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Mono Masters, Volume Two

Disc Thirteen: Mono Masters
(Disc Two)

1. Day Tripper

2. We Can Work It Out

3. Paperback Writer

4. Rain

5. Lady Madonna

6. The Inner Light

7. Hey Jude

8. Revolution

9. Only A Northern Song

10. All Together Now

11. Hey Bulldog

12. It’s All Too Much

13. Get Back (with Billy Preston)

14. Don’t Let Me Down (with Billy Preston)

15. Across The Universe

16. You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)


Disc Two

Principal Engineers: Norman Smith, Geoff Emerick, Ken Scott, Glyn Johns, Barry Sheffield, Jeff Jarratt & Martin Benge

Remastered by Paul Hicks, Sean Magee, Guy Massey

Project Co-ordinator: Allan Rouse

Thanks to Simon Gibson, Pete Nash and Staffan Olander.


This remastered album has been created from the original mono analogue master tapes.


All songs composed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney and published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC except:


Disc Two: Tracks 6, 9, 12 composed by George Harrison and published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC.


Original recordings produced by George Martin.


Digital Remaster (P) 2009 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by EMI Records Ltd.


All Liner Notes: Kevin Howlett.

Project Management for EMI Records, Ltd.: Wendy Day, Guy Hayden & Mike Heatley.

Special Thanks to Spike Sugiyama and Toshio Asami at EMI Japan & Bruce Spizer.


Artwork © 2009 Apple Corps Ltd.

All photographs © 2009 Apple Corps Ltd.


(Continued from Volume One)

'Yesterday' was an American number one during October but not released as a single in the UK until 1976. The final Beatles single of 1965 was their first double A-side – 'Day Tripper'/'We Can Work It Out'. Its release date of 3rd December, 1965 was shared with their second LP of the year Rubber Soul. 'Day Tripper' [Disc Two Track l) was recorded on 16th October during sessions for that album and is a tough sounding rocker built around a recurring riff. Four days later the group began work on 'We Can Work It Out' [D2 Track 2). The song is an uplifting plea for reconciliation and its arrangement includes the unusual touch of John playing a harmonium. The single earned The Beatles their third Christmas number one in the UK. The songs were listed separately on the American chart, which was influenced by the amount of radio plays received, and 'We Can Work It Out' proved to be the more popular side by reaching the top in January, 1966.


There was on unprecedented break of six months before the next British release. Both sides of the new single were recorded in April, 1966 during the making of the album Revolver and, when released on 10th June, they gave a tantalising taste of how the group was progressing. 'Paperback Writer' [D2 Track 3) startled listeners with its opening vocal harmonies followed by an energetic riff and the loudest bass on a Beatles record to that date. The song's literate lyric written in the form of a job application was equally arresting. The B-side 'Rain' [D2 Track 4) was soaked in sounds that came to be described as 'psychedelic' - most notably, a snatch of John's vocal heard backwards. Ringo's drum part on 'Rain' is an outstanding demonstration of how perfectly his style meshed with the group's music.


Revolver was released on 5th August, 1966 and, on the same day, two tracks from it - 'Yellow Submarine' and 'Eleanor Rigby' - were released as a double A-sided single. It became their twelfth consecutive UK number one since the sequence began with 'Please Please Me'. The string of chart toppers was broken by their next single, which was released on 17th February, 1967 following another relatively long gap for this prolific era. The artistic achievement of the double A-side 'Strawberry Fields Forever'/'Penny Lane' is undeniable but it was stuck at number two behind the UK's biggest selling single of the year - 'Release Me' by Engelbert Humperdinck. The Beatles soon returned to the top of the chart in July with 'All You Need Is Love' and again in December with their final single of the year 'Hello, Goodbye'. In 1967, The Beatles' schedules ran parallel in the UK and America for singles but their album releases continued to differ. Five of the songs featured on their 1967 singles were used to create an album version of the British double-EP Magical Mystery Tour. 'I Am The Walrus' appeared on the EP package and the B-side of 'Hello, Goodbye'.


