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Author Topic: Beatles as innovators  (Read 14950 times)

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Musicfan67

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #120 on: December 14, 2010, 04:57:48 PM »



You seem to already know what continuum means.

The thing it's hard to pinpoint innovation because there were literally thousands of bands at the same time. Then at the same time how did they get that distortion sound on "Happiness Is A Warm Gun"? I have read how the Beatles were getting their guitar sounds and it's pretty interesting.

Like on "Here There and Everywhere" the mandolin-toned guitar was obtained through the Leslie cabinet and, in the final bars, given a horn-like timbre by the use of volume swells

The "Revolution" guitar distortion famously done by taking Lennon's guitar D.I. and overloading a channel strip on the board.

"The Nowhere Man" ultra  guitar sound was achieved by running the mic input from all that Fender into more than one fade. George Martin and the Beatles linked multiple mixing consoles together from throughout Abbey Road (bringing them all in to studio 2), and turned the treble up on each for that solo track - giving it a multi-treble-tone stack of sorts, which enabled them to get tons of the good treble discreetly
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An Apple Beatle

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #121 on: December 14, 2010, 05:06:03 PM »

The thing it's hard to pinpoint innovation because there were literally thousands of bands at the same time. Then at the same time how did they get that distortion sound on "Happiness Is A Warm Gun"? I have read how the Beatles were getting their guitar sounds and it's pretty interesting.

Like on "Here There and Everywhere" the mandolin-toned guitar was obtained through the Leslie cabinet and, in the final bars, given a horn-like timbre by the use of volume swells

The "Revolution" guitar distortion famously done by taking Lennon's guitar D.I. and overloading a channel strip on the board.

"The Nowhere Man" ultra  guitar sound was achieved by running the mic input from all that Fender into more than one fade. George Martin and the Beatles linked multiple mixing consoles together from throughout Abbey Road (bringing them all in to studio 2), and turned the treble up on each for that solo track - giving it a multi-treble-tone stack of sorts, which enabled them to get tons of the good treble discreetly

Geoff Emerick? Have you read his 'Here,There & Everywhere' book. I think you'd enjoy it.  Working in the realm of comedy, George Martin was never going to be averse to 'unusual' recording techniques. Not all those thousand bands had the same lab-coat technicians helping them realize a stoned idea.
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Musicfan67

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #122 on: December 14, 2010, 05:46:27 PM »

Geoff Emerick? Have you read his 'Here,There & Everywhere' book. I think you'd enjoy it.  Working in the realm of comedy, George Martin was never going to be averse to 'unusual' recording techniques. Not all those thousand bands had the same lab-coat technicians helping them realize a stoned idea.

Oh I have read the book Geoff is a bit harsh on George Harrison but many will say this is the book to get "Recording The Beatles". The only thing is you can't get the book here in America.
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Musicfan67

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #123 on: December 14, 2010, 05:47:18 PM »

I read this the other day and I wonder what you guys make of this.

Words and chords. The semantic shifts of the Beatles' chords
by Ger Tillekens

"It is not the chords themselves, but the chord sequences that are at the core of the sound of the Beatles. Their unorthodoxy on this point made it so difficult for other groups — especially for those with a blues background — to cover their songs. It still is responsible for the ongoing debate on which chord is which in a specific Beatles' song. Nowadays, to our trained ears the songs may sound less raucously than they did before. In the early days, though, these unusual chord combinations undoubtedly did attribute to the intensity and harshness of the typical Beatles' sound".
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nyfan(41)

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #124 on: December 14, 2010, 06:02:51 PM »

I read this the other day and I wonder what you guys make of this.

