creating the shimmeringly magical fairy atmosphere that I love so much, and it’s absolutely amazing to hear them in fuller detail without their being obscured, as if by mist, so as to better appreciate what they contribute to the soundscape. The crazy lap steel in the left channel is actually present in full arpeggiated glory, rather than just splashing around dreamily, and the “Ohhh Sir Frankie Crisp” backing vocals actually pop out and are appreciable on first listen rather than 32nd! With only a little slapback reverb on the “Let it roll! Let it roll…” during the breaks, you can actually hear George, rather than just his words.

Now for the cons.

Once again this mix doesn’t do it for me; it really kind of spoils the point of the song. The mist has cleared and so has much of the magic of the track. Mist and obscured details are needed for this garden so that the imagination can fill in certain blanks with something that is infinitely more mysterious and evocative than any reality could be. As my friend once said, “There’s magic in what you can’t see,” and that goes for sound as well. It’s like a delicate impressionist watercolor being redone in a photorealistic style. The slide sounds too busy, the “Ohhh Sir Frankie Crisp” backing vocals seem abrupt and almost jarring. George’s “Let it roll! Let it roll…” has always been one of my favorite sonic effects and it’s lost here when he doesn’t sound like his words are drifting through the mist from far away. The song is eclectic and all the moving parts need that thick wash of reverb, almost like a blending medium, to smooth out the transitions and keep it from sounding disjointed IMO. I just don’t feel that the song is served by being dried up. The forest of Sir Frankie Crisp is lost among the trees here.

Once again, it’s nice to hear for scholarly purposes, but as a work of art to be enjoyed, I’ll certainly be sticking to my reverb-drenched, Spectorized originals. Especially for this song, more than any other save, perhaps, Run Of The Mill . These two are too dear to my heart.

edit: don’t take a drink every time I use the words “mist”, “reverb”, or “evocative” in reference to this album and this song particularly

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