it's not all oooh's and aaah's and nah-nah-nah's
May 21, 2006 1:28 PM   Subscribe

Beatles moments part I and II. A proper use of 30-second clips.
posted by funambulist (40 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
"'Penny Lane,' please. The Beatles."

-- my 21-month-old nephew Christopher, this morning, when my sister turned on the stereo.
posted by digaman at 1:41 PM on May 21, 2006

funambulist, great FPP. What a generous blog, yummy use of clips and he lavishes his love with such joy on each of the songs. Playing the mp3s now I realise how all the amazing Beatles' music is simply a part of my being and has been for decades. It's so cool he really examines each song in detail, luxuriating over the nuances and I found it educational too. I love hearing those songs, or any music really, with fresh ears, alert in new ways.
posted by nickyskye at 1:49 PM on May 21, 2006

My 6 year old's favourite song is 'Here, there and everywhere'.

Best moments not mentioned in the links - the guitar and the way John sings "But you can't hear me" in 'And your bird can sing', I'm going to listen to it now...
posted by apodo at 1:53 PM on May 21, 2006

Thank you SO much for posting this, funambulist. Hadn't seen it anywhere, and it's awesome. Much appreciated, great post.
posted by jonson at 2:20 PM on May 21, 2006

What a great post, funambulist! Great choice. Thanks.
posted by annieb at 2:52 PM on May 21, 2006


(Also a proper use of overanalyzing the Beatles, I might add.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:53 PM on May 21, 2006

Yeah, that opens up my heart even more.
posted by ScotchLynx at 2:58 PM on May 21, 2006

Great post. It reminded me, too, of something I think about from time to time: how differently I listen to music now from when I was a teenager. That is, when I was a teen I listened to a pretty small pool of music (Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Joplin, Velvet Underground etc.) and listened to it intensely and obsessively. As a result, the music was full of "moments" of this kind. That is, one knew each second of each song so minutely, that one's appreciation of a song got kind of atomized into particular moments, moments when a singer's voice would break on a certain note, or a syllable would be lengthened out or bitten off, or there'd be some slight change in the bass-line or what have you.

I listen to such a wider range of music now (and have so much less time to just sit and *listen*), that I don't think I ever get to quite the same type of listening these days. That is, I'll have songs I particularly love, but if there's a "moment" that I single out it's likely to be more obviously part of the structure of the song, more obviously something the singer or the band consciously thought of as an "effect" than these almost happenstance things.

There's a moment in the great "Band Candy" episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when the adults have all returned to their adolescent selves, and Giles and Joyce are sitting listening to Cream's "Tales of Brave Ulysses" and Giles suddenly says "wait a minute, listen to this bit." I can remember when I saw that that it just seemed so right, so perfectly a part of my adolescent world, and just not quite the thing I'd ever say to someone now if we were listening to a song together. It was nice to be transported back for a while by this post.
posted by yoink at 3:19 PM on May 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

I did not know that the backing vocals to Paperback Writer were "Frere Jacques". Fascinating.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 3:53 PM on May 21, 2006

Thanks for introducing me to the term "middle eight." I'd never heard of such a thing before, always calling that part of the song the bridge, but I see it's even in Wikipedia.

Hearing the piano solo from "In My Life" slowed down to its original pitch and tempo blew me away. The countermelody is totally lost when sped up and raised in pitch. Off to the piano I go...
posted by emelenjr at 3:58 PM on May 21, 2006

Why do people prefer the mono recordings of early Beatles stuff?
posted by punkfloyd at 4:18 PM on May 21, 2006

The Beatles continue to fascinate me, and these are great, thoughtful blog posts--I think yoink is right, many people don't listen as closely (or as much) as they did when young. It's nice to be reminded.

(FWIW: I recently made a podcast about the Beatles and their use of composed sounds, esp. from Help through Sgt. Pepper. Warning: self-link!)
posted by LooseFilter at 4:22 PM on May 21, 2006

Ditto on the Middle Eight, emelenjr.

Great post funambulist, I'm pretty sure I've met my goosebumps and raised hairs quotas for both this month and the next!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:27 PM on May 21, 2006

I don't know why people make such a fuss over bad Rutles imitators.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:31 PM on May 21, 2006

Great post. There are so many cool little moments in Beatles music. Even after I've listened to the same song for decades, I'll hear some weird little bit jump out of a song. About half way through "Something" there's a bango playing for about 15 seconds that I'd never noticed until recently.
posted by octothorpe at 4:34 PM on May 21, 2006

I should have read more carefully, he's got a clip of that exact part of Something.
posted by octothorpe at 4:40 PM on May 21, 2006

There used to be a page called "Oasis Plagarism" that did something similar comparing Oasis snippets with the Beatles (and other) songs that "inspired" them. Even if you don't like Oasis, it was very interesting. I can't find it - does anybody know if it still exists?
posted by Jaybo at 4:48 PM on May 21, 2006

punkfloyd: it's because some of the Beatles songs were never released in true stereo. EMI had a practice of destroying masters, so songs that were originally released in mono were then remixed into very funky "stereo" versions, most ofeen for release on Capitol records (the US market). The mono versions are generally preferred by people who feel they have a richer, more balanced sound. stereo records and stereo systems were fairly new at the time, so the flaw in engineering tend to be more glaringly obvious on modern systems and media other than vinyl.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:05 PM on May 21, 2006

Best of the web, and best of modern music. Great post.
posted by milnak at 5:15 PM on May 21, 2006

yoink, so nicely said.
posted by nickyskye at 5:18 PM on May 21, 2006

Just finished reading both articles- did I miss a shoutout for the awesome feedback bass opening on "I Feel Fine"? That never fails to give me chills.