The Beatles released just two singles in 1968. The first of the year was 'Lady Madonna' [D2 Track 5]. Propelled by Paul's boogie woogie piano playing and featuring a lead vocal reminiscent of rock 'n' roll pioneer Fats Domino, it was recorded on 3rd and 6th February, 1968. It was released on 15th March when The Beatles were scheduled to be studying transcendental meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh, India. Appropriately enough, the instrumental backing for the B-side was recorded at EMI's recording studio in Bombay on 12th January, 1968 and featured local musicians assembled by George Harrison to play soundtrack music for the film Wonderwall. Written at the request of Cambridge Sanskrit scholar Juan Mascaro, George's song 'The Inner Light' [D2 Track 6] was infused with his deep interest in Indian religion and culture.


The Beatles returned to recording on 30th May, 1968 and sessions continued with hardly a break until the middle of October. The expectant wait to hear a new collection of Beatles songs stretched until the double album The Beatles was released on 22nd November. During that long interval, two songs were released on 30th August, 1968 on the first Beatles single to be pressed with the Apple label. 'Hey Jude' [D2 Track 7] was recorded from 31st July to 2nd August at Trident - an independent recording studio that was attractive to the group because it had an eight-track tape machine when they were still restricted to four-track at EMI. The extra tracks were certainly an advantage because 36 orchestral instruments and a vocal chorus were added to the repeating 'Na-na-na-na-na-na-na' refrain. The single's B-side was the thought-provoking rocker 'Revolution' [D2 Track 8]. Although this was the first version to be released, the song had originally been recorded with a more laid-back arrangement on the first day of the 'White Album' sessions. Entitled 'Revolution 1', this slower rendition opened side four of The Beatles. They began recording the single version on 10th July with a completely different approach. John's urgent lead vocal is driven by a backing track featuring fine electric piano playing from session man Nicky Hopkins and two distorted electric guitars. Their fuzzy sound is more pronounced in the mono mix; even prompting on first play of the single, many fans to check for fluff on the needle of their record players! 'Hey Jude' topped the charts in the UK and around the world. In the USA, it became The Beatles' biggest selling single and stayed at number one for their longest run of nine weeks.


The group then released two albums in quick succession. The double-LP The Beatles yielded no singles. Released two months later in January, 1969, the soundtrack album Yellow Submarine included just four previously unreleased Beatles songs. One of them 'Only A Northern Song' [D2 Track 9] - had undergone such a complex recording process that only a mono mix had been completed in April, 1967. An artificially enhanced - or fake - stereo version had to be created from this for the stereo album. The mono LP was produced during the cutting process by a 'fold down' mix - simply combining the left and right channels from the stereo master tape. The previously unreleased mono mix of 'Only A Northern Song' is now available for the first time on the remastered Yellow Submarine and on this compilation.


Although released in 'fold down' mono, each of the other previously unreleased songs on the soundtrack album had actually been given a unique mono mix. When there was a plan to make the four songs available on a seven-inch EP running at LP speed, a mono master tape for the proposed record was compiled in March, 1969. Interestingly, this tape did not feature the 'fold down' versions of the mono LP but the proper mono mixes. There they are, at last: 'All Together Now' [D2 Track 10] mixed in May, 1967, 'Hey Bulldog' [D2 Track 11] mixed in February, 1968 and 'It’s All Too Much' [D2 Track 12] mixed in October, 1968 – seventeen months after it was first recorded.


The idea of an EP was abandoned and, soon after, The Beatles' next seven-inch record was released on 11th April, 1969 and featured another guest keyboard player. The group had first met Billy Preston in 1962 when he was in Hamburg with Little Richard’s band. In January, 1969, he came to London for a concert with Ray Charles and was invited to play with the group in the basement studio of the Apple building at 3, Savile Row. On 28th January, they recorded both sides of the disc credited to ‘The Beatles with Billy Preston’. This is the only occasion when The Beatles chose to have another musician’s name alongside theirs on the label of a single. ‘Get Back’ [D2 Track 13] was a rocker inspired by their ‘back to our roots’ attitude of that time. The same take of ‘Get Back’ was released on the Let It Be album over a year later, although the LP did not include the vamping fade-out heard on the single after the false ending. John’s tender ballad on the B-side – ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ [D2 Track 14] – was not featured on Let It Be.


