The Beatles: Anthology 4
The Beatles: Anthology 4
February 16, 2014 8:24 PM Subscribe
Isolated mixes of vocal/instrumental elements of Beatles' recordings have been featured on MetaFilter previously - notably a breakdown of the elements of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the epic mix of the original Revolution 1/Revolution 9 session, and the vocal mix of the Abbey Road Long Medley. Since hearing that Long Medley mix, I've been enjoying a months-long trawl of YouTube, listening to all I can find in this vein, and identifying mixes of notable interest.
- Nowhere Man [without vocals]. Admittedly the harmonized vocals are the focal point of the released version of this song - which perhaps makes a vocal-free version all the more interesting, in a sense.
- I'm Looking Through You [bass]. A bouncy, melodic bassline, acccompanied faintly in spots by Paul's guide vocal as he plays - feels like you're there in the studio as he lays down his bass line.
- Yellow Submarine [guitar]. Demonstrates this song's strong foundation of straightforwardly-played (by John) acoustic guitar chords.
- Yellow Submarine [vocals]. Ringo a cappella, joined on the choruses by John, Paul and George.
- And Your Bird Can Sing [rhythm guitar]. This isolates John's underpinning rhythm guitar, hidden beneath George's double-tracked, harmonized lead guitar.
- Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds [without vocals]. Take away the psychedelic lyrics and you're left with a psychedelic instrumental gem, as well as a proper ending (rather than a fade-out) .
- Getting Better [drums]
- Getting Better [guitar]. Interesting interplay between a raspy rhythm and a drone-like accompaniment in the verses.
- Getting Better [vocals]
- She's Leaving Home [without vocals]. Mike Leander's strings arrangement, conducted by George Martin.
- She's Leaving Home [vocals]. Paul solo, accompanied by John's counterpoint vocal on the choruses.
- When I'm 64 [drums, bells and piano]. Ringo and Paul lay down the rhythm. Some nice flourishes on piano.
- When I'm 64 [clarinet trio]. Robert Burns, Henry MacKenzie and Frank Reidy, arranged by George Martin.
- When I'm 64 [without vocals]. Add Paul's bass and, towards the end, John's guitar, to the previous two mixes, and you have the backing track.
- When I'm 64 [original speed]. 'When I'm 64', as released on Sgt. Pepper, was actually a speeded up version of the original, raising it a whole key. This is the song as it was originally recorded.
- Lovely Rita [piano and comb]. Unfortunately omitting the outro.
- Lovely Rita [bass]
- Lovely Rita [without vocals]
- Lovely Rita [vocals]. Paul and John's oddball contributions to the outro are particularly interesting.
- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [reprise] [vocals]. The removal of the backing track highlights the harmonies and reveals some interesting studio banter.
- A Day in the Life [bass and drums]. Some unusually restrained bass, coupled with atmospheric drums.
- A Day in the Life [vocals]. Interesting to hear other voices singing underneath Paul's 'ahh's before John's final verse.
- All You Need Is Love [without vocals or overdubs]. This is a really interesting mix, revealing some alarmingly awful string bass and violin, courtesy of Paul and George, respectively.
- Hello Goodbye [drums]. A nice, bass-heavy drum track.
- Hello Goodbye [bass and drums]. For if you want even more bass than the previous mix.
- Hello Goodbye [keyboards and drums]. Paul on piano and John on organ.
- I Am The Walrus [electric piano, guitar and radio effects]. Stripped of the vocals, strings and horns which otherwise dominate the song.
- I Am The Walrus [strings and horns]. Alternately, bringing those non-vocal elements to the fore.
- I Am The Walrus [strings, horns and vocals]. This mix is interesting in that it highlights the radio effects at the end of the song.
- Hey Bulldog [without vocals]. With the nonsense lyrics removed, a menacing backing track is emphasized.
- The Inner Light [without vocals]. A Beatles song with no Beatles - or indeed English - musicians present. Recorded in India, featuring Sharad Ghosh (or Hanuman Jadev) on shehnai, Hariprasad Chaurasia (or S. R. Kenkare) on flute, Ashish Khan on sarod, Maha purush Misra on tabla and pakavaj, and Rij Ram Desad on harmonium.
- Revolution [guitars and piano]. John and George's guitars are isolated here, one in each speaker - this is a good one to listen to on headphones. A great, driving 12-bar blues, carried admirably by these two guitars. Nicky Hopkins joins in on electric piano.
