"I'd love to turn you on..."
May 21, 2017 7:43 PM   Subscribe

 

"Practice."
 
posted by Herodios at 7:55 PM on May 21, 2017 [5 favorites]


The 10 Things I Didn't Know included ten things I actually did know (or at least had heard before), including one that I have always been baffled by:
Mal set an alarm clock to go off at the end of 24 bars, and you can hear that too
How does one set a 1967-vintage alarm clock to go off with that precision?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:56 PM on May 21, 2017


I'm fond of Jeff Beck's version of the song.
posted by octothorpe at 8:12 PM on May 21, 2017 [4 favorites]


How does one set a 1967-vintage alarm clock to go off with that precision?

Meh. Much more likely someone just manually set it off (easily done; get an old clock and try it yourself) or it was a stripped-in tape loop.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:43 PM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


How does one set a 1967-vintage alarm clock to go off with that precision?

I think he was standing there with his finger on the minute hand, and just pushed it into position when 24 bars was up? Or maybe turned the key at the back, whatever method you'd use to just make the alarm go off on those old things.
posted by wabbittwax at 8:43 PM on May 21, 2017


Here's some more background on Tara Browne. He's not just the inspiration for the traffic accident in A Day in the Life; he was also a friend of Paul McCartney, who provided the LSD for Paul's first acid trip. According to one of the links, Paul said he did not notice that John's lyrics were inspired by Tara Browne, but that also makes me wonder if John alluded to Tara Browne in a subtle attempt to get back at Paul.
posted by jonp72 at 9:00 PM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


Damn I'm old...
posted by jim in austin at 9:04 PM on May 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


The cover version by Big Daddy is conceptually brilliant, transforming the original into a Buddy Holly pastiche that borrows elements of "Peggy Sue," "Oh Boy," and "Every Day," while ending with a sound effect of the plane crash of The Day The Music Died.
posted by jonp72 at 9:30 PM on May 21, 2017 [5 favorites]


Buckle in and get ready for a flood of Sgt. Pepper-related journalism -- the 50 year anniversary of the album's release is only a few weeks away (it was released on June 7th, 1967.)
posted by Nerd of the North at 9:56 PM on May 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


How does one set a 1967-vintage alarm clock to go off with that precision?

Both the explanations provided seem feasible and have occurred to me in the past, but I find it curious that every account of the session is weirdly specific that Mal Evans "set the alarm to go off" at 24 bars. No one ever seems to say he rang the alarm or anything similar.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:56 PM on May 21, 2017


Buckle in and get ready for a flood of Sgt. Pepper-related journalism -- the 50 year anniversary of the album's release is only a few weeks away (it was released on June 7th, 1967.)
Arghh.. got the date mixed up with something else I was thinking about -- just disregard, please..
posted by Nerd of the North at 10:49 PM on May 21, 2017


How does a band go from "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in 1964 to "A Day in the Life" in 1967?

Drugs

: )
posted by Beholder at 10:50 PM on May 21, 2017 [12 favorites]


Great post. I've yet to watch the clips, but here are things I found while looking at what I've read:

1) The Atlantic article mentions members of The Monkees being at the recording session. There was one member of the group, in fact: Michael Nesmith (mind: blown). The rest of The Monkees were friends of The Beatles, though, as seen at that link.

2) The David McCallum mentioned in the musicians list in the Wikipedia article was the father of actor David McCallum of Man from U.N.C.L.E. and NCIS fame.
posted by bryon at 11:14 PM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


There's no rabbit hole like a Beatles rabbit hole.
posted by bryon at 11:15 PM on May 21, 2017 [7 favorites]


Drugs and GENIUS, please.
posted by KathrynT at 11:24 PM on May 21, 2017 [4 favorites]


Drugs

The drugs must have been better then because I feel like the rate of musical innovation in general has crawled to a snail's pace over the last few decades.
posted by Jimbob at 11:59 PM on May 21, 2017 [4 favorites]


How does a band go from "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in 1964 to "A Day in the Life" in 1967?

They were smart, they were ambitious, they had models like Dylan and Stockhausen, and they worked hard. They ground out a lot of hard hours of songwriting between when they sat side by side at a basement piano and wrote "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and when they taped the halves of their "Life" together in a fancy studio.

Damn I'm old...

I read the term "Canada 150" recently and thought, "What's that?" I was surprised when I realized they were talking about the Canadian sesquicentennial. I remember -- only just, mind you -- when the centennial was the big deal and they were all flapping that snazzy new flag. Well, at least I see Trudeau is still in office. That has to be some kind of record. He must be just about celebrating his own centennial by now.
posted by pracowity at 12:39 AM on May 22, 2017 [9 favorites]


Actually I think the drugs are better now, unfortunately.
posted by kittensofthenight at 12:41 AM on May 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


The drugs must have been better then because I feel like the rate of musical innovation in general has crawled to a snail's pace over the last few decades.

