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What You're Doing
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15 December 2014
11.33pm
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meanmistermustard
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Was listening to this today. Love the opening drums, John and George seemingly having more fun with their harmony vocals than paying attention to whatever Paul was singing, the return of the drum opening but with the bass coming in along with it. What gets me tho is ever since i first heard the song in the solo under George's guitar it sounds like a traffic jam with all the car horns being sounded. I adore that.

And we have the bonus of the fantastic take 11 which is notably different to the released version what with being more ragged and John singing along with Paul on the verses.

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

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of self to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

16 December 2014
12.38am
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Ahhh Girl
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I was listening to this song yesterday while out on a walk with my dog. I meant to post something here about the song when I got home, but I got sidetracked. So, thanks for the prompt, mmm.

The only reason I don't want the drum intro to go on for five minutes is because I want so much to hear the rest of the song, too. I couldn't stop myself from pushing rewind several times to hear that intro yesterday. Awesomeness.

16 December 2014
12.48am
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Billy Rhythm
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meanmistermustard said 

And we have the bonus of the fantastic take 11 which is notably different to the released version what with being more ragged and John singing along with Paul on the verses.

 

Much prefer this to the 'Beatles For Sale ' version, I always cringe at Paul's "I've been waitin' here for yo-oo-oo-ouu..., wonderin' what you're gonna do-oo-oo-ooo" bit, one of his worst vocal performances on record, in my opinion...:-)

16 December 2014
2.07am
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Ahhh Girl
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Thanks for posting the video, BR. They really sound like they are laying it all out on the line in that take. I wonder if they sounded like that during their Hamburg shows.

16 December 2014
5.20am
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StrawberryWalrus
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Billy Rhythm said

meanmistermustard said 
And we have the bonus of the fantastic take 11 which is notably different to the released version what with being more ragged and John singing along with Paul on the verses.

 

Much prefer this to the 'Beatles For Sale ' version, I always cringe at Paul's "I've been waitin' here for yo-oo-oo-ouu..., wonderin' what you're gonna do-oo-oo-ooo" bit, one of his worst vocal performances on record, in my opinion...:-)

 

Aaaaawwww, come on. That was instant love on first sight for me.

 

I can't describe how much I love this song. Hearing it bajillion times sure stole some of the magic, but when I first heard it, I couldn't get over the catchiness of the riff and Paul's singing. I love the track almost obsessively.

16 December 2014
11.50am
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georgiewood
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I'm a big fan too.  I was always drawn to the unusual meter and rhyming style (doin' ...blue an'). It definitely has a country feel, doesn't it?  I don't care for country music at all, but I like all the Beatles' country songs.  I'll bet there's a thread on the Beatles' country songs, huh @Ahhh Girl?  I don't see it.

I always thought this song was mistitled. Since the main lyric is in the form of a question (without the contraction--'what are you doing?'), shouldn't the contaction form be 'whatchoo doin'?  Or, if that's too casual or radical, at least 'what you doing?'  I don't get 'what you are doing' from the song, even though that would be the uncontracted form of the actual title.  

And...I seem to have a lot of opinions about this little song...nobody appreciates hearing bootlegs and studio takes more than me. I am fascinated by the whole artistic and development process.  Almost without fail, however, I like the final published version of the song better than any of the takes.  The final version seems more polished and pleasing.  Maybe George Martin knew what he was doing?  heartgeorge-martin apple01

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'.
Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake, 1997

16 December 2014
1.00pm
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meanmistermustard
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The final version is better than take 11 as the latter is ragged and a work in progress where they are figuring out how to get it to an acceptable standard (the final take, take 19, was a "re-make"). You can tell by the chat at the beginning where Paul is saying "don't do it while we're singing" before John adds "don't do it while we're playing".

There is a further snippet from the third 'What You're Doing ' recording session (26th October) which was in the 'Anthology' documentary where Paul is playing around with his bass part (Paul: "George [Martin]. What did it sound like with the bass doing a funny thing? Did it sound any good or did it sound just utterly crap?").

The title seems fine to me. If it had the question mark in it it would have to be extended to "What You're Doing To Me?" as thats the complete line "why should it be so much to ask of you, what you're doing to me?". It cuts off before it gets to that point. The earlier usage of "what you're doing" isn't in the form of a question - "Look what you're doing, i'm feeling blue and lonely".

