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Author Topic: Songs under a microscope......For No One  (Read 2114 times)

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nimrod

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Songs under a microscope......For No One
« on: September 01, 2011, 02:13:24 AM »

Originally titled “Why Did It Die?,” it appears to have been written solely by Paul.  John himself confirms this assumption in his 1972 “Hit Parader” magazine interview when asked about the authorship of the song.  “Paul.  Another of his I really liked,” he stated.  He continued to praise the song in his 1980 “Playboy” magazine interview where he states:  “One of my favorite pieces of his, too.  That and ‘Here, There And Everywhere.’  A nice piece of work, I think,”

As was his habit, Paul took advantage of a Beatle-less vacation out of the country and, while away, found the atmosphere perfect for writing a song.   “I wrote that on a skiing holiday in Switzerland, in a hired chalet amongst the snow,” he remembered in 1984.  This vacation took place in March of 1966 with girlfriendJane Asher in Klosters, Switzerland where they rented a chalet about half a mile from town.
In the book “Anthology,” Paul goes into greater detail:  “I was in Switzerland on my first skiing holiday.  I’d done a bit of skiing in ‘Help!’ and quite liked it, so I went back and ended up in a little bathroom in a Swiss chalet writing ‘For No One.’  I remember the descending bass-line trick that it’s based on, and I remember the character in the song – the girl putting on her make-up.”

 Steve Turner’s book “A Hard Day’s Write” relates:  “In an early interview, Paul said that it was all about his own experience of living with a woman when he was fresh from leaving home.  Later he was less specific, saying that he was thinking only of the character of a typical working girl.”  One may speculate that his three-year relationship with Dot Rhone was the experience used as inspiration for “For No One,” but speculation is probably all that it will ever be. 

Details;
Recorded: 9, 16, 19 May 1966
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick
Released: 5 August 1966 (UK), 8 August 1966 (US)

Paul McCartney: vocals, bass, piano, clavichord
Ringo Starr: drums, tambourine, maracas
Alan Civil: horn

The distinctive chords were played by McCartney on George Martin's clavichord, brought in to Abbey Road from his house.
Interestigly, according to Mark Lewisham Paul's lead vocal was recorded with the tape running slow in order to sound higher (and thinner) on playback. Maybe this is the reason Alan Civil complained about being asked to play somewhere between B major and B flat major, and he thought it was very unprofessional to be asked to do that.

Anyway I agree with John, its a very fine song from a very fine album, songs like this were when people started taking them seriously as very talented songwriters, its also beautifully recorded and Ive always loved the way it finishes, sort of unresolved.... of course the horn solo by Alan Civil fits very well. The song sort of says to you ‘yeah sure, we can write a baroque pop song, no problem’  :)

Critic Paul Evans states about the Beatles: "Theirs is the final, great consensus in popular music, not liking them is as perverse as not liking the sun." songs like For No One back this up 100%
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Lennon93

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 11:28:12 AM »

''Ive always loved the way it finishes, sort of unresolved....''

It was always strange ending for me (like its cut suddenly) , but when i read this i realised it makes sense :) tnx

Great song, one of my favs!
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tkitna

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2011, 12:48:31 PM »

I love 'For No One'. I find it strange that as much praise as Paul recieves for this song (or any song like it), he gets chastised all the same for writing tunes of this stature. When I listen to this song the first thing that pops to my mind is that its definately a Paul song and thats not a bad thing. Well written and well crafted song.

Another good review Kev.

stevie

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2011, 09:37:59 PM »

Yeah, top song.  Very good one to sing along with, as Paul's voice stays pretty stable (some of his vocals are hard to match).

A French guy from our script writer's website says this is his favorite all time song.
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Jema

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2011, 12:54:15 AM »

For No One is a song that whenever I listen to it I have to listen to it at least twice because it's a song that I'll never be able to get enough of.Even though it may seem kind of simple (how everything is relaxed like his voice and the background music) it's actually sort of a complex song if you think about it (if you listen closely to everything because when I'm not focused on the song it seems plain).My second favorite McCartney song on Revolver and my first is Got To Get You Into My Life.
 
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cubanheel

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2011, 09:54:21 PM »

I always picture his relationship with Jane Asher for this song, as I always thought it was a bit odd that they were forever falling out but Paul still lived on at the Asher family home. My mind's picture is always that Paul was staying in one night, bit low due to one of their rows, and she was getting ready to go out. But reading the comments, maybe it was about Dot Rhone, but I don't think they ever lived together? Perhaps they did.

All that aside, musically it's amazing, Paul at the heights of his powers. Hard to believe how young he was at the time. Agree with Jema, can't get enough of it! It's quite concise. Will have to go and listen again.
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nimrod

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2011, 11:28:48 PM »

 But reading the comments, maybe it was about Dot Rhone, but I don't think they ever lived together? Perhaps they did.

or maybe about a ficticious girl  ;)
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In My Life

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2011, 03:53:23 AM »

or maybe about a ficticious girl  ;)

Hence the name.  ;) Seriously, though, I too love this song. For some reason Revolver was an album I had never heard growing up. My sister quit after RS I guess is the reason. When I finally got my hands on it I just about wore out the repeat button on my CD player. It's just so achingly sad and beautiful.
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Kelley

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2011, 04:04:11 AM »

I always picture his relationship with Jane Asher for this song


So do I...