Probably just your listening habits that have gotten more rigid and inflexible as you age. Happens to a lot of people.
posted by effbot at 1:20 AM on May 22, 2017 [7 favorites]


How does a band go from "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in 1964 to "A Day in the Life" in 1967?

Drugs


Also known as "Even Betteridge's Law of Headlines". For any headline that asks the question of how, the answer is always drugs.
posted by Literaryhero at 1:35 AM on May 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Ringo's drumming on this song is amazing.

That is all.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 1:49 AM on May 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


Sgt. Pepper-related journalism

Want to feel old? It was twenty years ago today Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.
posted by qntm at 2:33 AM on May 22, 2017 [12 favorites]


Probably just your listening habits that have gotten more rigid and inflexible as you age. Happens to a lot of people.

Well, what was the last actual new thing in popular music? Hip-hop? Don't even say EDM - it's from the 80's.
posted by thelonius at 3:40 AM on May 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Alan Pollack's analysis.
posted by tommyD at 4:03 AM on May 22, 2017


Well, what was the last actual new thing in popular music? Hip-hop? Don't even say EDM - it's from the 80's.

I'm hardly down with the kids, but dubstep springs to mind as being newer than either. (And if dubstep is just EDM then the Beatles are just rhythm and blues and there's been nothing new ever).
posted by Dysk at 4:25 AM on May 22, 2017 [7 favorites]


This is the isolated drums/bass YouTube link for anyone who is interested. OP has the official music video linked twice.
posted by kuanes at 4:28 AM on May 22, 2017 [6 favorites]


I was in school when the Anthology stuff came out and had only been into music for a year or two - Oasis and the Britpop bands were big, which let me to The Beatles and other 60's stuff. A friend gave me a loan of the Anthology documentary that covered the Revolver/Pepper era, and I still remember watching it on a quiet Saturday morning. It had the full A Day In The Life video and the song blew my teenage mind like nothing I had ever heard.
posted by kersplunk at 4:33 AM on May 22, 2017


Macrogenres like electronic and metal are spawning new subgenres every day. Sometimes by mixing existing things in unexpected ways, sometimes by going in an entirely different direction. There are more musical innovators out there than it has ever been.

(of course, bands in these genres typically don't have an endless supply of middle-aged men masturbating over them in public, and you may have to travel to a festival in an obscure corner of Belgium to catch your favourite band live, but that's just how things are. It's 2017, after all.)
posted by effbot at 4:38 AM on May 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


Calypso music will be the next big thing.
posted by Chitownfats at 4:38 AM on May 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


an endless supply of middle-aged men masturbating over them in public

Is that how you really see all this?
posted by Chitownfats at 4:41 AM on May 22, 2017 [7 favorites]


Well, what was the last actual new thing in popular music? Hip-hop? Don't even say EDM - it's from the 80's.

Cue Principal Skinner: "Am I so out of touch? No, it's the children who are wrong!"
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 4:49 AM on May 22, 2017 [16 favorites]


I feel like with the advent of sophisticated digital recording and editing in the 90s, /structural/ innovation slowed down dramatically. There were no longer really any limits on how many sounds or tracks you could put into a song. Any length is available. So overcoming those hurdles is not going to be significant the way it was in the 60s.

Since genres are so structural, that's when I think major genres have stopped appearing, and have instead splintered into subgenres defined much more by timbre - something which is much more available for experimentation right now, and which hasn't been completely explored. A pop music trend I noticed was using little processed vocal snippets between verses as a hook, which definitely can be dated in the last five years or so.
posted by solarion at 5:23 AM on May 22, 2017 [5 favorites]


Also the "isolated bass and drums" link just takes it to the official music video.
posted by solarion at 5:24 AM on May 22, 2017


Isn't Trap new? it all sounds the same to us oldsters, but.

/derail.
posted by allthinky at 5:33 AM on May 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


This makes feel REALLY old because I remember the 20th anniversary (it really was 20 years ago today...) and I felt old then.
posted by hwestiii at 5:49 AM on May 22, 2017


I'd love to get me a copy of the album I first bought in 1967... the one that most people in the UK bought, the mono one. The version, I read later, that George Martin and the Beatles spent hours getting just "right". The stereo version being considered by the Beatles as an afterthought and left to others to sort out.
posted by Mister Bijou at 6:03 AM on May 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the stereo-as-afterthought mixes make me feel like I'm watching Dr. Tongue's 3D House Of Stewardesses and stuff is zooming in and out for the sake of zooming in and out.
posted by pracowity at 6:23 AM on May 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


> "Well, what was the last actual new thing in popular music?"