- Revolution [drums]. Ringo!
- Back in the USSR [drums]. A fairly straight drum track - but the novelty here is that it's Paul playing, rather than Ringo. Actually, it's a lot of fun - I can't imagine Ringo playing something so jaunty.
- Dear Prudence [bass and drums]. Mostly Paul here, playing both bass and drums. Some guitar textures appear at points, courtesy of George - and a bit of piano (the latter played, again, by Paul) .
- Dear Prudence [vocals]. A double-tracked vocal from John, but what's particularly interesting here are the harmonized backing vocals.
- While My Guitar Gently Weeps [lead guitar]. Just Eric Clapton's lead guitar.
- Birthday [guitars]. A Lennon-led guitar assault.
- Helter Skelter [guitars]. The main guitar on this track comes in at about 0:40, so the other guitars sound a bit tinny. But you can compensate by turning the volume up to eleven. Listen to the boys abuse guitars.
- Helter Skelter [vocals]. The three-part harmonized backing vocals are impeccably delivered, in stark contrast to Paul's unhinged lead vocal delivery.
- Can You Take Me Back [complete]. The full version of the snippet (begins at 1:25) heard on the White Album.
- Don't Let Me Down [guitar]. Beautifully highlighting George's sensitive, gently bubbling guitar playing.
- Don't Let Me Down [vocals]. Soulful and heartfelt vocals from John and Paul.
- Dig a Pony [guitars].
- I Me Mine [drums]. A fine showcase for Ringo, making the most of all parts of his kit.
- I Me Mine [guitar]. Highlighting George's guitars - fuzzy electrics and bell-clear acoustics.
- Come Together [vocals].
- Something [without vocals]. All four Beatles are featured, as well as Billy Preston on Hammond, and 12 violins, 4 violas, 4 cellos and a double-bass.
- Something [vocals]. George's beautiful (and occasionally double-tracked) lead vocal, plus Paul's harmonies. One of them sings an approximation of the solo during that part.
- Maxwell's Silver Hammer [lead guitars, Moog and drums]. No John here, but some more clear-as-a-bell guitar from George, and inventive Moog courtesy of Paul. Ringo keeps a steady beat.
- Oh! Darling [drums]. A cavernous, almost dub-like performance from Ringo. Some wonderful drum rolls, too, leading into the middle-eights.
- Oh! Darling [bass]. A fairly simple bassline by Paul's standards. And riddled with errors, too, strangely. If my reference books didn't suggest otherwise I'd have guessed that this was John playing.
- Oh! Darling [piano]. Played by John.
- Oh! Darling [vocals]. An impassioned vocal from Paul (double-tracked on the middle-eights), and sweet, three-part harmonies from John, Paul and George.
- I Want You [bass]. A melodic - albeit rather busy - performance from Paul.
- I Want You [drums and bass]. Bass in the left channel, drums in the right. Guitars are also audible, although unsatisfyingly low in the mix.
- Here Comes the Sun [drums]. A fairly dry arrangement, tonewise, relieved in the middle-eight by a series of drum rolls and cymbal flourishes.
- Here Comes the Sun [guitar]
- Here Comes the Sun [strings and Moog]. 4 violas, 4 cellos and a double-bass, arranged by George Martin. Moog played by George Harrison.
- Here Comes the Sun [vocals]. Mostly George (on lead and backing vocals), with some harmony assistance from Paul in the backing vocals.
- Sun King [bass]. Slightly distorted, gently bubbling bass from Paul.
- Sun King [guitars]. John and George's 'Albatross'-inspired guitars, featured so prominently in the album mix, are showcased here in isolation. I hadn't previously noticed the lilting melody doubling the first part of the vocals.
- Polythene Pam [drums]. Ringo rolls out a heavy-handed (but delightful) tribal beat.
- Polythene Pam/She Came in Through the Bathroom Window [bass]. An excited bassline from Paul.
- Polythene Pam/She Came in Through the Bathroom Window [lead guitar]. George on a beautifully-trebly lead guitar, especially towards the end of 'Polythene Pam' and into 'She Came In...'.
- Carry That Weight [without vocals]. A suitably-majestic last selection here. Paul (on piano as well as bass), George and Ringo are present, along with 12 violins, 4 violas, 4 cellos, a double-bass, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, a trombone and a bass trombone.
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