The Beatles Cd - Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 4 (1968)

The Beatles Cd  - Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 4 (1968)
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The Beatles Cd  - Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 4 (1968)



Lady Madonna (Lennon/McCartney)

Chat Before Take 3 3 Feb 1968

The Beatles An EMI Abbey Road Studio II monitor is playing Lady Madonna's raw piano line intro as Paul prepares to lay down a lead vocal.

Nearby, Harrison and Lennon are eating Marmite-flavoured crisps loudly (Marmite "potato chips" in American), waiting to add kazoo-filtered backing vocals.

George: "We should make Marmite (crunch sounds), playing - do wah do, that." Ringo: "Well, I don't like Marmite." (Laughter. A soft burp.) Paul tries to sing seriously, but breaks into laughter after two words. Cut. The reel-to-reel spins back through half of the piano intro as the board op drops the "Marmite" track and hits playback for this rough stereo mix. No crunchy crisps or laughter. Kazoo vocals drop in prominently as do Paul's Winguesque "See How They Run" harmonies and that same old saxophone solo. (Boring). Fuzz guitar riffs are buried. After the candid studio intro, there's nothing excitingly new about this one unless you're into self-damaging stereo variation analyses. Doesn't even have Paul's annoying "Wee! Wee!" at the end. (Note: Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 7 contains the entire "Marmite" track.)

Lady Madonna (Lennon/McCartney)

Take 5 6 Feb 1968

The Beatles Stereo

Pitch correction: +3.0% 2. Across The Universe (Lennon/McCartney) 3:47



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Take 8 RM2 ('Hums Wild') 8 Feb 1968 SS.PM2.13.08.RM2 An alternate mix with the extracts of the ' Hums Wild' Sounds effect recorded on the 04 Feb 1968 edited in. No Orchestration or Animal Sounds at this stage . The take on some discs is preceeded by John saying "You're right, Richie" and two exhales.

The well-known 'Hums Wild' mix (unnumbered RM made for John).

A tranquil Lennon admits: "You're right, Richie" and exhales early warning (i.e., smelly breath). Ringo responds with six playful drum beats. Then John launches into his last great Pepperland recording. It was realized Feb. 4-8, 1968 just before the group moved on to India and their tombstone-covered double LP. This rough mix from the original "Across the Universe" master shows the status of the song before Phil Spector wiped one track to add his sickly slick "choir of angels" - a.k.a., the "Let It Be" mix. Spector should have let it be. The track he erased includes a back-masked tamboura drone and a slow, low "OMN" chant vibrating under the refrains of "Jai Guru Deva." Previously hidden harmonics of Lennon's "splanged" acoustic guitar meshes with lyrical imagery that flows like endless rain...

Pitch correction: +0.2% 3. Brian Epstein Blues (Lennon) 1:05

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Outtake 19 Jul 1968

The Beatles Back from India with a lark full of poofter puns about the late Brian Epstein. This straight-forward 1-4-5 number, given the title "Brian Epstein Blues," has been attributed to a July 19, 1968 "Sexy Sadie" session. There's a youthful and sarcastic timbre in Lennon's voice, reminiscent of "Yer Blues", but faster and more cynical than tragic. The melody lines cross "Yo Ho! Blow Ye Men Down" with "Sweet Little 16." See text/lyrics.

Outtake from "Sexy Sadie" session.

Pitch correction: -3.1% Hey Jude (Lennon/McCartney)

Take 7 30 Jul 1968

The Beatles A rehearsal of "Hey Jude" dated July 30, 1968. Paul on piano and singing, Ringo on drums, and Lennon picking an acoustic guitar and grinning backup vocals. In a late 1970s interview, McCartney once explained how he had told Harrison to stop "echoing phrases" on electric guitar after each line of the text. This is a complete take without overdubs, and George apparently has decided to bow out completely. Lennon doesn't sing much until Paul reaches the line: "The movement you need..." Then, John responds in a mock American accent " on yer shoulder." Interesting, considering Paul's comments about the lyric in the Anthology TV programme. Twice during the lengthy chorus, Lennon sings "Na, na, now... Goo goo ga Jude," and that inspires some honky-tonk piano lines from Paul. At 4:40, Lennon announces off mic: "We've gotta put more voices in the chorus." The tape cuts. Then Paul sings 15 seconds of melody vaguely reminiscent of "Bonnie and Clyde," with the lyrics: "...mess Jude, or the powder on your vest. Sing that Las Vegas Tune. Don't make a mess Jude."

