50th Anniversary all things Beatles White Album

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by tinnox, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    Yes, it could also have been an idea for the inner fold.

    And yes you're right Revolution 9 is on the list. But no Dear Prudence or Glass Onion for example. It's a bit strange.
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  2. beatleroadie

    beatleroadie Forum Resident

    Lennon was a bit strange!

    Probably that was just an omission as this was a preliminary list or brainstorming list of some kind. Maybe he hand wrote the ideas fairly quickly and handed it to someone in the Apple Office type up.

    It's one of the more fascinating pieces of the WA book for sure.

    I'm looking forward to an Abbey Road book, and any and all notes or handwritten items/lyrics that are included. Maybe some notes about alternate album titles, because Paul always says they went through a few different ideas like "Everest" and "Billy's Left Boot" and none of them stuck.
  3. Ken Wood

    Ken Wood Forum Resident

    That thought came up too - but I think the ideas are a bit slim for a promo and rather suggest an image of sorts.
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  4. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    Zack Island
    Ah yes, maybe it could also be early ideas for the album's collage poster.
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  5. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo No music, no Life

    Still my fav fab album, but still have little desire to listen to the 2018 version. :shrug: 2009 CD is still my go-to :edthumbs:
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  6. Ken Wood

    Ken Wood Forum Resident

    IS this actually John`s handwritting?

    Anyway, if we assume that this paper is all there is and that there never was a page two I have a theory that doesn`t fully work but might be worth consideraton:

    This list was an early collection of current songs typed (and also possibly adjorned with notes) between August 22 (recording date of Back in the USSR) and August 28 (recording date for Dear Prudence).

    It contains songs that are either:
    - already recorded or
    - considered for recording at this stage and that are known to have been composed already (via India/Kinfauns)

    It does NOT include:
    - songs composed and/or recorded later
    (however amongst those are ALSO some India/Kinfauns songs that might simply not been thought of at this moment or already excluded on purpose)
    - songs set aside for singles or other artists

    Let`s go through the songs as they appear on the paper and see where this theory works (and where it doesn`t):

    I`m so tired (not recorded yet but considered - yes we start with a bit of an exception to the rule)

    Don`t pass me by
    Everybody`s got something to hide ...
    Good Night
    *Yer Blues
    Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
    (note: except *Yer Blues this is the exact chronological recording order for songs #3-#7 of the WA sessons)

    Rocky Raccoon
    Wild Honey Pie (more on that later)
    *Mother Nature`s Son
    Back in the USSR
    (note: exept *Mother Nature`s Son again a batch like above; songs #17-#19)

    Sexy Sadie
    While My Guitar Gently Weeps
    Not Guilty
    (note: another batch, songs #10-#14. Hey Jude would have been #12 but is excluded due to have been already picked for the single)

    Cry Baby Cry
    Helter Skelter
    (songs #8-#9 in reversed order)

    Revolution 9
    What`s the new mary jane
    (recorded far apart - songs #2 and #16 - but a batch in so far as they are somehow unloved John-freak-out items, one making it despite resistance, the other not. Consider these being added to end of the list as far as songs already recorded go)

    *Child of Nature
    Happiness is a warm gun
    The continuing story of Bungalow Bill
    (none of these recorded yet but known via India/Kinfauns and considered. All will make it except *Child of Nature)

    Polythene Pam
    Maxwell`s Silver Hammer
    (again known via India/Kinfauns, still considered for recording at this point but ultimatly delayed until AR).

    So far for part one. As I said: all these have been recorded before August 28.

    No let`s do the reverse check - first the songs that were recorded within above time-frame but did NOT make it into that list:

    *Revolution 1
    (this is a puzzler. Was there some thinking along the line of "we already have the fast one on the single - no need for the slow one on the album"? Would John have been happy with that?)

    Hey Jude
    (that`s easy: the single, released August 26/30, just around the time this list might have been drawn up, not considered for the album)

    Now the songs NOT on the list BUT that eventually WERE recorded for the WA but only starting August 28:

    Dear Prudence
    Glass Onion
    *I will
    Honey Pie (! - we still need to talk about that one)
    (this is were my theory does not quite work. All these have been composed in/around India and except *I Will auditioned at Kinfauns. They are all worthy songs (except Piggies maybe) that will make it on the album.
    Were they simply not thought of at the moment?)

    Then there are these that we also know via Kinfauns but that neither made the list nor did get recorded for the WA:

    *Sour Milk Sea
    Mean Mr. Mustard
    (One can assume that these were excluded on purpose, not being considered strong or finished enough and in the case of *Sour Milk Sea given to another artist within our specualated time-frame.)

