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8 October 2014
12.23am
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Funny Paper
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Lady Madonna single artwork - Netherlands

Written by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 3, 6 February 1968
Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Ken Scott, Geoff Emerick

Released: 15 March 1968 (UK), 18 March 1968 (US)

Available on:
Past Masters
1
Anthology 2
Love

Personnel

Paul McCartney: vocals, piano, bass, handclaps
John Lennon: backing vocals, lead guitar, handclaps
George Harrison: backing vocals, lead guitar, handclaps
Ringo Starr: drums, handclaps
Ronnie Scott, Bill Povey: tenor saxophones
Harry Klein,…

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8 October 2014
12.24am
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Funny Paper
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Speaking of Paul's voice, it almost sounds in this song like he's recording his voice in a box or from a tinny radio station -- which produces a neat effect.

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8 October 2014
12.57am
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DrBeatle
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I always dug Ringo's drumming, there's actually two drum tracks in the song...the heavy rock drums, and a part played with jazz brushes. 

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

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8 October 2014
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I didn't take to it when it came out…………It seemed to halt their progression……..No John to compensate on the 'B' side…….But I still preferred George's 'Inner Light'

However, when The Beatles switch direction others duly followed…….Notably The Stones. I see now the LM was a stronger single than I'd appreciated. 

 

There are only two songs I've taught myself to play on a piano..The first was Let It Be ….with both hands playing the same thing………and after hours of painstaking parroting…… beginning with the learning of that descending base run…..finally Paul's Lady Madonna .

 

Great song…….but weren't they all!!!

8 October 2014
8.09am
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DrBeatle, didn't know that about the drums.  Interesting.

Atlas, congrats on learning the piano.  While I spent a couple of years leaning piano, I don't think I could ever get that far..  Am I correct that his left hand is doing the same riff as the electric bass?

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8 October 2014
8.32am
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Sometimes John was such a snit.  Joe's section on the Songs has this quote from John about Lady Madonna :

"Good piano lick, but the song never really went anywhere. Maybe I helped him on some of the lyrics, but I'm not proud of them either way."

Never went anywhere?  Wtf?  Where is a song supposed to "go", anyway?  I think John tended to think of songs & music from an abstract intellectual view or from a purely emotional view, and he sometimes forgot about the pure level of the joy of music for music's sake -- something Paul never forgets.

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8 October 2014
10.16am
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meanmistermustard
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A song that, like Atlas, i never cared for when younger but it's one of the songs that the more i've heard it the more i've grown to really appreciate. I love the sound of Ringo's drums (even better in headphones), the backing vocals are such fun and the length of the track makes me want to hear it again. 

When you think of the songs that they were recording in 1967 its very clear just how back to the drawing board they went by leaving off all the effects, orchestra etc, resulting in a quite refreshing little rock and roll type number.

And the good thing is we have a handful of alternate takes and mixes for the song letting us here different stages of the recording and the Beatles enjoying themselves whilst recording it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....M9txvsbjsk

Edit: If google is meant to be so damn great how come its got Lady Madonna as being released in 1973?

lmg.JPGImage Enlarger

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8 October 2014
11.51am
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Funny Paper said
Sometimes John was such a snit.  Joe's section on the Songs has this quote from John about Lady Madonna :

"Good piano lick, but the song never really went anywhere. Maybe I helped him on some of the lyrics, but I'm not proud of them either way."

Never went anywhere?  Wtf?  Where is a song supposed to "go", anyway?  I think John tended to think of songs & music from an abstract intellectual view or from a purely emotional view, and he sometimes forgot about the pure level of the joy of music for music's sake -- something Paul never forgets.

Couldn't agree more, @Funny Paper.  I'm just the opposite of Atlas and mmm.  From the first time I heard this song, I thought "Wow, that is such a great old-school hard rocker."  There's a lot of Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino in there. It's the kind of thing you would have expected John to love, since he never lost his rock and roll fan boy core, even when he had become an artiste.

I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, 'The Beatles did'.
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8 October 2014
3.50pm
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Funny Paper said

Overall, it has a quality I can't pin down, but can only vaguely say it's "cool" and "slick"...

Agreed.

I've loved this song ever since I heard it as a young kid. The pace of this song resembles one of my absolute favorites, 'Hey Bulldog '. In fact, the footage used for the 'LM' video was actually film shot during the recording of 'HB'. IIRC, the plan this day was to shoot the footage for 'LM' promotional video but they decided to record 'HB' instead. I'll leave it to the scholars in this Forum to correct me if I'm mistaken.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?.....S66ATHG1iY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?.....xmP9UDkoGw

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8 October 2014
8.30pm
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Thanks Zig for reminding me of Bulldog which I haven't listened to in years.  It's an amazing song in its own right, but to me it doesn't have that je ne sais quoi of Lady Madonna , somehow. 

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8 October 2014
9.13pm
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Yeah, thanks, @Zig.  a-hard-days-night-john-4I love HB too; as a matter of fact, I think HB has a richer feel, but it is also more raw (if that combination of things is even possible). I would like it better than LM, except for that barking and howling.  I can't warm up to it.