Stereo Pitch correction: -1.4% Las Vegas Tune (McCartney)

Outtake 30 Jul 1968

The Beatles The tape (with Hey Jude) cuts. Then Paul sings 15 seconds of melody vaguely reminiscent of "Bonnie and Clyde," with the lyrics: "...mess Jude, or the powder on your vest. Sing that Las Vegas Tune. Don't make a mess Jude."

Stereo Pitch correction: -1.4% 5. St. Louis Blues (Handy) 1:01 Outtake 30 Jul 1968

The Beatles EQ and instrumentation suggest that "I Hate To See The Evening Sun Go Down" is an impromptu tuning piece from between takes of the "Hey Jude" sessions. The title lyric comes from "St. Louis Blues." It's sung by Paul over a basic 1-4-5 pattern on piano, foot-pedaled high hat and Lennon tuning his acoustic guitar while playing the blues in E. Breaking down after 12 bars, Paul announces: "Right. Crank it 'B.' You're on lad. Ok, lads. We're on." Finally satisfied with his tuning, Lennon responds: "Ok." And Paul hums softly through a decaying E-chord: "Jules' gonna be."

Pitch correction: -1.4% 6. Back In The U.S.S.R. (Lennon/McCartney) 2:49


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Regular RM1 Take 6 23 Aug 1968 SS.WHI.01.06.RM1 The Beatles Only one mono mix exists. This is the version that was released on the mono version of "The Beatles" (white album). That version was also given by Ringo to british actor Peter Sellers.

From the 'Peter Sellers tapes'. Suffers from a drop out syndrome. Jet plane tape loops longer.

Pitch correction: -1.4% 7. Rocky Raccoon (Lennon/McCartney) 3:49 Take 10 RM1 15 Aug 1968

The Beatles RM1, 15 aug 1968 From the 'Peter Sellers tapes'.

Pitch correction: +1.1% 8. Wild Honey Pie (Lennon/McCartney) 1:09 Take 1 RM6 20 Aug 1968

The Beatles RM6, 20 aug 1968 From the 'Peter Sellers tapes'.

Pitch correction: +1.9% 9. Mother Nature's Son (Lennon/McCartney) 2:50 Take 26 RM8 20 Aug 1968

The Beatles RM8, 20 aug 1968

Takes 1-25 were recorded on 9 aug 1968 From the 'Peter Sellers tapes'.

Pitch correction: +0.5% 10. Sexy Sadie (Lennon/McCartney) 3:55 Take 117 RM5 21 Aug 1968

The Beatles From the 'Peter Sellers tapes'. Includes 16-bars that were later clipped from the commercial version. Altogether, there is about 40 seconds of material on Sellers' tape that was later delegated to the cutting room dustbin. Musically, these instrumental passages are delightfully raw, following the bridge pattern where Lennon sings: "We gave you everything we owned just to sit at your table..." The cuts and splices were made shortly before the fade out begins on the commercial release.

This is the complete take, unreleased in this form. It has an extra instrumental passage in the coda that was removed for the record. This edit is undocumented in Lewisohn.

Pitch correction: -0.2% 11. Don't Pass Me By (Starkey) 5:05 Take 7 With Edit Piece 4 RM Unknown 12 Jul 1968

The Beatles From the 'Peter Sellers tapes'.

12 jul 68, Take 7 + 22 jul 68, Edit piece Take 4

Contains an extra verse as well and some extra sloppy fiddling at the song's end.

This is the complete take, unreleased in this form. It has an extra verse and chorus that were removed for the record. This edit is also undocumented in Lewisohn.

The music then cuts directly into a curiosity that has come to be known as "Ringo's Effects Tape." It starts with enthusiastic applause, and Ringo shouting "What a Show. What a Show. Oh! Wonderful! Wonderful!" A small dog yaps incessantly as Ringo continues: "More! More! Bravo. Bravo." There's a bit of whistling, apparently aimed at keeping the dog barking, and a sudden burst of transistorized feedback created by throwing open a monitor switch from a patch-chord-looped console. Ringo turns down the monitor level, and as the din subsides, he calmly instructs Peter Sellers: "If you want to hear some more crazy music, you've got to turn the tape over, I'm afraid." Then, in order to fill the last bit of tape to the end, more barking and clapping erupts, followed by Ringo shouting in his "blisters on my fingers" voice: "I said, if you want to hear some more you've gotta turn the tape over!!!!"

