Wednesday, April 13, 2011

1963, March 13: Recording and Mixing: Details

Poster announcing this evening's performances

Poster for the York gig, March 13, 1963

GLOSSARY & ABBREVIATIONS

2T = twin-track = two-track Stereo recording

SI = superimposition = take to lay new material over existing take (a.k.a. overdub)

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GENERAL INFORMATION

General. During the Roe/Montez tour, John acquired a terrible cold and lost his voice. Nevertheless, on the way to York from Bedford, the Fabs stopped by Abbey Road Studios so that Mr. Lennon could add harmonica overdubs to “Thank You Girl.”

EMI Reels. I will be segregating the events of this day in terms of EMI Reels (of which there is one), that is, tape designation numbers given to the recordings. For John Barrett’s EMI reel notes and John Winn’s details on these notes, go: here.

There are no available audio sources for this reel.

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EMI Reel E48989

Tape may or may not exist. No recording sheet is available.

“THANK YOU GIRL”

(still called “Thank You Little Girl”)

2T (Barrett), Takes 14-28 SI (harmonica).

Lewisohn reported that the “best” SI takes were 17, 20, 21, and 23. From this bit of information, it is possible to reconstruct the recording session. Noting that previous sessions worked in linear fashion, we may assume the following harmonica overdub attempts: (Part 1) Takes 14-17 for the opening (17 “best”), (Part 2) Takes 18-20 for the response section to “way that you do” and the instrumental section after “good to be true” [these two having similar attack and tone](20 “best”), and (Part 3) Takes 21-28 for the remaining three sections (of these, Takes 21 and 23 were “best”): (a) the instrumental section before the final verse, (b) the instrumental section after the final verse, and (c) the ending.

Lewisohn asserted that Takes 6,13, 17, 20, 21, and 23 were used for both the Mono and Stereo released mixes. However, the Mono assembly is missing overdubs for Part 2 and Part 3c, and uses a different overdub for Part 3b [of those parts described above], so Lewisohn made some error or oversight. Interestingly, the UK LP Rarities provides clues to the solution. On that source*, the Mono mix was incorrectly mastered (cut) in Stereo, with the result that the edit points (or perhaps the overdub “punch-in” points) are audible “blips” (these blips not audible on any Stereo mix). These blips occur as follows (approximate time into the song):

Edit 1 @ 0:03.3 (prominent). Heard immediately after the opening harmonica. This indicates the section 0:00-0:03.3 to be Take 17, harmonica overdub onto Take 6 (applies to both the Mono and Stereo released mixes).

Edit 2 @ 0:53.1 (prominent). Heard at the start of the “way that you do” response. In the Stereo mix, a harmonica part begins. This indicates the section 0:03.3-0:53.1 to be part of Take 6 (applies to both the Mono and Stereo released mixes).

Edit 3 @ 0:54.7 (prominent). Heard at the end of the “way that you do” response. In the Stereo mix, the harmonica part stops. The section 0:53.1-0:54.7 is surely, in Stereo, Take 20, harmonica overdub onto Take 6; and should be considered as, in Mono, part of Take 6 (no overdub). But in that case the “blips” ought not be present in Mono, since it is a continuation of the previous section (and the original Take 6, available for inspection, proves this).

Edit 4 @ 1:00.0 (light). Heard at the start of the short instrumental section after “good to be true.” In the Stereo mix, a harmonica part begins. This indicates the section 0:54.7-1:00.0 to be part of Take 6 (applies to both the Mono and Stereo released mixes).

Edit 5 @ 1:01.7 (prominent). Heard at the end of the short instrumental section after “good to be true.” In the Stereo mix, the harmonica part stops. The section 1:00.0-1:01.7 is probably, in Stereo, more of Take 20, harmonica overdub onto Take 6; and should be considered as, in Mono, another part of Take 6 (no overdub). But, again, the “blips” present in the Mono mix undermine that supposition.

Edit 6 @ 1:08.7 (hidden). Heard at the start of Part 3a. In both Stereo and Mono, a harmonica part begins. This indicates the section 1:01.7-1:08.7 to be part of Take 6 (applies to both the Mono and Stereo released mixes).

Edit 7 @ 1:12.1 (hidden). Heard at the end of Part 3a. In both Stereo and Mono, the harmonica part stops. The section 1:08.7-1:12.1 is probably Take 21, harmonica overdub onto Take 6 (applies to both the Mono and Stereo released mixes).

Edit 8 @ 1:36.5 (prominent). Heard at the start of Part 3b. In both Stereo and Mono, a harmonica part begins. This indicates the section 1:12.1-1:36.5 to be part of Take 6 (applies to both the Mono and Stereo released mixes).

Edit 9 @ 1:39.9 (prominent). Heard at the end of Part 3b. In both Stereo and Mono, the harmonica part stops. However, the harmonica part, as mentioned above, differs between the released mixes. The section 1:36.5-1:39.9 is possibly, in Stereo, more of Take 21; but it is impossible to say which SI take was used for Mono.

Edit 10 @ 1:56.9 (light). Heard at the start of Part 3c. In the Stereo mix, a harmonica part begins. This indicates the section 1:39.9-1:56.9 to be part of Take 13 (applies to both the Mono and Stereo released mixes). The section 1:56.9-end is certainly, in Stereo, Take 23, harmonica overdub onto Take 13; and should be considered as, in Mono, another part of Take 13 (no overdub). But, again, the “blip” present in the Mono mix undermines that supposition (and the original Take 13, available for inspection, underscores this).

* These blips also occur on the Mono mix for “Thank You Girl” presented in The Beatles Box (“The Crate”). I tested original vinyl.

I have no theory to account for the anomalous edit (or punch-in) points audible in the Mono mix, nor one to explain why the Stereo mix lacks audible blips.

The Stereo mix was assembled and called Take 30 (ref: Barrett’s notes). That Lewisohn placed the Mono mix chronologically before the Stereo mix causes me to believe the Mono mix to be (the unmentioned) Take 29.
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GENERAL REFS: Lewisohn, Recording Sessions; Winn, Way Beyond Compare

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Tom Wise
gengar843@msn.com


Although I use quotes from sources, or cited fact, much of the material on this and other pages of my blog is original, from my own pen. This is not cut-and-paste, it is a work of art. Copyright © 2011 Tom Wise.

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