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2 January 2013
5.24am
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Funny Paper
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Well, I listened to the whole song with drums isolated for the first time, and I must disagree with all those people who commented to the song (up above in the Songs section outside the forum) saying they thought Paul's drumming on that song was mediocre or sloppy. 

My sense is that Paul is purposefully sounding a bit almost childish (or child-like) in his drum fills and rolls, and in his almost relentlessly breathless pace because he wanted to imbue the song with energy from below, as it were. 

Sometimes when accomplishing this effect, one has to be a bit off-rhythm and sounding like it's "falling down the stairs".  He sort of does that a bit when he drummed on the Band On The Run album, in a couple of songs ("Jet ", "Band On The Run " -- though he was more straight-ahead when the song needed it, as with "Hell On Wheels").

 

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2 January 2013
5.37am
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Gerard
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The drumming is alright, since it Paul's songs he probably knows what's good for it. The first time I heard the track I thought that Ringo had a new style, guess it was just Paul.

2 January 2013
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Ron Nasty
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According to Lewisohn, the drumming on Back In The USSR is a compilation of Paul, John and George.

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

 

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2 January 2013
1.48pm
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Ron Nasty
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And checking Joe's entry under Songs in main site, he also gives drumming credit to all three. Impossible to say who is drumming, where and when. It's a composite.

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

 

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2 January 2013
1.49pm
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Yeah, it's a composite. I do like Paul's drumming on Dear Prudence a lot.

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2 January 2013
1.56pm
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Linde
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Never thought it was bad. But who am I, I don't know anything about drumming.

2 January 2013
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Ron Nasty
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The relevant part of Lewisohn, Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, 22 August 68:

"Someone who was there at this session was Ken Scott. '...They did Back In The USSR with what I seem to recall was a composite drum track of bits and pieces, possibly with all of the other three (ie. not Ringo) playing drums...'

"...the song was also a composite recording in other ways, with three bass guitar parts, played by John, Paul and George respectively, and both Paul and George playing lead guitar..."

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2 January 2013
8.39pm
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Funny Paper
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mja6758 said
The relevant part of Lewisohn, Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, 22 August 68:

"Someone who was there at this session was Ken Scott. '...They did Back In The USSR with what I seem to recall was a composite drum track of bits and pieces, possibly with all of the other three (ie. not Ringo) playing drums...'

"...the song was also a composite recording in other ways, with three bass guitar parts, played by John, Paul and George respectively, and both Paul and George playing lead guitar..."

If the drums are a composite, then what does the "isolated" track isolate, exactly?  Shouldn't there be available THREE different tracks of drums for us to hear now, each one digitally isolate-able?

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3 January 2013
11.12am
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Ron Nasty
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Parts of several drum tracks were edited together to produce one drum track that all were happy with. The full drum tracks used doubtless are there in the vaults somewhere, but the isolated drum track is the result of the editing process. One drum track created from various "bits and pieces" from several drum tracks. So far as I understand it anyway.

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

 

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3 January 2013
2.58pm
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mja6758 said
Parts of several drum tracks were edited together to produce one drum track that all were happy with. The full drum tracks used doubtless are there in the vaults somewhere, but the isolated drum track is the result of the editing process. One drum track created from various "bits and pieces" from several drum tracks. So far as I understand it anyway.

But back then, producing "one track" is done by combining several tapes.  Why can't we access the layers beneath the finished product -- peel back the layers, so to speak?  I thought that was what this whole "track isolating" was about...  Surely John, George and Paul were not all crowded together drumming into one microphone.

 

 

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3 January 2013
6.04pm
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Ron Nasty
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I'm guessing here, but I imagine that all you can hear in the "multitracks" and the "isolated tracks" is what they have left audible. They may have had three or more drum tracks with parts they thought worked, bounced down the parts they wanted to use onto a single track, and it would be that single track which would make it to the master. It may be that they simply dropped in where they thought it wasn't working, and replaced what was on the tape originally with an overdub.

