50th Anniversary all things Beatles White Album

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

  1. BuCo

    BuCo A Guy Who Can't Have Enough Super Deluxe Box Sets

    New York City
  2. BuCo

    BuCo A Guy Who Can't Have Enough Super Deluxe Box Sets

    New York City
  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. Raf

    Raf Forum Resident

    Toronto, Ontario
    All those bits come out of one or both rear channels.
    Eddfriz likes this.
  6. Tom Daniels

    Tom Daniels Forum Resident

    It is pronounced Ob La Deesher
  7. 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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  8. Ken Wood

    Ken Wood Forum Resident

    Back in the USSR has the lyrics corrected from "awful" (as he sings it in Esher!) to "dreadful" (studio version).
    The corrections looks like it was done with the same pen (at the same time) as the initial lyrics. I still think India though, Paul just being undecided.
    tinnox likes this.
  9. Choba b CCCP

    Choba b CCCP Well-Known Member

    Did you see that?

    "Mal as Rocky being shot by Dan while Lil sits on 4 poster"

    No matter what does Lil sits on really, but Lil was the actual name of Mal Evan's wife. And does everyone remember what happened to poor old Mal some years later?

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  10. Ken Wood

    Ken Wood Forum Resident

    Oh, I completly forgot that Lil is not only a character in the song but also Mal`s wife`s name!
    A 4 poster is a 4-poster-bed (also called canopy I think).
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  11. Ken Wood

    Ken Wood Forum Resident

    Thinking about it again I am actually quite puzzled by "Martha My Dear" being on an India songlist.
    This after all is not only a piano-based song but THE piano-based song - probably the most complicated thing Paul ever played on that instrument and he talked about it being almost like a practise piece he invented for himself to see how far he could go mastering that instrument.
    Also it is often brought into connection with Jane Asher breaking up with Paul though this has never been verified by Paul.
    And in India they were still an item.
    Either it was something Paul started on guitar in India and later made it a piano piece or it originated as a piano-song before India and had a brief moment of being tried out on guitar, quickly abandoned (especially as it didn`t feature in Esher in either form).
    Choba b CCCP and tinnox like this.
  12. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    I agree that the Anthology list came before the spring songs list. The Anthology list is probably just a way to remember possible song TITLES that McCartney had in mind and that he wrote down in India. The spring songs list shows us the lyrics to actual songs which were often not far from being completed.
    This would explain why Martha and Silly Girl existed as ideas for song titles but the song(s) in question didn't yet exist. When Paul came back to England, Martha My Dear took shape as a piano song, something impossible in India.
    Incidentally I wasn't expecting Martha My Dear to be one of the white album songs in this box that would provoke such interest!
    Whatsmore, the Beatles playing on this song now seem to be finally known. Ian McDonald said this song was Paul on his own. Mark Lewisohn also thought it was Paul on his own. And even Barry Miles in the official McCartney book Many Years Ago said it was just Paul on his own.
    But we now know it was Paul plus Ringo plus George.
    So it makes all those Beatle specialists look a bit silly. Silly boys in fact.
    applejam101, Ken Wood and tinnox like this.
  13. Kim Olesen

    Kim Olesen Gently weeping guitarist.

    Odense Denmark.
    Mark said that it could not be determined whether Martha was a solo Paul recording. That is a helluva lot away from MacDonald who stated is a fact.
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  14. BuCo

    BuCo A Guy Who Can't Have Enough Super Deluxe Box Sets

    New York City
    Photo evidence:
  15. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    No, Mark Lewisohn said Martha My Dear "may well have been another one-man Paul McCartney recording".

    That's why I said Mark "thought it was Paul on his own".

    Ian McDonald and Barry Miles both definitely said it was Paul on his own.
    tinnox likes this.
  16. Ken Wood

    Ken Wood Forum Resident

    "Martha My Dear" song by The Beatles. The in-depth story behind the songs of The Beatles. Recording History. Songwriting History. Song Structure and Style.
    Then, on October 4th, 1968, Paul, Ringo and George Harrison entered Trident Studios in London at 4 pm to begin working on the song. The rhythm track was recorded first, the instrumentation being Paul on piano (track seven) and lead vocals (track five), with both George on electric guitar and Ringo on drums together on track six of the eight-track tape.
    tinnox likes this.
  17. Kim Olesen

    Kim Olesen Gently weeping guitarist.

