Sunday, April 25, 2010

1968 - John Lennon

Recording for the four solo albums was scheduled to begin simultaneously. This was done to allow the basic backing tracks for the more complex songs to be started before the overdub process was begun.

Of the four John relied more on the others help in the shaping of his songs. Only two songs feature no other Beatles. Julia was a solo acoustic effort and Yer Blues features Kieth Richards (bass), Eric Clapton (guitar) and Mitch Mitchell (drums). The result is an album that sounds more like a Beatles album than a solo John Lennon album.

1. Dear Prudence
2. Glass Onion
3. Sexy Sadie
4. I'm So Tired
5. The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
6. Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey
7. Cry Baby Cry
8. Julia

9. Revolution 1
10. Yer Blues
11. What's the New Mary Jane
12. Happiness is a Warm Gun
13. Revolution 9
14. What's the New Mary Jane [Reprise]

Reality Notes:

  • Track 1 - used an alternate mix that is very close to the album version but does not have the jet noise from Back in the USSR covering the beginning intro.
  • Track 2 - used the alternate mix found on Anthology 3. This is an earlier mix done while George Martin was not present. When John played this mix for George M, Martin suggested adding some strings. This version does not have those strings which give it a rawer feel, but does have some sound effects loops at the end of the song .
  • Track 3 - used the Anthology 3 version with no edits but the official version is just as good.
  • Track 10 - I cheated a little on this one. I used the Rock and Roll Circus version featuring Eric Clapton (guitar), Kieth Richards (bass) and Mitch Mitchell (drums) which was recorded on Dec. 11, long after the release of the album. We could say that one or all of them stopped by the studio to help with the original recording which is why they appear together in the film. This version doesn't sound too different from the album version so the main reason for using it was to give John some guest stars on the album. My version comes from the Utlra Rare Trax Vol 4 bootleg.
  • Track 11 - there are two White album era mixes of this song, one that clocks in at over 6 minutes and another that is trimmed down to just over 3. I used the longer mix which sounds better but cut it at about 3:30 right in the middle of a freakout section so no special fadeouts were needed. This makes the track just slightly longer that the shorter mix.
  • Track 14 - At the end I added 2 edit pieces to close the album as an unlisted track. It starts with a reprise of What's the New Mary Jane taken from the Esher demo where John is giggling during the vocal then finishes with John exclaiming loudly "Yes sir, that's my baby!".

Due to the fact that John's songs tend to be longer, keeping the running time at a reasonable length was not easy. I did manage to keep it down to just under 46 and a half minutes which is within vinyl limits. The album also splits nicely between Julia and Revolution 1 for vinyl purposes.

There was far less editing involved when compared to Paul's album. Due to space limitations Across The Universe still goes unreleased which is fine because we wouldn't want to have to mess with Let It Be. Also, Child of Nature from the Esher demos is not used which again, is okay because the song it turned into, Jealous Guy, is much better anyway.

Goodnight was dropped but will not go unused. This song was written for Ringo to sing And was heavily orchestrated by George Martin. This will be added to Ringo's Sentimental Journey album which has been moved up to be used as his 1968 solo album.

One of the surprises was how the single album format made Revolution 9 a little more listenable. I never hated this piece but more often than not, the skip button was pressed. In my test listens I never felt the need to skip it.

1 comment:

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