"Slow Down", the sloppiest Beatle recording

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by jwb1231970, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. maccafan

    maccafan Forum Resident

    To each their own.

    I absolutely love Slow Down, I just wish they had performed it live!
  2. Bruce Mulle'

    Bruce Mulle' Forum Resident

    Down South
    Love that original Capitol single and it had a super PS.
    Likewise.. "SOMETHING NEW" is a great mono LP .. with perfect cover art.
    Randon Ton likes this.
  3. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    All the imperfections mentioned in the OP make it clear that he is listening to the inferior stereo mix. Those imperfections disappear on the original Capitol mono pressing. The piano is buried under guitars and ride cymbals. The track just smokes. I don't understand the problems with the guitar solo. It's great.

    The stereo mix is a complete botch - the piano was never meant to be that prominent, and the track loses all of its power.

  4. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Well, they did. Notice George's great lick at 0:09. Just fantastic. Like they had been singing this for years (wait, they had!)

  5. Veech

    Veech Space In Sounds

    Los Angeles, CA
    Much more energy and verve than the studio recording.
  6. DrJ

    DrJ Forum Resident

    Davis, CA, USA
    Love the sound of "Slow Down" (and the other tracks) on this, arguably the greatest EP ever released:

    8 minutes of rock 'n' roll heaven.
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  7. Bern

    Bern JC4Me

    Just listened to the mono mix....never realized there was THAT much difference between that and the stereo mix. Ringo's drums sound fine here. (mono).

    O Don Piano likes this.
  8. SixOClockBoos

    SixOClockBoos Forum Resident

    I own a copy of that! What a powerful single it was. It was also the only Beatles single release in the U.S. to only have cover songs on both sides.
    Randon Ton likes this.
  9. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Now junior behave yourself.
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  10. O Don Piano

    O Don Piano Forum Resident

    I always thought "Slow Down" was a cool but inessential Beatles rocker. I grew up with the green label Capitol "record club" version of Something New LP.
    I got the "Long Tall Sally" EP as a gift one Christmas and was immediately struck by how more "rocking" "Slow Down" sounded to me! The solo sounded more exciting and overdriven.
    My 'go to' version!
    I don't have the original Capitol 45. Is there a difference in overall sound between the two?
  11. douglas mcclenaghan

    douglas mcclenaghan Forum Resident

    IIRC it charted in the singles chart. Amazing!
  12. john hp

    john hp Forum Resident

    Warwickshire, UK
    Reached No.11 in NME dated 11th July, 1964.
    douglas mcclenaghan likes this.
  13. The Lone Cadaver

    The Lone Cadaver Forum Resident

    One of my favorites, sloppiness and all. The mono is indeed far better.
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  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    And of course not because it's mono, but it's balanced better. The stereo mix is one of those "mixing by meters" mixes that they sometimes did back then. If you have two VU meters, some engineers need them to look balanced (Stones SATISFACTION in stereo as well) so the all-important basic rhythm track (usually guitar/bass/drums) is shoved off to the left. Then, in an effort to make the meters look balanced, whatever is left over and meant to be lower in volume is pushed to the right and boosted to make the right meter peak up there with the left. In the case of SLOW DOWN, it's the piano. Never loud in the mono, way too loud in the stereo, just to make that right meter come up. Same for stereo SATISFACTION. The piano and acoustic guitar boosted in the right channel to even the meters out. Terrible.

    Makes for an unbalanced, unsatisfying mix, even though the stereo meters look right. Get me?
  15. spencer1

    spencer1 Great Western Forum Resident

    THIS ^
    I too love it.
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  16. Wombat Reynolds

    Wombat Reynolds Jimmy Page stole all my best riffs.

    Atlanta, GA, USA
    ??? terrible guitar solo?

    I dont think so, but thats all subjective. Theres a couple of spots where Georgie maybe gets off the beat or something, but theres some really cool old rockabilly licks in there.

    I always keep in mind that this stuff was recorded in 1963 or 4 and in England, its not like there were cats all over the country that could throw down like Cliff Gallup. It was more or less the Dark Ages of rock guitar over there, especially for a guy from Liverpool. He wasnt great by todays 50 years of hindsight standards, but for the times, back then, yup, rocking stuff indeed.
  17. DennisF

    DennisF Forum Resident

    I bought the 45 with the great picture sleeve when it first came out (still have it). When I picked up Something New, it was the mono LP. I never realized there was a sucky stereo mix of it until many years later. Also never knew at the time that Matchbox was the A-side.
    Fender Relic likes this.
  18. Hardy Melville

    Hardy Melville Forum Resident

    I love Slow Down. Next!

    (ok DrJ above is on the money - don't overrate studio perfection. This was meant to sound just the way it does. It rocks.)
    JoeRockhead likes this.
  19. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    Zack Island
    I remember this funny mouth effect also in a version of 'I Got My Mojo Working'. Always reminds me on 'Slow Down'.^^
    John DeAngelis and Bern like this.
  20. I absolutely agree! I even think it's one of George's best early rocking solos! Lots of tension and space or pacing... Once he gets the ball rolling, he swings!
  21. Sid Hartha

    Sid Hartha Well-Known Member

    The Midwest
    It ranks solidly in my Top 5 of Beatles singles. Tremendous energy, and George's solo is spot on.

    Maybe the OP was referencing the garbage stereo mix.
  22. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    George is imitating the feel of the sax solo on the original recording.
  23. brainwashed

    brainwashed Forum Hall Of Fame

    Boston, MA
    Ain't it great! Rock and roll at it's raw best. This was broadcast live on their own Pop Go The Beatles BBC radio programme, 20 August 1963! Pre-dating their studio version by almost a full year! Ron
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  24. peopleareleaving

    peopleareleaving Forum Resident

    Rock n roll failing gloriously. What's not to like?!?
  25. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Forum Resident

    ALSO: Besides recording Slow Down on this day (June 1, 1964), they also recorded Matchbox, I’ll Cry Instead, and I’ll Be Back.
    Flaming Torch and Fender Relic like this.

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