Words and chords. The semantic shifts of the Beatles' chords
by Ger Tillekens
"It is not the chords themselves, but the chord sequences that are at the core of the sound of the Beatles. Their unorthodoxy on this point made it so difficult for other groups — especially for those with a blues background — to cover their songs. It still is responsible for the ongoing debate on which chord is which in a specific Beatles' song. Nowadays, to our trained ears the songs may sound less raucously than they did before. In the early days, though, these unusual chord combinations undoubtedly did attribute to the intensity and harshness of the typical Beatles' sound".
-
-
personally i always attributed this to paul's father who exposed him to music with complex chord changes such as was normal pre-rock and roll. (what some people refer to as 'standards')
when you hear some other groups of the time doing the typical 1 4 5 blues progressions you realize that there was a big (excuse me) minstral show going on in england
the beatles mixed that blues + motown with the chord changes of old timey music... a little folk ala lonnie donnegan... some bassa nova,,,, show tunes . . etc
-
the best example to me is the live at the bbc albums.
songs from their repatoire like "dont ever change" have that complex chord structure beyond the blues copy cats
-
. . . paul's dad (and a love of all music) would be my nearest guess
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nimrod

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #125 on: December 15, 2010, 12:14:18 AM »

Quote
The Beatles and Dylan was part of the explosion that created a new sound world that took over the marketplace. You had Motown, soul and the merging of various rock subgenres. There were other groups were working in the same path as the Beatles and Bob Dylan like Brian Wilson, the Who and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. But no one did more to make rock a form of a compelling expression as an art form more than the Beatles and Bob Dylan.

well said musicfan, I 100% agree with you.

Im sad because I just heard that Stuart (Woolly) Woolstenholme (mellotron/keybord player) of Barclay James Harvest, after the Beatles my favourite all time band, commited suicide yesterday.

RIP Stuart
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Brynjar

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #126 on: December 15, 2010, 08:07:12 AM »

I like this thread.  ;D
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Musicfan67

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #127 on: December 15, 2010, 05:14:36 PM »

One of the things I noticed about the Beatles is this and maybe the Beach Boys were going after this also

The Beatles were grounded in rock and roll, but what marks them as pop music to many (among other things) their unusual eclecticism. Is "Honey Pie a rock song? Or "Eleanor Rigby" Or 'For No One?' Or 'Yesterday?. It was their prolific melodicism, which virtue is generally not at the forefront of either rock and roll or rock, or Bob Dylan's music for that matter. So pop music is  willingness to go away from the guitar-based sound and replaced it with musical variety.

That does not mean they were not doing the heavy sound also. Rock music today is built for heightened amplification or a thundering wall of sound and often features slower rates of harmonic change. I think "Ticket To Ride" with its slow droning, repetitious melody on guitar & bass and syncopated drum style was one starts to see the change with the Beatles going in the direction of psychedelic and hard rock.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 05:18:22 PM by Musicfan67 »
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nyfan(41)

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #128 on: December 15, 2010, 06:30:40 PM »

. . . Is "Honey Pie a rock song?  . . . . . . . musical variety.

-
i could be wrong and maybe someone older can tell me . .
-
but i think there was this tongue in cheek throwback nostalgia trend in the mid 60s where young people made tinpan alley/old timey vaudville type music cool again
-
to my belief there is a 20 year throwback=cool factor
i.e.
in the 70's - 50's nostalgia became cool (american grafitti, happy days, sha na na, grease)
in the 80's - there was a 60's rock sound revival (rasberry beret by prince for example, the monkees comeback)
in the 90's - a 70's fad with release of films like dazed and confused, that 70s show . .
-
today alot of new groups (rap and otherwise) are remaking 80's new wave classics and kids are wearing members only jackets with irony
----------------
anyway..
davy jones showed that nostalgic music style in a few numbers where he had the straw hat and cane...
another example of that old music=cool trend was lady godiva by peter and gordon which preceeds honey pie
1966
Lady Godiva - Peter & Gordon

-
maybe someone who was alive back then can confirm or refute this theory- or shed light on it  ;D
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Mairi

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #129 on: December 15, 2010, 07:38:16 PM »

Somewhat unrelated, but who's the sexy lady on the cover? She sorta looks like Pattie.
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An Apple Beatle

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #130 on: December 15, 2010, 08:22:24 PM »

Oh I have read the book Geoff is a bit harsh on George Harrison but many will say this is the book to get "Recording The Beatles". The only thing is you can't get the book here in America.

