G. Harrison's "Only A Northern Song": did the other Beatles really sabotage it (random psych noise)?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by ParloFax, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. gregorya

    gregorya Forum Resident

    Sabotage?... I'm not aware of any Black Sabbath connection to this track...

  2. ParloFax

    ParloFax Forum Resident Thread Starter

    OANS would have added a little more, welcome, craziness to Pepper. So would have Strawberry Fields Forever in fact. The album already has craziness, but it needed a little more of it, in my opinion. It's great as it is (though not their best), but sometimes it feels as serious as the Beatles' own faces on the front...
  3. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Complete nonsense as they did include SFF/PL. I'm still miffed that the opportunity wasn't taken to release Carnival Of Light.
  4. The Bishop

    The Bishop Forum Resident


    The psychedelic sounds, spice up what is just not a very good song.
    SgtPepper1983 and No Bull like this.
  5. No Bull

    No Bull Forum Resident

    Yes indeed... the Harrison accents are as thick as a brick... nice clip
  6. No Bull

    No Bull Forum Resident

    Exactly. Why wasn't it?
    Lewisboogie likes this.
  7. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    No satisfactory answer was ever given.
  8. No Bull

    No Bull Forum Resident

    Aggravating... for a few of us..
    BeatlesObsessive likes this.
  9. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys

    Surrey BC.
    This whole discussion is weird, "Hey , it's 1967, we are making psychedelic music, lets wreck this song by making it too psychedelic".
  10. Six Bachelors

    Six Bachelors Troublemaking enthusiast

    I didn’t mention COL because that irks me even more...

    ...but yeah, it wouldn’t exactly have undermined the integrity of the project to have one mix of OANS without any of the April overdubs. Silly decision.
    BeatlesObsessive and AFOS like this.
  11. Fleet Fox

    Fleet Fox Forum Resident

    Waterford, Ireland
    Within You Without You is actually the best song on the album and bears the most repeated listens, in comparison for example to the piece of fluff
    crap that is 'When I'm 64' ! Within You Without You is beautiful both in instrumentation and the lyrics are the most profound and meaningful on the album
  12. johnny moondog 909

    johnny moondog 909 Beatles-Lennon & Classic rock fan

    I think the song was recorded with a lack of care. But I still like it. Sure it's not in the upper tier of Beatles songs, but it's still poppy & charming. I like it anyway. There's only perhaps 1/2 a dozen Beatles songs I don't like. Wild Honey Pie, Revolution 9, a couple others.

    Lennon said McCartney would subconsciously sabatoge his songs ( Lennon's). He said an air of experimentation would creep in. Is how Lennon put it in Playboy. He said McCartney would accuse him of being paranoid, but he ( Lennon ) knew it was true. Lennon didn't say anything about sabotage to Harrison songs, but I think it might apply, if it was happening to Lennon, maybe it happened to Harrison also. I suppose one needs to determine if Lennon's comment is credible or misguided. Remember Lennon said a subconscious air of experimentation would creep in. So perhaps there was a bored or dismissive belief but not overtly so.

    I don't like McCartneys trumpet it's way too loud in the mix, if it was pulled back some it would be better. The bad playing does sort of fit the sentiment of the lyrics, but it's just about 15 dbs too loud in the mix.
  13. paul62

    paul62 Forum Resident

    I think Paul would probably defend his playing style by saying that he was listening to a lot of free jazz (Albert Ayler in particular and his trumpet-playing brother Donald Ayler) during this time of his life. It's possible that Paul, at one point during the recording process, may have envisioned every track on SPLHCB being augmented with brass, so that The Beatles would morph into Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band..........
  14. A Saucerful of Scarlets

    A Saucerful of Scarlets Commenter Turned Viewer

    Agreed on Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields as well. I'm glad they found their way onto Magical Mystery instead. Honestly where every song is in their discography I'm happy for it. I wouldn't change anything.
    lemonade kid and JDeanB like this.
  15. soniclovenoize

    soniclovenoize Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN

    Was there any thought to have included “Only A Northern Song” on this set?

    Giles Martin: There was, yeah. There was some disagreement over whether it was rejected for the album or not. If that was the case I didn’t want to celebrate that it was rejected for the album because I think it’s a pretty good song. I said this to George’s wife, Olivia. “Why should we celebrate the fact that it was thrown off the album by making it an extra?”

    We have so much material, I could barely get the extras onto two albums. The Beatles were so precise and concise with what they did and I think we have to treat this in the same way. This is about Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and I think everyone would agree, my father especially, that “Strawberry Fields” and “Penny Lane” were a part of that legacy. So that’s what we’ve kept it to and there’s not too much confusion. Even the elements that aren’t songs but are on the extras are things that are from the songs so the piano take from “A Day In The Life,” the whole nine takes of that session are on it.

