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11 November 2014
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Joe
Pepperland
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Written by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 8, 16 February; 13, 28, 29 March 1967
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick

Released: 1 June 1967 (UK), 2 June 1967 (US)

John Lennon: vocals, rhythm guitar
Paul McCartney: backing vocals, lead guitar, bass
George Harrison: backing vocals, lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums, tambourine
Barrie Cameron, David Glyde, Alan Holmes:…

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2 June 2017
10.16am
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Martha
Candlestick Park
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This is one of those great songs that get better each time you listen to them! Especially the guitar solo and the changing signature are amazing! And I love John's powerful voice in this song.

I've always wondered, though, whether the line 'I've got nothing to say but it's okay' means 'Although I've got nothing to say everything's okay' or 'I've got nothing to say except for the words 'it's okay''. 

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Not once does the diversity seem forced -- the genius of the record is how the vaudevillian "When I'm 64" seems like a logical extension of "Within You Without You" and how it provides a gateway to the chiming guitars of "Lovely Rita. - Stephen T. Erlewine on Sgt Pepper's

2 June 2017
10.40am
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Ahhh Girl
sailing on a winedark open sea
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Or maybe it's okay that he has nothing to say.

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2 June 2017
11.03am
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Ron Nasty
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Isn't "I've got nothing to say but it's okay" almost Nowhere Man  in a single line?

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The Beatles Non-Canon Poll List

2 June 2017
12.00pm
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Beatlebug
Find me where ye echo lays
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Wow, yeah, it kind of is. Blimey. 

 

The best part about this song, for me, is the rhythm section, and just the rhythm in general. 

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2 June 2017
1.44pm
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Martha
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Ron Nasty said
Isn't "I've got nothing to say but it's okay" almost Nowhere Man  in a single line?  

You're right, I've never noticed that!

Still, you could apply both different interpretations ('it's okay that he has nothing to say ' as Ahhh Girl suggested and 'I've got nothing to say except for the words 'it's okay'') to the lyrics of Nowhere Man . In the first case, he doesn't mind having no opinion because he cares about nothing and in the second case he says 'yes' to everything because he hasn't got any opinion; both would fit Nowhere Man .a-hard-days-night-paul-7

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Not once does the diversity seem forced -- the genius of the record is how the vaudevillian "When I'm 64" seems like a logical extension of "Within You Without You" and how it provides a gateway to the chiming guitars of "Lovely Rita. - Stephen T. Erlewine on Sgt Pepper's

2 June 2017
2.10pm
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vonbontee
Inside an Apple Orchard in a Letterbox
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Every part of this song is the best part for me! The chaotic, cacophonous beginning, like the world's most obnoxious marching band at your bedside jolting you awake. The way John crams in all those syllables during the 4/4 sections. Ringo hammering away. The horns during those 4/4 sections are just so swinging, compared with how they otherwise lurch every which way. (And how about that super-distorted baritone sax groaning away, like the world's biggest fuzz pedal!) 

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I remember George saying 'Blimey, he's always talking about “Yesterday”, you'd think he was Beethoven or somebody' - Paul McCartney

2 June 2017
2.21pm
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Dark Overlord
Nowhere Land
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Why is John's Fender barely audible in the stereo mix, even when it's just vocals and Fender, I can barely hear it.

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2 June 2017
5.32pm
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meanmistermustard
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Martha said
This is one of those great songs that get better each time you listen to them! Especially the guitar solo and the changing signature are amazing! And I love John's powerful voice in this song.

I've always wondered, though, whether the line 'I've got nothing to say but it's okay' means 'Although I've got nothing to say everything's okay' or 'I've got nothing to say except for the words 'it's okay''.   

I've always taken it that John has nothing to say and he's accepting of it. The lyrics are about a boring time, a cycle of the daily humdrum - the song could be taken as one of someone who is frustrated but accepting of where he is, the music is pushing forward with a scorching guitar solo and horns along with Ringo's marching crashing drums yet John's vocal for a lot of the song is not. 

For someone who frequently has little to say in public I find that line comforting. 

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"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

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2 June 2017
8.10pm
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sir walter raleigh
In our yellow (IN OUR YELLOW) submarine (SUBMARINE AHA!)
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vonbontee said
Every part of this song is the best part for me! The chaotic, cacophonous beginning, like the world's most obnoxious marching band at your bedside jolting you awake. The way John crams in all those syllables during the 4/4 sections. Ringo hammering away. The horns during those 4/4 sections are just so swinging, compared with how they otherwise lurch every which way. (And how about that super-distorted baritone sax groaning away, like the world's biggest fuzz pedal!)   

But the best part could be how he jumps through meters like it is nothing. 

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3 June 2017
1.08am
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William Shears Campbell
The Montana Billings Mission (Will be back around August 2nd 2019)
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mmm's interpretation of this song reminds me of the Klaatu song "A Routine Day".

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"I'll be back" - Johnny Lennon

4 June 2017
8.43pm
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Elementary Penguin
Ed Sullivan Show
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I like this song a lot and it has one of my favourite Ringo performances. Sometimes I like to listen to the Anthology version so I can appreciate Ringo's drumming.