That's a shame, I got both Emerick's book and George Martin's All You Need Is Ears through Amazon. You did read right. There are one or two places where there is a bit of judgementalness but it's still a good book that does inspire a curious musician mind who is interested in the techniques, attitudes and approaches to Beatle recordings. I enjoyed reading both books together, back to back. I just think the innovation is equally down to George Martin and the engineers involved when it comes to the sound of their albums. Yes they may have been the largely the ideas of John & Paul but they could have just drifted into nowhere land without the dedication of the engineers and producers, which in turn inspired more magic out of their accomplished songwriting.
What a great combination of people.

Have you tried ebay?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HERE-THERE-AND-EVERYWHERE-GEOFF-EMERICK-PAPERBACK-/360322712352?pt=US_Nonfiction_Book&hash=item53e4e84320
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Musicfan67

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #131 on: December 15, 2010, 09:27:31 PM »

That's a shame, I got both Emerick's book and George Martin's All You Need Is Ears through Amazon. You did read right. There are one or two places where there is a bit of judgementalness but it's still a good book that does inspire a curious musician mind who is interested in the techniques, attitudes and approaches to Beatle recordings. I enjoyed reading both books together, back to back. I just think the innovation is equally down to George Martin and the engineers involved when it comes to the sound of their albums. Yes they may have been the largely the ideas of John & Paul but they could have just drifted into nowhere land without the dedication of the engineers and producers, which in turn inspired more magic out of their accomplished songwriting.
What a great combination of people.

Have you tried ebay?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HERE-THERE-AND-EVERYWHERE-GEOFF-EMERICK-PAPERBACK-/360322712352?pt=US_Nonfiction_Book&hash=item53e4e84320



I love George Harrison but according to Norman Smith it was Paul McCartney who had the ideas.

Norman Smith (who was The Beatles recording engineer from Please Please Me through Rubber Soul)

"I don’t want to take anything away from anyone, but production of the Beatles was very simple, because it was ready-made. Paul was a very great influence in terms of the production, especially in terms of George Harrison’s guitar solos and Ringo’s drumming. The truth of the matter is that, to the best of my memory, Paul had a great hand in practically all of the songs that we did, and Ringo would generally ask him what he should do. After all, Paul was no mean drummer himself, and he did play drums on a couple of things. It was almost like we had one producer in the control room and another producer down in the studio. There is no doubt at all that Paul was the main musical force. He was also that in terms of production as well. A lot of the time George Martin didn’t really have to do the things he did because Paul McCartney was around and could have done them equally well… most of the ideas came from Paul".
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nyfan(41)

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #132 on: December 15, 2010, 09:33:34 PM »

i have no clue mairi. lol  ha2ha i hope it's not patty!
;
hmm, the more im listening to lady goodiva the more i think paul may have been influenced by it in writing honey pie
it was a decent sized hit and the beatles definitely knew of peter and gordon. (the album with lady godiva has an 'if i fell' cover and paul wrote 'world without love' for them)
-
anyway,,,,
besides the old timey music hall feel (that paul grew up with).. with the oompah bassline.... and that style of chord proogression ->
both songs have a subject matter of a woman going to the hollywood silver screen

GODIVA:
She found fame and made her name
A hollywood director came into town
And said to her
"How'd you like to be a star?"


PIE:
. . . Come and show me the magic
of your Hollywood song.
You became a legend of the silver screen

.
.
they also both mention the wind (breeze) and knees - lol
-
(people also said i was nuts when i pointed out that helter skelter says "miles" above you and it was inspired by i can see for miles)
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An Apple Beatle

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #133 on: December 15, 2010, 09:46:44 PM »


I love George Harrison but according to Norman Smith it was Paul McCartney who had the ideas.