ASMR.
posted by kyrademon at 6:29 AM on May 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'm fond of Jeff Beck's version of the song.

That was spectacular. I think the only other artist I would've enjoyed as much seeing cover A Day in the Life would've been Prince. Wonder why he wasn't at that show?
posted by fuse theorem at 6:52 AM on May 22, 2017


Sorry, folks, about getting the wrong link for the isolated drum and bass. I can't edit the OP, so if someone could make that tweak, I'd be grateful. Thanks!
posted by zooropa at 7:06 AM on May 22, 2017


If you're looking for the cover that contains the mundanity and surreality of life so perfectly illustrated by the original, then you'd have to obviously go to The Fall
posted by lumpenprole at 8:17 AM on May 22, 2017


Well, what was the last actual new thing in popular music? Hip-hop? Don't even say EDM - it's from the 80's.

I mean, all kinds of things? (Trap is probably the newest thing? But maybe even I am too old?) But if you're looking for artists who are doing psychedelia in modern, innovative ways, I'd probably throw out Tame Impala, Ariel Pink, Animal Collective, and Dan Deacon just off the top of my head.

Also I think the author of the Atlantic piece ships John/Paul.
posted by capricorn at 8:51 AM on May 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


And also, for anyone interested in going even further down the rabbit hole re: Beatles song inspirations and trivia, I'd recommend In Their Own Write, followed by aggressively factchecking In Their Own Write (since it has lots of errors).
posted by capricorn at 8:54 AM on May 22, 2017


no, wait, damn! Wrong Beatles ephemera. It's A Hard Day's Write.
posted by capricorn at 8:57 AM on May 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


I Want to Hold Your Hand was pretty damn innovative in it's own right, although of the early singles "I Saw Her Standing There" is the best.
posted by jonmc at 10:39 AM on May 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


(of course, bands in these genres typically don't have an endless supply of middle-aged men masturbating over them in public

Nowhere Post, please listen. You don't know what you're missing.

: )
posted by Beholder at 10:52 AM on May 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


She said I know what it's like to be dead. I know what it is like to be sad. you don't understand what I said. I said no, no, no you're wrong. When I was a boy everything was right. Who put all those things in your head?

Went right over my mom's head until she was 55 and I played that version and she could relate. She said they must have two drummers and maybe I should just drive on down past the turn. Previously she'd said the Beatles were cute.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 11:02 AM on May 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


A pop music trend I noticed was using little processed vocal snippets between verses as a hook, which definitely can be dated in the last five years or so.

One generation had James Brown, Musician ("Wow, I feel good!").

The next generation had James Brown, Sampled Instrument ("Uhn - Hit me!").

The generation after that has Li'l Jon, doing it live ("Okay, Okay - Hell yeah!").
posted by CyberSlug Labs at 1:17 PM on May 22, 2017


There's a ton of weird new music out there that manages to attain a level of popularity you wouldn't expect thanks to internet music culture. James Ferraro and Oneohtrix Point Never are good examples of reasonably popular musicians breaking new ground in this milieu. They both put out arty electronic ambient stuff with really mindbending concepts.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 2:45 PM on May 22, 2017


And also, for anyone interested in going even further down the rabbit hole re: Beatles song inspirations and trivia, I'd recommend In Their Own Write, followed by aggressively factchecking In Their Own Write (since it has lots of errors).

no, wait, damn! Wrong Beatles ephemera. It's A Hard Day's Write.


I also recommend A Hard Day's Write as well, but the author Steve Turner has updated and revised it several times since its original publication. The current version is called The Complete Beatles Songs: The Stories Behind Every Track Written by the Fab Four. Turner may not be as meticulous as Mark Lewisohn, but he has gotten better at factchecking as he's written more books & he's a diligent researcher of the primary source materials.
posted by jonp72 at 5:42 PM on May 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


EDM is just disco in a new frock.
posted by bonehead at 10:25 PM on May 22, 2017


All music ultimately boils down to banging rocks together, so who cares?
posted by MartinWisse at 11:16 PM on May 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


kyrademon: "> "Well, what was the last actual new thing in popular music?"

ASMR
"

Sucks to your ASMR!
posted by team lowkey at 12:50 AM on May 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


Came back to look at the "lol teh oldz" snark and discovered that of course no one is refuting me!
posted by thelonius at 5:26 AM on May 23, 2017


Awesome, jonp72, no wonder I had so much trouble finding it on Google.
posted by capricorn at 1:12 PM on May 23, 2017


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