EDIT:  What a fun little concert @Zig arranged for us!  That's just one of the things that makes this site so great.heart

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I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, 'The Beatles did'.
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8 October 2014
10.11pm
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Funny Paper said
Sometimes John was such a snit.  Joe's section on the Songs has this quote from John about Lady Madonna :

"Good piano lick, but the song never really went anywhere. Maybe I helped him on some of the lyrics, but I'm not proud of them either way."

Never went anywhere?  Wtf?  Where is a song supposed to "go", anyway?  I think John tended to think of songs & music from an abstract intellectual view or from a purely emotional view, and he sometimes forgot about the pure level of the joy of music for music's sake -- something Paul never forgets.

That's what I never understand. What do people mean when they say a song doesn't go anywhere? Where should a song be going? What makes it not go anywhere? How can it even not go anywhere?

Anyway, I have always liked this song. Like that sax bit too. This song is just fun.

8 October 2014
11.34pm
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meanmistermustard said
And the good thing is we have a handful of alternate takes and mixes for the song letting us here different stages of the recording and the Beatles enjoying themselves whilst recording it.

Thanks for the two different versions @meanmistermustard, it’s amazing how much those of us interested in music recording and song arrangements can learn simply by listening to different takes of the same song.

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9 October 2014
4.28am
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Funny Paper said
DrBeatle, didn't know that about the drums.  Interesting.

Atlas, congrats on learning the piano.  While I spent a couple of years leaning piano, I don't think I could ever get that far..  Am I correct that his left hand is doing the same riff as the electric bass?

 

I bought a book with photos of the piano chord shapes and four variations of each chord….. so that the shape that shifted most easily from the preceding chord could be used.

I worked out the base run with little fingers and thumbs on both hands playing the spread. It sounds spot on. But for the main part it's only my approximation of what I hear.

I worked this out before there was a youtube…….now…..!!

Here's the way.

 

Enjoy.

 

 

 

Having just gone through this I realize I don't play it well at all.

9 October 2014
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georgiewood said

Funny Paper said
Sometimes John was such a snit.  Joe's section on the Songs has this quote from John about Lady Madonna :

"Good piano lick, but the song never really went anywhere. Maybe I helped him on some of the lyrics, but I'm not proud of them either way."

Never went anywhere?  Wtf?  Where is a song supposed to "go", anyway?  I think John tended to think of songs & music from an abstract intellectual view or from a purely emotional view, and he sometimes forgot about the pure level of the joy of music for music's sake -- something Paul never forgets.

Couldn't agree more, @Funny Paper.  I'm just the opposite of Atlas and mmm.  From the first time I heard this song, I thought "Wow, that is such a great old-school hard rocker."  There's a lot of Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino in there. It's the kind of thing you would have expected John to love, since he never lost his rock and roll fan boy core, even when he had become an artiste.

Wasn't LM chosen instead of one of John's favs……..Across The Universe . That may have coloured his feelings about the song.

 

Also……..I heard it the day it came out………not years later as a part of the whole catalogue………It was an immediate lack of impact and wow. A bit of a let down. Combs and tissue paper!!

 

Love it now though.

9 October 2014
6.55am
LongHairedLady
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This song was one of the best to see Paul do live.  His voice naturally is lower now so it suits his voice today!  I also love how into the piano he gets when he plays it, bouncing around like a happy old Beatle.  a-hard-days-night-paul-8 

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

9 October 2014
11.09am
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John wasn't satisfied with the Beatles recording of ATU so agreed that TIL should get the b-side.

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

9 October 2014
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meanmistermustard said
John wasn't satisfied with the Beatles recording of ATU so agreed that TIL should get the b-side.

 

Ahh I didn't know that. i always thought it was considered a perfect contribution to an agreed Wildlife…….save the earth compilation. 

9 October 2014
3.44pm
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The wildlife charity album came further down the line, long after ATU was shelved; Spike Milligan asked John if he could help and 'Across The Universe ' was pulled from the vault, dusted down and donated.

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

10 October 2014
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Wiki suggests Spike heard the song early in it's recording in Feb 1968…. and thought it would fit perfectly with the wildlife project to be released later that year and discussed the idea at the time.

 

My personal recollection is from a 'Beatles monthly' entry about this song along the lines that: 'The boys loved the song but decided it would be the best choice for an upcoming Save our world Wildlife album.' 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.....e_Universe

 

I've just found what sounds to me like the Beatles Monthly entry I recall…….

 

"A much more recent example is "Across The Universe ", a very potent piece recorded in February of this year with John handling the lead vocal and a couple of hastily recruited fans who had been waiting outside the studios--Beatle People Lizzie Brave and Gayleen Pease--helping to add high falsetto voice effects to the accompaniment. At one stage it looked as though "Across The Universe " would be on The Beatles' first new single of 1968--until they completed "Lady Madonna " and decided to issue that instead. So the "Universe" tape was put back into stock with the vague idea that it might form The Beatles' promised contribution to an all-star charity LP. To date that charity LP has not gone into production so "Across The Universe " has stayed "in the can" with no available information for future release"  

 

So? Who knows?………Bet john was miffed though.

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