Ballad of J & Yoko-Old Brown Shoe- Abbey Road or Let it be

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by johnny moondog 909, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. johnny moondog 909

    johnny moondog 909 Beatles-Lennon & Classic rock fan Thread Starter

    Old Brown Shoe is a great Beatles track & Harrison tune, often underrated imo.

    But I don't agree BOJ&Y & Shoe "sound just like" the Let It Be tracks. But again Let It Be-( the album ) needs a couple more good tunes, especially a good Lennon tune.

    The only problems I have with I Me Mine, is that it was only a minute & a half long before Spector fixed it with an edit, & mainly the Spector strings make it, & Long Winding Road, both sound like they come from some other unrelated project. Likewise for Spectors version of Across The Universe.

    In a way Spector or ( someone ) had to do something, with the weaker unfinished tracks, that didn't seem complete without a little extra something. But maybe they could've just done a Billy Preston organ or Harrison guitar instead of all that orchestral glop.

    But yeah I agree with you, using Ballad of J&Y & Brown Shoe instead of 2 orchestral tracks, more or less fixes & preserves the live in studio concept.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  2. Maranatha5585

    Maranatha5585 Forum Resident

    Down South
    I could see "Old Brown Shoe" on there absolutely.
    Big Pasi likes this.
  3. gregorya

    gregorya Forum Resident

    Or do another multi-part suite:

    "The Ballad of Maxwell's Brown Octopus"... flippin' genius!! :)
    MitchLT likes this.
  4. pseudopod

    pseudopod Forum Resident

    Winnipeg, Canada
    They are fine how they were. As an Apple 45 rpm and then a year later on the Hey Jude LP.
    blutiga likes this.
  5. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    Yes, I’ve never understood that. It sounds like straightforward rock and roll, with very warm and relaxed vocals from john and Paul.

    It’s got memorable lyrics that flow so naturally and smoothly that you tend to think it’s simple, but it actually isn’t. The lyrics use a quintet similar to a limerick in that the third and fourth lines are brief and rhyme (“the newspapers said, she’s gone to his head”), setting up the punchline in the fifth line. But instead, although the fifth line provides a punchline (lyrically), musically, because it doesn’t end on a descending note, the line propels the listener forward to the chorus (“they look just like two gurus in drag . . . ”).

    The rhyme scheme is tight, lyrical stresses are natural, the story is memorable, and it’s all based on factual events that are presented (I think) pretty much chronologically. It’s not easy - think of Paul’s plodding, awkward “Freedom” or George’s marble-mouth, messy lyrics on “All Those Year Ago”. Lennon was a very talented lyricist.
  6. beatleroadie

    beatleroadie Forum Resident

    The song's best outlet is indeed as a single, and that's what it was. How would it have sounded with George and Ringo on it as well? Who knows. But it gets the point across as is, and it's a fun listen.

    I also love how communal the four guys seemed to be around this time of Feb-April '69.
    John and Paul seem much closer than they were in January.

    John and Paul both get married in March, a week apart...John's more fully engaged, and Paul is stepping aside a little and not pushing his songs on the others.

    They record this A and B side (first Beatles single ever without a Paul song?), they knock out the vocals for "You Know My Name" and finish that track, they record the backing track to "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and rehearse "Oh! Darling" and "Something", the latter with John and Paul both very involved in helping George with arrangement and lyric ideas...

    Released less than 4 months before Abbey Road, and never recorded with intention to be part of the "Get Back" project, I'd say "The Ballad of John and Yoko" belongs in the "Abbey Road era" of the band, and as bonus tracks on the 50th Anniversary of that LP.

    Just like "Strawberry Fields" and "Penny Lane" were released 4 months before Sgt. Pepper, but are still associated with that LP and that phase of the band.

    I did always like that George was given the b-side here. I feel that it was John and Paul's way of saying, 1) Sorry we rushed and made this single without you, and 2) We realize you have a lot of good songs stockpiled.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  7. angelo73

    angelo73 ⬚⿻⬚⿻⬚⿻⬚

    Michigan, USA
    905 likes this.
  8. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Good analysis!
    beatleroadie likes this.
  9. drad dog

    drad dog Forum Resident

    New England
    I think the beatles were very tight assed, now that I think about it. It would have been great to have a Harrison barn burner and a Lennon one for Let it be. They had the talent. But the balance was off if Paul was the only one that was hot.
    For me it's the rocker that John couldn't come up with during the Get Back sessions, a little delayed.
  10. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV Forum Resident