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Kaleidoscope_Eyes

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2011, 11:19:34 AM »

The beautiful Jane Asher.... the reason for my hair colour!

For No One is a beautiful song, but sad.

"Your day breaks, your mind aches
There will be times when all the things she said will fill your head
You won't forget her"
So so true....
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nimrod

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2012, 11:53:06 PM »

I just heard Susannah Hoffs sing this, very nice its was, Im in love all over again :)
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nimrod

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2012, 11:54:26 PM »

The thing with For No-One is, you cant imagine how it would have been with anyone but George Martin producing it
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2012, 12:28:15 AM »

Paul McCartney "For No One" Great Version!

Give My Regards To Broad Street   1984




Something like this, George...

paul mccartney for no one solo acoustic performance
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Toejam

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2012, 01:35:57 PM »

Much as I'm fond of much of Macca's post Beatles work it's the fact he doesn't write songs like this any more that give some credence to people saying things like 'he's been on a 40 yrs. long off day'.
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2012, 08:44:42 PM »

Much as I'm fond of much of Macca's post Beatles work it's the fact he doesn't write songs like this any more that give some credence to people saying things like 'he's been on a 40 yrs. long off day'.

I can't agree completely, Toejam.  Songs like For No One are written out of inspiration.  Jane Asher was Paul's muse for several notable songs in addition to For No One, amongst them being Every Little Thing, Yesterday, I've Just Seen A Face, You Won't See Me and I'm Looking Through You. 

Linda inspired him to write Maybe I'm Amazed, one of his finest love songs.  I feel his many years with her and the happiness and love they shared inspired many of his upbeat songs during the Wings era.  We can't begin to imagine the breadth of his emotions during the time Linda was ill and after she passed away.  He devoted himself to her.  There was little time for musical creativity.

He certainly derived no inspiration from his second wife.  I think, however, I'm beginning to see the result of some inspiration from Nancy and thoughts he's experiencing during his mature years.
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nimrod

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2012, 12:05:09 AM »

a song I always 'group together' with For No One is, Another day, its almost like Paul re-wrote For No One.......although a bit quicker in tempo it has the same forlorn words about a sad girl;

'so sad..so sad....sometimes she feels so sad'

'and in her eyes you see nothing..'

it even has a similar descending bass line in the verse. Another Day is a fantastic song imo but lacks the magic of For No One (the x factor ?) or maybe the latter had the good fortune to be positioned on one of the best albums ever, maybe the other Beatles couldve made Another Day into a classic, sadly we'll never know.
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Kevin

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2012, 06:58:54 AM »

Okay – here goes (dips toe in water).
I think this song is one of McCartneys finest moments. Yes it’s a superbly crafted pop song blah blah blah but what I think give it it’s edge is the superb production and McCartneys icy vocal. It is a song that could have descended into mushy horror. And I’ve always thought that for a man who is typecast as the Romantic One all the evidence points to McCartney being bit of an emotional cold fish – and he delivers this song with a chilly detachment. It’s a real Coat Collar Turned Up On A Cold Winters Day Song - even the horn solo  is more of a shrug than a cry. The song seems more a statement of fact than a bearing of the sole – you get the feeling McCartney didn’t shed too many tears. McCartney and martin at their very best. Superb.
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Kevin

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2012, 07:01:47 AM »

Much as I'm fond of much of Macca's post Beatles work it's the fact he doesn't write songs like this any more that give some credence to people saying things like 'he's been on a 40 yrs. long off day'.

I think that’s a little unfair. This is the man still to write Penny Lane, Hey Jude, Let It Be, Maybe I’m Amazed, Band On The Run, come up with the concepts (however flawed) of Sgt Pepper, MMT and Let It Be, plus create a bucket load of international hits.
And if he did hit some creative peak in ’66 (which I agree that he did) then look at the all his peers. Lennon, The Stones, the Who, Brian Wilson,  Clapton, Dylan etc. all hit creative peaks sometime in their twenties/early thirties then began the long slow decline where most work is okay, a few surprisingly good and a few embarrassingly bad.
There is no way McCartney (or in fact anyone) could have sustained that level of creativity for ever.
In fact some years ago we had a debate about any big act from the 60’s that produced a major critically acclaimed, well received bit of work, and the only person we agreed on was Paul Simon with Graceland. Paul is just doing what all rock stars do – fade into old age and comfy dad rock. At least he hasn’t done bloody Eurovision.
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In My Life

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2012, 07:19:01 AM »

Revolver was another album I didn't hear when I originally found The Beatles (in second grade LOL) because for some reason my sister stopped with Rubber Soul. (Her friends probably warned her about "Tomorrow Never Knows"!) When I finally got the CD "For No One" just blew me away. I would hit the repeat button over and over, much the same way I'd listen to my favorite 45's when I was a kid. I think it's the way it ends; it's kind of tenative, like there's going to be more. The lyrics are so moving, especially "There will be times when all the things she said will fill your head; you won't forget her." Forgetting is difficult! I like that internal rhyme in this line too. It's just a great song.
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tkitna

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Re: Songs under a microscope......For No One
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2012, 08:39:03 AM »

Damn, a Kevin sighting today. Excellent!
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