    Last and almost least these songs were ALSO not on the list as well as recorded AFTER our time-frame:

    Savoy Truffle
    Martha My Dear
    Long Long Long
    (this again is simple: they very likely have not been composed or aired to the respective Beatles pals yet)

    Now finally the (Wild) Honey Pie problem - the one OTHER hole in my theory even though I might be able to patch it up in a way:

    On the list it reads "Wild Honey Pie". A song composed on the day of it`s recording, August 20. Within timeframe. Fine?
    No! Not only has the "Wild" been crossed out by the same pen that did the remarks but it also says - "(Hollywood handout)".
    The song with THAT title - "Honey Pie" - is not only Hollywood-esque but also does mention Hollywood. And unfortunatly it has not been properly recorded until Oktober 1! A absolute misfit for my theory.

    So let me apply some fantasy and maybe I can rectify this:

    Wild Honey Pie has been recorded and was duly typed down on the that list. When reading the title our blue-penned-Beatle first thought "oh that crazy crap, no idea what to do with it or if we even gonna use it" and put a "-" next to it. Then he immidiatly thought of that OTHER Honey Pie, as aired at Kinfauns, the Hollywood one! Recalling the Hollywood theme/feel/line and possibly even already imagining it to be recorded in such a way he modifies the song title and then adds "(Hollywood handout)" after his initial "-".
    Or MAYBE the blue notes were even done quite a while AFTER the list was typed - say after Oktober 1!

    So what do you think about my dating attempt for this little sheet of paper?
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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  7. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    Zack Island
    My guess about 'Wild Honey Pie' on the song titles paper:
    The "hollywood" song was originally called 'Wild Honey Pie' but Paul dropped the word 'Wild' after he recorded that other weird (wild) and improvised one and put it on there instead.

    What confuses me is the description on the following tracks:
    Everybody's Got Something To Hide - Black space
    Revolution 9 - White space
    Sexy Sadie - Black vinyl special

    What is that supposed to mean?
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  8. Ken Wood

    Ken Wood Forum Resident

    maybe vinyl like some domina gear? leatherette?
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  9. thxphotog

    thxphotog Camera Nerd

    Los Angeles, CA
    2 million views?? 2 MILLION VIEWS????
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  10. 2,000,001 now....:righton:
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  11. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    Yes, it's definitely John's handwriting. No other Beatle writes like that.
    Your time period seems probable but it doesn't explain why certain songs like Dear Prudence and Glass Onion are not on there. And if someone took the time to type a list then it doesn't explain why some songs could just have been 'forgotten' or 'excluded on purpose'.
    The only intentionally excluded songs would be Hey Jude and Revolution 1 which wouldn't have been considered since there was already the single version. A song already released as a single would not normally be considered for a UK album at this time even in a different version.
    But why on earth is Maxwell on the list? A song not rehearsed at Esher, not recorded and never seriously envisaged for the white album?
    Someone mentioned maybe the notes were ideas for film or video, but the comments are static images. If not for the doll's house then for a mosaic giving visual clues to the album's titles. And I agree that 'black vinyl special' could be referring to Sadie's sexy clothes!
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  12. Ken Wood

    Ken Wood Forum Resident

    Thanks for confirming it`s John!
    Yeah, some of those songs not present make little sense (Dear Prudence through to Piggies), as I had to recognize myself.
    What kind of rather supported me in my thinking although was the position of Rev. 9 and Jane - I can see a virtual line here between "done" and "to do?".
    Maxwell was said to be present in Paul`s India notebook - I don`t have the Deluxe Edition but the info must have been drawn from something pictured in there. Anybody?
    I was amazed to see it in this list! All we knew previosly was that Maxwell was just "written" (???) a bit too late to get on the WA via Mal in Beatles Monthly.
    But then we didn`t know about LIB either.
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  13. Ken Wood

    Ken Wood Forum Resident

    BTW I don`t think a Beatle typed that list - too tidy. Probably some Apple employee working from either documents or being told by a Beatle what to type. If you look closely he or she even used typo-ex (sp?) twice when forgetting to do a double line break ("While"/"Helter").
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  14. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    Some documents (mainly hand-written lyrics) are presented in the Deluxe Edition, but with no explanation. This list is one of them.
    Having looked closely at Paul's hand-written lyrics for Back in the USSR, I've changed my mind. I now think this could be Paul's handwriting. Lennon's is often even worse!
    It would make sense that these were Paul's notes in that Paul was the main Beatle involved in ideas concerning the cover.
    I agree that he probably asked an employee to type out the list. But that doesn't explain the sometimes strange choice of songs.
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  15. Ken Wood

    Ken Wood Forum Resident

    As for Maxwell`s indian origins (or not):

    "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" song by The Beatles. The in-depth story behind the songs of The Beatles. Recording History. Songwriting History. Song Structure and Style.
    Paul included the first verse of this song in a notebook he had taken to India during their trip there to study Transendental Meditation with the Maharishi. On an opening page of the notebook he wrote, "Spring Songs, Rishikesh 1968," which would indicate that he began writing the song during his stay in India, this being between March and May of that year.