    Or Lennon's own "New York City", a song in a similar "what I've been up to lately" documentary vein, not nearly as good.
    johnny moondog 909 likes this.
  11. Tom Daniels

    Tom Daniels Forum Resident

    To me they sound like they would make a great non-album single.
    MitchLT, nikh33, SunsNCelts and 5 others like this.
  12. cwitt1980

    cwitt1980 Forum Resident

    Carbondale, IL USA
    They should have put them on the Come And Get It album. The album featuring only 1 to 3 Beatles at a time produced by Mal Evans and Magic Alex. Too bad the cotton candy album cover wasn't issued and they used the one where they're pasted onto peanuts being fed into an elephant.
  13. Hoover Factory

    Hoover Factory Forum Resident

    Spokane, WA
    “Come and Get It” is far better than either of these tunes and that’s the song that should be on Abbey Road instead of “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”
    andrewskyDE and ponkine like this.
  14. supermd

    supermd Forum Resident

    Campbell, CA
    Am I the only person who finds it incredibly difficult to place non-album songs onto albums? To me, as great as these two songs are, they will forever be SINGLES. I can make a fun playlist, but adding them to an album proper is close to impossible for me.
    johnny moondog 909 and Oatsdad like this.
  15. cwitt1980

    cwitt1980 Forum Resident

    Carbondale, IL USA
    I'd rather have Badfinger in my life than that. Maybe their fate could have been different if this would have happened. Another 'what if.'
  16. Rob Hughes

    Rob Hughes Forum Resident

    Definitely Let It Be. Certainly would have elevated Lennon's contribution to the set, which was otherwise pretty negligible, quality-wise.
  17. marcel

    marcel Alea Iacta Est

    :thumbsup: This 10000000 times.

    John should've released it as a solo single. Too bad the other Beatles reportedly vetoed the magnificent "Cold turkey" but allowed "TBOJ&Y" to be a Beatle single.

    "Old brown shoe"? Top tune, top performance, top production. 10/10. Would've been right on The White Album, Abbey Road or Let it be.
  18. Gila

    Gila Forum Resident

    I shove em on Let it Be. Abbey Road is already 47 minutes long.

    As for the "original" concept of band playing together - whatever, they discarded it themselves when they did overdubs and more post production.
    Shaddam IV likes this.
  19. wayne66

    wayne66 Forum Resident

    I put them on Let It Be. Or more specifically, my version of Get Back from 1969. I put them in place of Across the Universe and I Me Mine. They were recorded a couple of months after the January Get Back album sessions. Since the original album was delayed, I feel that it is okay to put these songs on there. I used to have a cassette made up of the Let It Be album. I just stuck the Ballad of John and Yoko and Old Brown Shoe on at the end of the album and it sounded great to me. Now I am trying to be more clever and insert them into the album proper. So I put them in place of the two songs that are not organic to the original album. P.S. I also put Don't Let Me Down right before Get Back near the end of the album. P.P.S. I find that Abbey Road is such a perfect album that I cannot put anything else on there. I have expectations about the song order. Inserting a different song in there would mess up my listening experience.
    Shaddam IV and beatleroadie like this.
  20. adm62

    adm62 Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
  21. beatleroadie

    beatleroadie Forum Resident

    There's an alternate universe where "Ballad of John & Yoko" and "Old Brown Shoe" went onto the Let it Be album, and Specter didn't alter "The Long and Winding Road," while a Specter (re) produced "Across the Universe" b/w "I Me Mine" 45 was a stand-alone and final single from the Beatles in 1970.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
    wayne66 likes this.
  22. wayne66

    wayne66 Forum Resident

    I ended up putting the original version of Across the Universe (Anthology 2 version) on my version of Yellow Submarine. I Me Mine is from 1970 so it goes on the Beatles alternate universe version of All Things Must Pass.
  23. Mickey2

    Mickey2 Forum Resident

    Bronx, NY, USA
    Agreed. It is so biographical, I am a little surprised the group approved it. They probably just wanted placate John. It should have been a Lennon (or Plastic Ono Band) solo record. But McCartney's backing vocals are so prominent, that probably wouldn't have flied either (unless they took Macca out of the mix).
  24. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    Ballad is a Beatles song in the White Album vein. Obviously way past it though.
  25. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    It seems that McCartney really enjoyed the recording session, too - just him and John!

    So I'm guessing he supported its release as well, and not just to placate John...

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