‘Get Back’ was the first American stereo single by The Beatles but in the UK it was the last to be mixed into mono. After six weeks at the top with ‘Get Back’, The Beatles rapidly returned to that position seven days later with their first British single released in stereo, ‘The Ballad Of John And Yoko’. The A-side related the news of the couple’s recent wedding, honeymoon and Amsterdam ‘Bed-In’ for peace. It may have been the up-to-date lyric which required the song to be recorded as soon as possible – even if that meant only John and Paul were able to attend the session. Completed on 14th April, 1969, all the instruments heard on the song are played by the two of them. For a second time, a George Harrison composition appeared on the B-side of a Beatles single. He had written ‘Old Brown Shoe’ during the Apple Studio sessions in January, 1969 but it was eventually recorded by the group at Abbey Road on 16th and 18th April.


Taken from the album Abbey Road, their third single of the year was the first with an A-side composed by George. Coupled with John’s ‘Come Together’, ‘Something’ reached number one in America in November, 1969. When released in the UK on 31st October, it broke The Beatles' previously inviolable rule of no British singles to be taken from an already available album. As it rose no higher than number four, its chart success may have been affected by this duplication. However, there was an opportunity to buy a fresh Beatles recording on 12th December, 1969. The Beatles donated ‘Across The Universe’ [D2 Track 15] to a compilation album to raise funds for the World Wildlife Fund called No One’s Gonna Change Our World. The song had been recorded in February, 1968 during a week of sessions that also produced ‘Lady Madonna’. Although only released in stereo at the time, the song had been mixed in mono on the day recording was completed. This mix had sound effects added to the beginning and end of the song in January, 1969 and was intended to accompany the four Yellow Submarine songs on the projected EP mentioned earlier. This previously unreleased mix of ‘Across The Universe’ is exclusive to Mono Masters.


When mixed, ‘Across The Universe’ was speeded up by a semi-tone. The same take was eventually used for the Let It Be album but slowed down with orchestral and vocal overdubs added by producer Phil Spector. Another version of the song, with neither the Spector embellishments nor sound effects, can be heard on the 2003 album Let It Be … Nakes. This also runs at a different speed – the same as that of the four-track master tape.


The final Beatles single while the group was still officially an entity was released on 6th March, 1970. Recorded as long ago as 31st January, 1969, ‘Let It Be’ was now selected for release to promote a forthcoming documentary film and album with that title. The B-side – ‘You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)’ [D2 Track 16] – was an even older recording. The Beatles began work on this lampoon of cabaret crooners on 17th May, 1967 and the following month Rolling Stone Brian Jones played alto saxophone on the song. Recording was completed by John and Paul on 30th April, 1969 and the final edited mono mix was produced on 26th November, 1969. At this point, it was intended to be on one side of a single by John’s side-project the Plastic Ono Band. That plan was vetoed and it eventually found its way into the shops on the back of ‘Let It Be’. Although the A-side was in stereo, there was no attempt to make a stereo mix of ‘You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)’ for the B-side.


For the second time in the UK, a Beatles single was presented in a picture sleeve. Previously, a cover featuring photographs of the group as infants was given a limited edition for the childhood-themed combination of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and ‘Penny Lane’. Just like that record, ‘Let It Be’ failed to make number one in the UK. It was held at number two by one of 1970’s best-sellers – ‘Wand’rin’ Star’ by Lee Marvin. However, in the States ‘Let It Be’ stepped up to the top after waiting behind ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ by Simon & Garfunkel. A week before the release of the Let It Be album in America, ‘The Long And Winding Road’ was issued as a US single and became their final number one seven weeks after ‘Let It Be’ ended its run at the top.


One of the remarkable things about this Mono Masters collection is, because they were not included on their British albums, many of The Beatles' best-known and most acclaimed songs are present. We are also reminded of the vast amount of work that was created in a little over seven years. This was an era when even a pause of six months between single releases could be viewed as career-threatening. The way that The Beatles kept up the pace while consistently delivering innovative and memorable music is an extraordinary accomplishment. Indeed, viewed from the perspective of the 21st century, it is nothing short of miraculous.


Kevin Howlett
February 2009

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