Pitch correction: -3.5% 12. Yer Blues (Lennon/McCartney) 4:35 Take 16 & 17 With Edit Piece 1 RM3 14 Aug 1968

The Beatles From the 'Peter Sellers tapes'.

Aug 14, 1968 Edit of Takes 16 & 17 + Edit piece 1, RM3, Aug 20, 1968

Begins with an indian music - added by Ringo. "Yer Blues," is notable because it continues a few extra measures longer than the commercial release. Unfortunately, as it was the first song on side two of the tape given to Sellers, it now suffers from drop out in several places.

Pitch correction: -2.1% 13. Good Night (Lennon/McCartney) 3:05 Take 34 RM6 22 Jul 1968

The Beatles From the 'Peter Sellers tapes'.

RM6, 23 jul 1968

Pitch correction: -1.4% 14. Everybody�s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey (Lennon/McCartney) 2:28 Take 12 RM1 23 Jul 1968

The Beatles From the 'Peter Sellers tapes'.

RM1, 23 jul 1968

All the elements of the finished recording are in place. But unlike the commercial version, nothing is held back in the mix - no mercy from the clanging of fire bells; from Lennon's twisted rhythm riffs or from his orgasmic "C'mon, C'mon. C'mon." The layering of Lennon's multi-tracked primal screams at the end of the song also is quite different, revealing some previously unheard anguish and a few obscene sheep sounds.

Pitch correction: -1.6% 15. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (Lennon/McCartney) 3:17 Take 23 RM21 15 Jul 1968

The Beatles From the 'Peter Sellers tapes'.

RM21, 15 jul 1968

Pitch correction: -2.3%

16. Blackbird (Lennon/McCartney) 2:23 Take 32 RM6 11 Jun 1968

The Beatles From the 'Peter Sellers tapes'. RM6, 11 jun 1968

The bird chirpings have yet to be added and Paul's voice has been sent through EMI's famed echo chamber next door to Studio II.

Pitch correction: -0.7%

17. Not Guilty (Harrison) 4:12 Take 102 RM1 12 Aug 1968

The Beatles From the 'Peter Sellers tapes'. RM1, 12 aug 1968

"Not Guilty," is one famous exception. Though more than 100 takes and reduction mixes were recorded in 1968, the song wasn't released in any form until Harrison remade it for his 1979 self-titled solo album. In his autobiography "I, Me, Mine," George explains that "Not Guilty" was written in response to the press criticism being heaped on Paul in 1967 after he'd admitted trying LSD. Thus, the lyrics: "Not guilty of getting in your way while you're trying to steal the day... I'm really sorry that you're underfed... sorry that you've been misled." This 1968 Beatles rendition of the song has a prominent harpsichord backing track, along with rhythms and textural weight comparable to "Savoy Truffle." No causality implied; but at one point, George breaks into a fuzz guitar riff that later become the basis of Ted Nugent's mid-70s heavy-metal anthem "Cat Scratch Fever."

18. What's The New Mary Jane? (Lennon/McCartney) 6:33

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Take 4 With Overdubs RS3 14 Aug 1968

The Beatles Take 4 (14 aug 1968) with overdubs (26 nov 1968)

RS3, 11 sep 1969

The recording offered on UM4 is actually the full-length, full-blown noise festival that happened in Studio II on Aug. 14, 1968 - a.k.a. "What A Shame Mary Jane Had A Pain At The Party." No doubt, the band were getting a bit naughty in those days. Years after penning "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," perhaps after realizing the massive social implications that his endorsement carried, Lennon denied that "Lucy" was a conscious attempt to depict LSD-inspired bliss. But it would have been more difficult for him to deny the drug references in "Mary Jane," which depicts a bad trip by mixing metaphors with various illegal substances. In his witty lyrical way, John managed to work in references about LSD (a.k.a. window "pane"); marijuana (a.k.a. "Mary Jane");morphine derivatives (rhyming "thin" with "bean" so as " make that her body more thin"), Peruvian peyote (a.k.a "Patagonian pancakes"), and alcohol ("...with that one and gin, party makes"). The result? An unreleasable cacophony of limerick lines, clanging bells, squeeze box, slide whistles, plucked piano wires a la John Cage, and horror-house howls from both John and Yoko. It all ends, appropriately enough, with a demented giggle from Lennon, who asks: "Let's hear it. Before we all get taken away!" No wonder Lennon was forced to choose between this track and "Revolution No. 9" for inclusion on the "White Album." Listen to "What a Shame" a few hundred times, and you'll probably want to take No. 9 as a sedative.

Stereo Pitch correction: -1.8%