    Maxwell's Silver Hammer - Wikipedia
    While in Rishikesh, India, on retreat, Paul began to write the first verse of the song. (Source: Howlett, Kevin (2018). The Beatles (White Album) Super Deluxe Edition). Keeping a notebook by his side during his stay in India, "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" was one of many compositions started by Paul there (I believe this is the actual quote)

    50th Anniversary all things Beatles White Album
    Jump to above message to see the actual page in the book.
    It has been discussed here wether this really proves that it was indeed composed in India or wether it could have been added to the book later back in the UK. On the next page one can make out the title and lyrics for "Honey Pie" (unfinished as far as I can tell. Note that the Esher demo also does not have the final lyrics yet).
    Now we do NOT know for sure wether "Honey Pie" was an indian composition either but it was demoed for Esher in late May 1968. So the best guess would be that Maxwell already existed at least then, judging by the order of songs in the notebook.

    Abbey Road - Wikipedia
    He wrote the song after the group's trip to India in 1968 and wanted to record it for the White Album, but it was rejected by the others as "too complicated" (Gould, Jonathan (4 November 2008). Can't Buy Me Love The Beatles, Britain and America. Random House Digital. ISBN 978-0-307-35338-2.d)
    Huh? I would love to know where that quote originally came from! Anyway this dates the composition after India but still before/during the WA Sessions.

    50th Anniversary all things Beatles White Album
    Al Brodax wrote in his book "Up Periscope" that he originally imagined the badies in the Yellow Submarine movie as Eggmen with silver hammers, but as he wrote that would only work if Maxwell was recorded and released before the movie. As things did not move into that direction, the eggmen had to be dropped.
    This sounds crazy - how would Brodax even know about the song? But maybe a hint nonetheless. YS was in production (and finished) during the WA sessions even though I didn`t check the exact timeline.

    The Beatles Monthly Book No 64 Nov. 1968
    "A couple of other last-minute songs just couldn`t be recorded in time - "Polythene Pan" [sic] and "Maxwell`s Silver Hammer" Mal Evans
    The well-known Mal-quote and the first time the public learns of this song.
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  16. Ken Wood

    Ken Wood Forum Resident

    I don`t think so because of this quote:
    "We were in an experimental mode, and so I said, 'Can I just make something up?' I started off with the guitar and did a multitracking experiment in the control room or maybe in the little room next door. It was very home-made; it wasn't a big production at all. I just made up this short piece and I multitracked a harmony to that, and a harmony to that, and a harmony to that, and built it up sculpturally with a lot of vibrato on the strings, really pulling the strings madly. Hence, 'Wild Honey Pie', which was a reference to the other song I had written called Honey Pie. It was a little experimental piece." Paul McCartney / Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

    Nevertheless the song DID have roots in India according to Paul:
    “It was just a fragment of an instrumental, which we were not sure about, but Pattie (Harrison) liked it very much, so we decided to leave it on the album. The track emerged from a spontaneous sing-along in Rishikesh.” One can only wonder how spirited of a “sing-along” could have resulted from such a sparesly lyrical song! In fact, it's highly probable that the song was merely an instrumental piece when it began to take shape in India.

    All taken from: https://www.beatlesbible.com/songs/wild-honey-pie/
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  17. Ken Wood

    Ken Wood Forum Resident

    I forgot that Martha My Dear was possibly a song from India too!
    It did not feature in the Esher demos but there is a page in the Anthology book (p. 284 in the german edition) from a notebook with the same layout as the one with Maxwell/Honey Pie. It reads:

    1. Obla-dee Obla-da.
    2. Scrap heap [Junk (in the yard.)]
    3. Ballad
    4. Back in the U.S.S.R.
    5. Country Boy. Mother Nature`son
    6. Martha my dear.
    7. Silly girl.
    8. Rocky Racoon

    Again we don`t know for sure wether this was really written down in India or not but the placment in book suggests so.
    Ballad has been speculated to be I Will when I discussed this earlier.
    Silly girl might have been a idea of it`s own that then was incoporated into Martha my dear. Maybe what became the refrain of that song later ("Take a good look around you"), the term "silly girl" linking it to the theme.
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  18. Eddfriz

    Eddfriz Well-Known Member

    Can anybody tell me which channel the "all the children sing" parts of Bungalow Bill come out of in the 5.1 mix please? For some reason I seem to be missing them along with the "eh up" part at the end. The "ring" and "sing" backing parts in Ob-la-de aren't coming through either. I'm playing it through a PS3 hooked up to a Sony DAV-DZ260. I've checked settings and all speakers are working.....
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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  19. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    You've got good eyesight Ken! The beginning of that list is hard to read.