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4 January 2013
12.30am
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mja6758 said
I'm guessing here, but I imagine that all you can hear in the "multitracks" and the "isolated tracks" is what they have left audible. They may have had three or more drum tracks with parts they thought worked, bounced down the parts they wanted to use onto a single track, and it would be that single track which would make it to the master. It may be that they simply dropped in where they thought it wasn't working, and replaced what was on the tape originally with an overdub.

And so "underdubs" are not retrievable?

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4 January 2013
2.06am
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Bjway
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I have listened to the separated 5.1 channels from the Love version of Back The USSR, and I think it's clear enough that there are indeed 3 different drum tracks and I believe Paul's is the one that is most audible. John and George seem to be just playing a simple rock pattern all the way through and Paul's is the one with fills. In the first chorus you might be able to hear John or George as Paul does not hit the snare on beat 4, so if you hear another snare it's John or George. This is just a theory though.

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11 July 2013
1.37pm
MJ guitar player
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Hello out there in Beatleland!!

MJ Guitar player is just wondering if there is any bass on Back In The USSR . I don't hear any?

My band is presenting doing a cover recording of it.

Please advise,

 

MJ

 

 

11 July 2013
2.32pm
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Ron Nasty
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There's three bass parts on Back In The USSR . Recording the basic track on 22 August, Paul played drums, George lead guitar, and John a six-string bass. The following day another two bass tracks were overdubbed. A six-string and a standard bass. The six-string is usually credited to George, while the standard is Paul. Myself, I believe both were done by Paul.

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

 

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12 July 2013
3.17am
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mja6758 said
There's three bass parts on Back In The USSR . Recording the basic track on 22 August, Paul played drums, George lead guitar, and John a six-string bass. The following day another two bass tracks were overdubbed. A six-string and a standard bass. The six-string is usually credited to George, while the standard is Paul. Myself, I believe both were done by Paul.

Three basses playing simultaneously?  Alternating?  Playing the same notes?  I don't get why a song would need three basses...

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12 July 2013
5.16am
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Ron Nasty
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I think, like the drum track, the bass is a composite of the three parts. My reading: Paul, having played drums on the basic track, and it being his song, isn't completely happy with John's original bass part, so another six-string bass part is overdubbed, dropped in, to improve what's there. (Which is why I believe it's more likely Paul that did it, rather than George.) Paul then added his four-string bass part to sit alongside the six-string.

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

 

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12 July 2013
7.21am
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Ron Nasty
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I have to correct myself here, with thanks to Joe for pointing out some aspects of the recording I'd missed - and noticing something he'd missed in his song entry and has now corrected (John playing bass when it had been wiped). I hadn't looked at the session details in the history section - 22 & 23 August. John played the six-string bass during the recording of the basic track on the 22nd. John's bass part was wiped the following day when Paul overdubbed piano and George more drums onto track 3 of take 5 from the previous day. A further guitar overdub was also done.

I will hand over to Joe's article covering the session on the 23rd: "A reduction mix was then made, which was labelled take six, which combined all the instruments onto a single track. McCartney recorded his lead vocals with simultaneous backing by Lennon and Harrison, recorded onto two separate tracks with backups by all three Beatles.

"Track four on the tape was filled with a bass guitar overdub by McCartney, six-string bass by Harrison, and Lennon hitting a snare drum."

So, there you have it, two bass parts. Paul's standard four-string, George's six-string.

Thanks again to Joe for helping me get straight in my head.

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

 

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12 July 2013
7.46am
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I.e., the Beatles did a lot of cheating by the time of the White Album .

Which is fine by me -- I think the important thing is the sound of the finished product, not whether it was all performed "authentically" or all "live" or not.

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16 July 2013
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Von Bontee
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Exactly. I'd say it's just a different type of legitimate artistic validity - creating something that simply couldn't be recreated live by a mere four (or five) musicians and with the technical limitations.

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