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

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of self to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

16 December 2014
1.46pm
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georgiewood
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Yeah, I think you're right about the title, @meanmistermustard.  For some reason, I always heard the opening line as a question, too, but it isn't.  Since it's a declarative statement, it makes the question line almost a play on words.  Ordinarily, you would phrase the question as 'what are you doing to me,' but since it matches the opening line, it comes out as 'what you are (or what you're) doing to me.'  I'll bet Paul didn't give this as much thought as I did.

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'.
Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake, 1997

19 June 2015
9.49am
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meanmistermustard
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Never noticed this before and its an incredibly minor thing (but thats what we do us Beatle obsessives); right at the beginning with the drum opening the right hand speaker/channel fades in (or get louder) in the stereo mix so it sounds richer as the intro progresses.

Bizarre that a) i only noticed it yesterday and b) i've never noticed it before.

No doubt its down to everything being by hand back in the day and there a ton of examples of parts of Beatles tracks which fade up, are already up, fade down/ mixed out/up in one channel//mix and not in the other.

 

As for the track itself its just another example of why folk should take the time and listen to all the Beatles albums; its such an under-rated overlooked gem of a deep cut. Well worth digging out.

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

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of self to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

19 June 2015
10.59am
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Beatlebug
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ahdn_paul_06 I agree, it is an underrated gem. I personally love it just for its energetic shout-out quality-- it's terribly fun to sing. And who can resist tapping their feet along with that drum intro? 

Just listened to the rehearsal a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 and I think I love it even more-- the slight 'catch' in Paul's voice on 'here for yoooooooouuuuu' and 'gonna dooooooooo' gives me shivers. And John's harmony over 'it's meeeeeeeeeee'... 

Glad they changed that line 'now would it seem so much' although that might make sense on paper-- it doesn't sing as well. 

It verges from the sublime to the ridiculote

Silly-Girl-2016.png Silly-Girl-2017.png bbbadge2018.jpg

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19 June 2015
11.09am
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meanmistermustard
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It's interesting that the response vocals are messed up but went unfixed - again something that happened occasionally with lines in Beatles tracks (see 'I'll Get You ').

A few years later Paul would have insisted that they do it again to get it spot on.

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19 June 2015
11.11am
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Bongo
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meanmistermustard said
Was listening to this today. Love the opening drums

Ya those drums did it for me too, and think it's a nice hidden gem of a song!

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk38/rickdelsie/The%20Beatles/parlunread_zps28270d9d.gif BEATLES Music gives me Eargasms!  apple01

19 June 2015
11.40am
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Beatlebug
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meanmistermustard said
It's interesting that the response vocals are messed up but went unfixed - again something that happened occasionally with lines in Beatles tracks (see 'I'll Get You ').

A few years later Paul would have insisted that they do it again to get it spot on.

They do that in Baby's In Black as well, where one of them says 'though he'll never come back' which is the correct lyric, and the other says 'though she'll never come back'. 

It verges from the sublime to the ridiculote

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19 June 2015
12.51pm
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StrawberryWalrus
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I've already said it but I'll say it again - I loooooooveeee this song. My favorite Beatles song.

21 June 2015
7.18am
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Bongo
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Billy Rhythm said

Wow, just that video alone is awesome, never mind the song.  You could put that to your fav Beatles song and it would be the best video eva! brian-epstein

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk38/rickdelsie/The%20Beatles/parlunread_zps28270d9d.gif BEATLES Music gives me Eargasms!  apple01

25 June 2015
5.34pm
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Here Comes The Sun
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I Love this songheart

 

 
Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey

25 June 2015
7.06pm
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I like it too……Didn't really listen to it at first it took the 'Love' mass-up to get my attention……..

The video is so evocative.

25 June 2015
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Beatlebug
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Here, @Wigwam: http://www.beatlesbible.com/fo.....his-boy/ 

(When you type the song title, it auto-links to Joe's page on the song, which has a link to the thread. Quicker than searching the usual way.) 

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It verges from the sublime to the ridiculote

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26 June 2015
3.15am
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meanmistermustard
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Thats not take 1 of This Boy , its takes 12 and 13 released on the 'Free As A Bird ' cd single. I do wish youtube uploaders wouldnt put crap in their descriptors. 

Anyhow, this thread is for 'What You're Doing '; for 'This Boy ' discussion go to the link in Silly Girl's post above.

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26 June 2015
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georgiewood
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ahdn_paul_06a-hard-days-night-ringo-14I'm so confused. 

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'.
Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake, 1997

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