    I have the French edition of the Anthology book, but the list is on the same page. And on the next page (285) you can see the cover of the notebook. It says Manjeet Note Book with a drawing of a candle.

    BUT in the White Album deluxe edition the cover of the notebook is not the same! (It's a colour picture of an aircraft carrier).

    Anyway, putting aside how many notebooks there actually were, I think we can agree that Martha My Dear was gestating in India but came to incorporate Silly Girl later in the year.

    As for Maxwell ... there again you're right. In the deluxe edition there are indeed some of the lyrics from this song though without the title. I imagine that, by October '68, Maxwell was next in line to be tackled by Paul but, as Mal said, it arrived too late for the white album.
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  20. Lownote30

    Lownote30 Bass Clef Addict

    Nashville, TN, USA
    I hear them on my system, but they are too quiet. Can't remember which speaker they come from, though.
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  21. culabula

    culabula One-time Boulevardier.

    Belfast, Ireland

    On the way, the tape box fell off my knee,
    Man, I had a dreadful fright.
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  22. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    I wonder who had the idea to change the spelling of "Ob La Dee" to "Ob La Di".
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  23. Raf

    Raf Forum Resident

    Toronto, Ontario
    All those bits come out of one or both rear channels.
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  24. Tom Daniels

    Tom Daniels Forum Resident

    It is pronounced Ob La Deesher
  25. Ken Wood

    Ken Wood Forum Resident

    Thanks so much BuCo! That is further illuminating the beginnings of the WA - at least from Paul`s perspective.
    BTW I am not amazed that so many documents seem to stem from Paul`s archive - he not only was producing a lot but also seems to be a good keeper of things.
    So let`s see what we got here and compare it with that other list (from another notebook I guess)

    Anthology list
    1. Obla-dee Obla-da.
    2. Scrap heap [Junk (in the yard.)]
    3. Ballad
    4. Back in the U.S.S.R.
    5. Country Boy. Mother Nature`son
    6. Martha my dear.
    7. Silly girl.
    8. Rocky Racoon

    Spring songs list
    1. Obla Dee Obla da
    3. Mother Natures Son.
    5. Back in the U.S.S.R.
    7. Rocky Racoon.
    9. Junk
    11. Honey Pie. (title only, switch to black ink after number)
    Maxwell`s Silver Hammer (untitled/unnumbered)
    Honey Pie. (unnumbered)
    Song Index (blue ink again)

    Spring songs list index
    1. Obla dee Obla da.
    3 Mother Natures Son.
    5 Back in the USSR
    7 Rocky Racoon.
    9 Junk.

    It immidatly shows that Honey Pie (version with lyrics) and Maxwell were late additions. Different ink, no numbering, not included in the song index, only appearing in one notebook.

    These songs are present in both (or shall I say all three) lists:
    Ob-la-di Ob-la-da
    Back in the USSR
    Mother Natures Son
    Rocky Raccoon

    These songs only appear in the Anthology list:
    Martha my dear
    Silly girl

    I think the Anthology list came before the notebook list because in the later he already decided on the titles for Mother Natures Sun and Junk while in the first he is unsure about them.

    I also believe that the Anthology list is a collection of ideas while the notebook shows them worked out with lyrics.

    Ballad & Martha my dear/Silly girl do not appear in the notebook because they were still in a unfinished state.

    Honey Pie was already around but without much lyrics.
    The lyrics for Honey Pie and Maxwell are the latest additions here, possibly only done back in the UK.

    With that I put out a theory regarding the order in which the songs were "done" although I am sure many were worked on simultaniously:

    In India:
    1. Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da
    2. Junk (receiveing corrct title / full lyrics a bit later)
    3. Ballad (assuming this is I Will, which has been brought to India as a instrumental, received lyrics there by Paul and Donovan which were then scraped and redone in the UK)
    4. Back in the USSR
    5. Mother Natures Son (final title decided later)
    6. Martha my dear / Silly girl (put aside for a while before being combined and receiving lyrics, possibly much later as it was not demoed in Esher and only brought to the sessions late)
    7. Rocky Raccoon
    8. Honey Pie (lacking full lyrics)

    Later in India or back in the UK:
    9. Maxwells Silver Hammer (as an unfinished/untitled idea)
    - Honey Pie receives lyrics
    - I will receives lyrics
    - Martha My Dear is being put together / receives lyrics
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