Awesome post, funambulist.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:21 PM on May 21, 2006

The only thing he's missing is a review of Paul's bass lines... Before the Beatles, all bass in popular music was simply 'bom bom bom' to the major chords... Then Paul made it a true part of the music...

To all the bass players out there - if you want to hear how the bass can become an instrument and not just a backing tool, listen to any Beatles record...
posted by WhipSmart at 5:26 PM on May 21, 2006

that was cool. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who obsesses about this sort of thing.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 5:52 PM on May 21, 2006

Why do people prefer the mono recordings of early Beatles stuff?

More: The Beatles, as a group, spent ten days on the final, mono, mix down of Sgt. Pepper. EMI staffers spent ten hours on a stereo remix, with no members of The Beatles present (nor George Martin, for that matter.)

Also: Most of the CDs currently out were A) Mixed from the weaker stereo masters and B) were mastered for CD back when we were still figure out how to master for CD -- a very different process than mastering for vinyl

So, right now, the Mono LPs are the best we have out there for The Beatles sound as The Beatles themselves wanted it to be recorded. I've heard tell of a massive CD remastering project, working with The Beatle's prefered masters (which may be mono or stereo, depending) and using the know-how we've gained in twenty plus years of mastering for CD.

They should be stellar, compared to what we have now.
posted by eriko at 6:20 PM on May 21, 2006

The vocals-and-drums-only bit from Strawberry Fields Forever is great.
posted by kenko at 7:11 PM on May 21, 2006

Ooh! I loved this post. Also, for anyone interested in a more academic take there's Alan W. Pollack's Notes on The Beatles' Songs.

Another moment missing, the little rhythm thing at the beginning of Why Don't We Do It in the Road?
posted by Kattullus at 8:33 PM on May 21, 2006

Thank you so much for this post.

More on You're Gonna Lose That Girl, from a musician's perspective.
posted by maryh at 9:51 PM on May 21, 2006

IMHO, the bass line after Paul's break in "Day in the Life" when John is singing his "Ahhhhhhhhh" is the greatest ever--the bass takes over actually takes over the melody and you never really notice it, you just feel it.

Also, with regard to the left/right fader thing, many may already heard this, but on the track "Yer Blues" from the White Album, there is actually two guitars going off during the solo. One is the very loud one we associate with the song and the other is softer, more melodic and on the other channel, turn the fader to the correct side to hear it. I actually like the semi-"hidden" one better. There are lots more like this.

Anyways, great post. Thanks.
posted by roquetuen at 11:52 PM on May 21, 2006

Magic stuff. Thank you.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 1:02 AM on May 22, 2006

Just buy this. It has it all, and goes into it in a much greater degree.
posted by catchmurray at 1:47 AM on May 22, 2006

I remember reading a passage near the end of Arthur C Clarke's 2061, when an astonaut discovers vast amounts of diamond structures on a moon of Saturn(?). He sends a message that "Lucy is here", but the book narrates that it would be in code, as no one would remember the Beatles.

I found this an immense disservice to their music and memory (and I've always been more of a Stones/Who/V.U. fan).

Great music will stand the test of time; I'll sometimes, now and again, argue with stodgy fans that they might try to think about putting down their overworn copies of The White Album and expand their sonic vocabularies, but I'll never deny that this is stuff of the ages, and I feel confident that if you were to hum "She Loves You" a hundred years from now, people would follow it and sing along.
posted by erskelyne at 2:56 AM on May 22, 2006

Also see here.

Though I do loves me some Jay-Z and OutKast.

Coldplay, ecch.
posted by erskelyne at 3:08 AM on May 22, 2006

Use playtagger to make listening to these a little easier. In particular you want the "Browser button" bit at the bottom, it replaces all the links to mp3s with a play button. Neat.

And great post.
posted by markr at 5:57 AM on May 22, 2006

Grr, no capital T in that link, try this.
posted by markr at 6:00 AM on May 22, 2006

When Abbey Road was released, it was fairly common for everyone listening to know every word to every song, and sing along with the whole second side.

My favorite thing about Beatles music is how generation after generation discover them.

Guitar player moment: Joe Walsh (James Gang, Eagles) tells a story about the double-stop guitar harmony in And Your Bird Can Sing. He was in awe of George's playing and vowed to learn it note-for-note, which he did.

On meeting Harrison years later, Joe played the whole piece, note perfect. Imagine his surprise when the amazed Harrison told him the original was double-tracked.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 6:22 AM on May 22, 2006

What's the point of the contest? Someone gets some Beatles albums and DailyCD gets a bunch of email addresses. That's it?
posted by airguitar at 6:53 AM on May 22, 2006

Many, many thanks digaman.
posted by mania at 7:07 AM on May 22, 2006

The below also prove very interesting (with at least the first previously featured in an FPP):It seems that the Beatles Capitol box sets permit new OOPSing opportunities (according to David Haber).
posted by yz at 8:47 AM on May 22, 2006

markr: nice suggestion! I was just looking for something like that. I'm not seeing a bookmarklet for Playtagger there but I found one here:

javascript:(function(){var%20o=document.createElement('script'); o.type='text/javascript'; o.src=''; o.onload=function(){Delicious.Mp3.go()}; document.body.appendChild(o)})();

I edited it to use this other Flash music player thingy instead, as it seems to work better for me:

javascript:(function(){var%20o=document.createElement('script'); o.type='text/javascript'; o.src=''; document.body.appendChild(o)})();

(select code and drag to bookmarks bar, or copy and create new bookmark - then load page with the mp3 clips and click on the bookmark)
posted by funambulist at 10:40 AM on May 22, 2006

Nice post!

Joo-joo-dee, Judee Judee Judee Jud-ow! Wha--ow!

posted by ludwig_van at 6:47 PM on May 22, 2006

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