    For me, it’s all about building a record. There’s no point with putting “Only A Northern Song” on there because it’s not on the record, if that makes sense. But of course we considered everything. We consider whether we should put “Strawberry Fields” and “Penny Lane” on the album. I talked to Paul about it and he went, “Well, where would you put them?” You can’t put them at the beginning ‘cause the album starts with the audience as the beginning of a piece and you can’t put them at the end. So do you put them on side one? Then it’s like, why? We are already remixing the album and people might get angry with me for that. I think we made the right decision and I think we made the right decision on Record Store Day to do the vinyl.

    Giles Martin Reflects on the 50th Anniversary Remix of the Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' – Rock Cellar Magazine
  16. Darrin L.

    Darrin L. Forum Resident

    Exactly! I think they attempted to salvage, rather than sabotage. Hearing it unadorned on Anthology shows just how poorly written it truly is.
  17. Lewisboogie

    Lewisboogie Forum Resident

    Wow. That’s one of the most extreme cases of *overthinking I’ve ever read.
    Exactly no one else would have seen its inclusion in the deluxe set in this way.

    I’m with a Arnold Grove: “a satisfactory answer was never given.”
  18. soniclovenoize

    soniclovenoize Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
    idk Makes sense to me.
    marmalade166 and Lewisboogie like this.
  19. maywitch

    maywitch Forum Resident

    As said on another post that brought up Lennon's quote, Lennon allowed it. Paul was not sabotaging anyone's songs. He was trying to do what he was supposed to be doing, it was up to THEM to say "no" or not if they didn't want something. It's only natural that one would have a different way of working on someone else's work than on one's own - because if you've written it, it's inside your head so you can't have an "outside" view of it. Naturally if someone else has written something, you are looking at it from the outside, because it isn't inside your own head. Thus you are going to, by nature, have a different point of view and come up with different sorts of ideas. That's not sabotage, that's just sort of...normal. Producers do that sort of thing all the time to various extents and Paul was, per Norman Smith, whom George apparently liked so much, a natural producer and had always behaved that way within the studio setting.

    Anyway - If experimentalism crept into John's recording sessions it's because JOHN allowed it to. If it didn't happen during Paul's sessions it's because Paul didn't allow it to. And they all whined and carried on about how bossy he was for wanting his songs played a certain way for doing so. But if they wanted their songs to get the same treatment well then like it or not they had to do the same thing Paul did during the recording of his songs. So basically at best John was too lazy to put in the work, at worst John was more concerned about being liked than whether or not his songs sounded how he wanted them to sound(and middle ground, John didn't know exactly how he wanted them to sound sometimes, and so Paul would do his best as a bandmate/co-writer to figure out what John had in mind, John would say "that's it, that's great" and then years later decide he was miffed about it probably for some reason that had nothing to do with what Paul had done on the song, Strawberry Fields is considered a classic, as is, maybe John was pissed off when he saw some review of it compliment something in the song he knew Paul had come up with and so suddenly it became Paul "sabotaged" his song). As for George, same thing, Paul worked on George's songs and he did a really good job on most of them, John usually didn't even bother showing up for George songs in later years. If George didn't like something in the song, it was up to him to say so and get it changed.
  20. johnny moondog 909

    johnny moondog 909 Beatles-Lennon & Classic rock fan

    Thanks for posting that.

    To me Giles Martin's answer about why they didn't use OANS is pure drivel & caca.

    I don't know the guy, so for all I know he was speaking sincerely, but just reading that I burst out laughing, like I was reading a parody or Saturday Night Live sketch. Very pythonesque when they did snobs talking down to people.

    I say Olivia, why would you darling, uh you know, wish to promote a rejected song, I think we just stick with Daddy's opinion & we can't go wrong. Another Shandy dear ?

    I mean God..

    People wanted it & Carnival, & like Apple usually does, they saw what people wanted & ignored it. I would have been happy with just one disc that included some mix of all 16 songs. The 13 on the album plus SFF-PL & OANS.
    Morton LaBongo and Lewisboogie like this.
  21. Neil Anderson

    Neil Anderson Forum Resident

    Portland, Oregon
    It was pretty interesting reading in Doug Sulpy's overview of the "Get Back" sessions how much work Paul and George put in to "Don't Let Me Down"--to the point where I wondered if John would have ever finished the song without them.
  22. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Almost every remaster/remix/box set includes out takes or b-sides. OANS was the one and only genuine out take from the Pepper sessions. CoL was also recorded during the sessions although not as part of Pepper. IMO it's possible there was internal band politics at play. One gets vetoed so does the other.
    BeatlesObsessive and Lewisboogie like this.
  23. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys

    Surrey BC.
    Wasnt there loads of space on the 2 discs of outtakes?
  24. jwb1231970

    jwb1231970 Forum Resident

    Cuz it’s only a boring song
    soniclovenoize likes this.
  25. NothingBrightAboutIt

    NothingBrightAboutIt Forum Resident

    I always preferred the Anthology 2 version (the stereo mix that was rejected from Pepper) over the Yellow Submarine version, it's more trippy and fits on the album with mentions of "the band". Obviously it would've been included had it never been on YS, and was just some Beatles outtake that surfaced on Anthology.
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