    Odense Denmark.
    To my knowledge that photo has only come to light in recent years.

    Btw it is so cool that they seemingly recorded it live with the horns. Must have been like “Beatles goes big band” in the studio. I know, small horn section, but still....
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  18. Kim Olesen

    Kim Olesen Gently weeping guitarist.

    Odense Denmark.
    May well=it’s possible= inconclusive.
    tinnox likes this.
  19. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    "May well have been" means "more likely than not".

    The WELL is important in this context since it emphasises the possibilty of it being true.
    tinnox likes this.
  20. Ken Wood

    Ken Wood Forum Resident

    WELL none of us error-proof. :D
    tinnox and zipp like this.
  21. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    Also strings - set up in the back (taking a break, presumably).

    This is an alternate shot to the one I am familiar with - makes a decent stereo pair with the one I know, allowing you to see depth (obviously no good where things have moved between the taking of the two photographs).

    Unfortunately, still no way to see Ringo (was hoping he'd be seen in the reflection from one of the screens but no such luck (you can just about make out Paul and the piano and maybe George in the reflections).


    | Left

    [View cross-eyed to see in 3D]​
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  22. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    I have been told that I may well be a genius ... ;)
  23. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    Hmm, maybe you can see Ringo, although there's no way to be sure who it is or even what it is...

    In the top of the glass panel just to the right of and behind the trombone player - in the reflection you can see the short glass-topped baffles just behind Paul and you can see what appears to be Paul through the top of the left hand baffle which matches what we see in the foreground. In the same panel reflection, another object can be seen through the end of the top of the right hand short baffle which appears to be even further away than Paul.

    The other people (and the contents of one of the instrument cases) are in a slightly different position in each photograph, however the depth information is particularly good for this mystery object. It makes sense that Paul's parallax would be fairly accurate but not perfect since he is similarly positioned in both shots. This other 'figure' fits someone or something positioned close to the near end wall in pretty much the exact same spot in both photographs (parallax explaining the significant shift in position seen when comparing the two shots).

    Initially I thought it was perhaps George but it isn't, this 'figure' is roughly where I'd expect Ringo to be situated for this session - under the control room window. He doesn't appear to be off to the side in this case - at least, he can't be seen in this uncropped photo from the "Martha My Dear" session:


    Here's the view from the back of the room at Trident showing the control room window and the area below where the mystery object appears:


    Given how well the parallax is preserved for this object maybe it's just a chair or other inanimate object as seen in the above photo.

    Here's a definite siting:

    Archive of Harry Nilsson at Trident: (mostly mute) »

    [from History - Trident Studios: VO, ISDN, ADR & Audio Post Studio ]
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  24. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    Great work, Mal.

    If I understand correctly, you're saying that the white smudge we can see in the top right corner of the back window could be Ringo.
    Whether or not it really is him, the main point is understanding the layout of the studio and the reason why Ringo is out of shot.
    The de luxe box tells us that maybe the strings and brass were dubbed separately which would explain why no string musicians can be seen in this photo.

    The photos for this session are attributed to Linda Eastman/McCartney and on the page opposite the notes on Martha My Dear is a photo of Ringo on the drums. Presumably this is from the Trident session and confirms once again that Ringo was there. For the technically minded (which I'm not) the headphones he's wearing may be another clue.
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  25. Onder

    Onder Forum Resident

    That is just the author's assumption based solely on the photographic evidence. Could have been just a break for them.
    Whether the strings were overdubbed or played live could be determined by listening to the isolated strings track. If there is a leakage of the drums playing in the room then there were played live.

    That photo is 7 October 1968, Abbey Road studio 2. Long Long Long backing track session.
    Here it is:


    Keith V, Mal, boggs and 1 other person like this.

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