Norman Smith (who was The Beatles recording engineer from Please Please Me through Rubber Soul)

"I don’t want to take anything away from anyone, but production of the Beatles was very simple, because it was ready-made. Paul was a very great influence in terms of the production, especially in terms of George Harrison’s guitar solos and Ringo’s drumming. The truth of the matter is that, to the best of my memory, Paul had a great hand in practically all of the songs that we did, and Ringo would generally ask him what he should do. After all, Paul was no mean drummer himself, and he did play drums on a couple of things. It was almost like we had one producer in the control room and another producer down in the studio. There is no doubt at all that Paul was the main musical force. He was also that in terms of production as well. A lot of the time George Martin didn’t really have to do the things he did because Paul McCartney was around and could have done them equally well… most of the ideas came from Paul".

That's a bit Paul heavy there but I guess he was a good anchor and interpreter of the lads from the floor to the control booth when communicating with GM. It's also written that PM spent longer hours in the studio particularly in the latter Rubber SOul onwards perfecting his parts and the bands arrangements when John's attitude grew more youcould soay organic and flippant. They really had accomplished a magnificent amount of material in a short time and everyone seemed to be keeping up to pace with each other until around Mr. Epsteins departure from the world.
I just think they were all a great influence on each other which created the magic and mythologized innovations and genuine first-time breakthroughs. They were the perfect ambassadors of innovation and fresh culture. It's the story we all want aswell. I'm harpin on now., it's been a while. :D Good to have people posting again. :)
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 10:37:47 PM by An Apple Beatle »
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Musicfan67

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #134 on: December 15, 2010, 11:28:56 PM »

That's a bit Paul heavy there but I guess he was a good anchor and interpreter of the lads from the floor to the control booth when communicating with GM. It's also written that PM spent longer hours in the studio particularly in the latter Rubber SOul onwards perfecting his parts and the bands arrangements when John's attitude grew more youcould soay organic and flippant. They really had accomplished a magnificent amount of material in a short time and everyone seemed to be keeping up to pace with each other until around Mr. Epsteins departure from the world.
I just think they were all a great influence on each other which created the magic and mythologized innovations and genuine first-time breakthroughs. They were the perfect ambassadors of innovation and fresh culture. It's the story we all want aswell. I'm harpin on now., it's been a while. :D Good to have people posting again. :)

 I think "Ticket To Ride" with its slow droning, repetitious melody on guitar & bass and syncopated drum style was one starts to see the change with the Beatles going in the direction of psychedelic and hard rock. When I listen to later tracks like George Harrison “Only a Northern Songs” and ”Blue Jay Way” are songs that are purely psychedelic without any guitars. Or “We Can Work It Out” with the harmonium pedal effects and the switch of time signatures on the bridge. What kind of drum and bass rhythms are being played on “Rain” and “Tomorrow Never Knows” It’s like they developed their own musical language to be honest
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 11:32:37 PM by Musicfan67 »
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nyfan(41)

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #135 on: December 16, 2010, 12:06:14 AM »

I think "Ticket To Ride" with its slow droning, repetitious melody on guitar & bass and syncopated drum style was one starts to see the change with the Beatles going in the direction of psychedelic and hard rock. When I listen to later tracks like George Harrison “Only a Northern Songs” and ”Blue Jay Way” are songs that are purely psychedelic without any guitars. Or “We Can Work It Out” with the harmonium pedal effects and the switch of time signatures on the bridge. What kind of drum and bass rhythms are being played on “Rain” and “Tomorrow Never Knows” It’s like they developed their own musical language to be honest

john lennon had called ticket to ride the first heavy metal song
it's one of my favorites
-
but to me - as original as it was -  it's also one of their most derivitive songs
the  "bam bam bam BAM bam bam bam BAM" drums are right out of phil spectors wall of sound (be my baby or leader of the pack)
-
in fact 'leader of the pack' sounds like 'ticket to ride' on many levels
same beat
same slow drive
..
and same chord changes in the verse !

( I chord for 3 bars, VII chord for half a bar, V chord for half a bar)

if you listen from "my folks were always putting him down" and " i think im gonna be sad.." - it's the same chord progression
..
also the endings do the same thing "leader of the pack now he's gone" vs "my baby don't care' coming back and repeating upbeat on the I chord

"Leader of The Pack"- The Shangri-Las
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nimrod

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #136 on: December 16, 2010, 12:14:02 AM »


I love George Harrison but according to Norman Smith it was Paul McCartney who had the ideas.