I also love the horn section, the guitar solo, and the chaotic ending with the animal noises as well.

Who would have thought a song about day to day monotony could be so entertaining?

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And in the end the lunch you take is equal to the lunch you bake.

5 June 2017
1.49am
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Martha
Candlestick Park
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I also love the trills at the beginning and the end of the song though I've got no idea which instrument plays them. It sounds a bit like a flute but there weren't any flutes playing in the song so it must be a different instrument.

Not once does the diversity seem forced -- the genius of the record is how the vaudevillian "When I'm 64" seems like a logical extension of "Within You Without You" and how it provides a gateway to the chiming guitars of "Lovely Rita. - Stephen T. Erlewine on Sgt Pepper's

5 June 2017
8.20am
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Dark Overlord
Nowhere Land
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Good question, let's start by taking a look at the instrumentation:

8 February Backing Track:

John Lennon : Fender guitar

Paul McCartney : Rickenbacker guide bass

George Harrison : Tambourine

Ringo Starr : Drums

16 February Overdubs:

John Lennon : Lead Vocals

Paul McCartney : Rickenbacker bass

13 March Overdubs:

Barrie Cameron: Saxophone

Alan Holmes: Saxophone

Griff West: Saxophone, Trombone

John Lee: Trombone

Tom: French Horn

28 March Overdubs:

John Lennon : Lead Vocals

Paul McCartney : Guitar solo

John Lennon and Paul McCartney : Backing Vocals

29 March Overdubs:

Geoff Emmerick, Richard Lush, and John Lennon : Tape loops, assembled from EMI's personal vault, volumes 35 (Animals And Bees) and 57 (Fox Hunt) were used

If I had to guess, the trills are coming from one of the tape loops.

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5 June 2017
9.50am
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Ron Nasty
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The new edition of Pepper has rewritten the recording of this track to a degree.

Interestingly, this new description throws up some confusion about George's role in this song. It credits George with playing guitar at the top of the page in the Pepper book, in fact it lists him as lead guitar on it along with Paul, but in the description of the song's recording that follows - which is based on the book's description - there is no mention of George playing guitar anywhere.

Beginning on the 8 February, they recorded eight takes of the basic track. Track one had Ringo on drums and Paul on a floor Tom, while track two was John's guitar.

On the 16 February Paul overdubbed his bass onto track three, while John added his lead vocal onto track four. At the end of this session, there was a reduction mix, with Ringo's drums, Paul's bass and floor Tom, and John's guitar collapsed onto the new track one and John's vocal left on track four, leaving them with two free tracks.

On 13 March, track two was filled with the horn overdub, leaving just track three free.

Returning to the song on 28 March, the first thing John did was to record another lead vocal. On the next reduction mix, John's two vocals were combined onto track four, while the horns were treated to compression and flanging. This freed up track three again, onto which were recorded the backing vocals and Paul's guitar solo.

The next day the sound effects were assembled, and edited onto track four.

Track 1: guitar (John on 8 Feb); bass (Paul on 16 Feb); drums (Ringo on 8 Feb) and floor Tom (Paul on 8 Feb)
Track 2: horn overdub (13 March)
Track 3: backing vocals (Paul and George on 28 March); guitar solo (Paul on 28 March)
Track 4: lead vocal (John 16 Feb and 28 March - manually double-tracked!); sound effects (29 March)

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The Beatles Non-Canon Poll List

5 June 2017
11.31am
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Dark Overlord
Nowhere Land
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That book seems off. First of all, there's a tambourine in the song, you could hear it best at the beginning of the 3rd verse. Here's The Beatles Rock Band isolated drum track which also includes guitar and tambourine so you could hear it better.

If I had to guess, I think it's George because it's on the backing track.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cHwPzU8h50

Also, I can't believe I didn't notice this at first but John sings some barely audible guide vocals, even oddly enough during the solo, which implies that the song wasn't originally meant to have a solo.

Also, if you listen to the track above, during the intro you can hear something that sounds like bongos, which is most likely on the backing track.

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27 July 2017
2.02pm
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Dark Overlord
Nowhere Land
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I'm listening to this song and i think it's underrated.

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28 July 2017
3.19am
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Flyingbrians
Robin Hood Country
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Dark Overlord said
I'm listening to this song and i think it's underrated.  

Very underrated. I didn't use to like it but it's grow on me a lot. IMO the remixed version makes it even more awesome. 

"And life flows on within you and without you" - George Harrison

28 July 2017
8.13am
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QuarryMan
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I find the whole song somewhat dull, but the drumming and the guitar solo are fantastic. Funny how Paul, being one of the more gentle, reserved Beatles, has such an aggressive playing style.

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Half of what I say is meaningless

28 July 2017
10.59am
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natureaker
Blue Jay Way
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After giving this song a good listen for the first time in a long time, I'd have to still say it's rather underrated. However, it's still one of my least favorite Beatles songs imo.

 

"Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end" - John Lennon

 

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