Norman Smith (who was The Beatles recording engineer from Please Please Me through Rubber Soul)

"I don’t want to take anything away from anyone, but production of the Beatles was very simple, because it was ready-made. Paul was a very great influence in terms of the production, especially in terms of George Harrison’s guitar solos and Ringo’s drumming. The truth of the matter is that, to the best of my memory, Paul had a great hand in practically all of the songs that we did, and Ringo would generally ask him what he should do. After all, Paul was no mean drummer himself, and he did play drums on a couple of things. It was almost like we had one producer in the control room and another producer down in the studio. There is no doubt at all that Paul was the main musical force. He was also that in terms of production as well. A lot of the time George Martin didn’t really have to do the things he did because Paul McCartney was around and could have done them equally well… most of the ideas came from Paul".


Ive always suspected that Paul kind of 'told' George and Ringo what to do, didnt he also end up telling John as well? maybe this is what caused a lot of friction (George reacted on Let It Be with his 'I'll play whatever it is you want me to play')
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Musicfan67

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #137 on: December 16, 2010, 01:36:55 AM »

john lennon had called ticket to ride the first heavy metal song
it's one of my favorites
-
but to me - as original as it was -  it's also one of their most derivitive songs
the  "bam bam bam BAM bam bam bam BAM" drums are right out of phil spectors wall of sound (be my baby or leader of the pack)
-
in fact 'leader of the pack' sounds like 'ticket to ride' on many levels
same beat
same slow drive
..
and same chord changes in the verse !

( I chord for 3 bars, VII chord for half a bar, V chord for half a bar)

if you listen from "my folks were always putting him down" and " i think im gonna be sad.." - it's the same chord progression
..
also the endings do the same thing "leader of the pack now he's gone" vs "my baby don't care' coming back and repeating upbeat on the I chord

"Leader of The Pack"- The Shangri-Las



I actually don’t see it the drum pattern is kind of generic and you hear that kind of syncopated drum pattern in “What You’re Doing” from the year before.  Ringo drumming goes from triplets against the beat in the first couple of verses to straight eights towards the end is nothing at all like the track you are talking about. If anything “Ticket To Ride” shares more with “Rain” with it’s slow droning, dense sound and haphazard drumming sound. The end on the fade-out changes rhythm and melody.


I definitely hear it's influence on the Beach Boys though.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 01:44:05 AM by Musicfan67 »
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Musicfan67

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #138 on: December 16, 2010, 01:39:50 AM »

Ive always suspected that Paul kind of 'told' George and Ringo what to do, didnt he also end up telling John as well? maybe this is what caused a lot of friction (George reacted on Let It Be with his 'I'll play whatever it is you want me to play')

I don't think Paul told George what to play on his own tracks. I think George was frustrated with Paul on a number of issues though by the time they broke up.
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nyfan(41)

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Re: Beatles as innovators
« Reply #139 on: December 16, 2010, 01:58:13 AM »


I actually don’t see it the drum pattern is kind of generic and you hear that kind of syncopated drum pattern in “What You’re Doing” from the year before.  Ringo drumming goes from triplets against the beat in the first couple of verses to straight eights towards the end is nothing at all like the track you are talking about. If anything “Ticket To Ride” shares more with “Rain” with it’s slow droning, dense sound and haphazard drumming sound. The end on the fade-out changes rhythm and melody.


well as usual musicfan- i respect your opinion but youre completely out of your mind. lol
first off the drums have nothing to do with ringo - paul wrote the drum track and told him what to play
-
secondly, forget 'what youre doing' - that beat is a phil spector trademark beat that goes back to 63
its the girlgroup wall of sound beat
bum . .  bum bum BUM  bum . . bum bum BUM
here's the ronnettes - who met with, toured with and influenced the beatles
Be my baby - The Ronettes

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