Sgt Pepper – what’s new
|“We are taking a walk in the park”|
Last week, we published a review by Anna Crusis of the super deluxe anniversary edition of “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. Anna has now written a post script to her initial review, which we have tagged on to the end of the post with the original review.
Next up is Mike Carrera, who has sent us his own thoughts about the upcoming release. You might remember Mike as he has guested the blog earlier, with his thorough analysis of Beatles and solo music videos. His analysis of the Sgt Pepper outtakes compare them to previously available versions from the Anthology releases, the stems from the decoded RockBand Beatles video game, as well as various bootleg releases – especially noting what’s new and previously unavailable. So this is basically a review for an audience of fans who are avid students of Mark Lewisohn’s “Recording Sessions” book and The Beatles’ studio work.
|Record store promo standee, now you can be George!|
SGT . PEPPER DELUXE EDITION: WHAT’S NEW AND WHAT’S NOT.
By Mike Carrera
This is not like the other review or a copy and also is not a review regarding sound quality (the tracks of this Deluxe edition are exceptional regarding that, all the tracks are upgrades compared to previously available versions), but comparing how much of the outtakes tracks on the forthcoming Sgt. Pepper DeLuxe edition (discs 2, 3 and Bonus tracks from CD 4) are new, edited, longer, etc compared with previous releases, official and bootleg. Giles Martin recently said that almost everything was left intact, well this is not so.
Mistakes and corrections are so welcome, just be respectful, we are no experts but real fans. English is not my native language, but we’ll try our best.
CD 2- OUTTAKES
1. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 1]
Too much criticism to George Martin because on Anthology CDs Vol. 2 he “erased” Paul and George’s backing vocals, when in reality, he gave us the actual TAKE 1 without any overdubs as Mark Lewisohn documented, a version that wasn’t bootlegged before that. The very same day of this recording, November 24th, 1966, John recorded a second vocal (double tracked vocal) and Paul and George added backing harmonies, all over that first take and that’s the version that was bootlegged before and it’s the same version appearing now.
Now, on this Deluxe edition: Giles edited out some mellotron warm up sounds after the “Take One” announcement, missing 22 seconds that are available on bootleg, and also he faded out 8 seconds of post-take studio sounds.
2. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 4]
The bootlegs have it complete, while now Giles faded out five seconds of music (the actual end). Everything else is the same, including the slate announcement.
3. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 7]
Could this be something new (as Take 7- overdubs on Take 6- has been around on bootlegs for many years)?
It runs 3:16, while the booted version of this very same take runs 3:29 (depending on the source of your bootleg, some runs at a slower speed (3:29), some faster (3:24). Don’t count the version of this very same take that appear on Pegboy’s title “It’s Not Too Bad” which is way much slower and incomplete).
This Take 7 from the new Pepper Deluxe Box set has the same introduction as on bootlegs (with someone whistling and George Martin saying “Strawberry Fields Forever Take seven…”), Giles again edited out 8 seconds after the “Remix from four track Take Six” announcement and also did a fade out, but despite having those edits, there is something different:
– On any of the bootleg versions of Take 7 stereo, after the “Remix from four track take six” announcement, there is a slight space of silence, then the tape running again, some mellotron sounds and John making a quick “Donald Duck” impression over those sounds (not available on Take 6), some silence and after that John can be heard with a small hiccup and saying “Ohh” (that comes from Take 6), then the take begins.
– On this “new” version after the “Remix from four track take six” announcement, we can hear only a count-in from Paul “Two, Three, Four” (not present on any of the past takes, especially Take 6), there is no John with hiccup or saying anything. If we compare this version with RM3 (Mono Remix) but the version from the bootleg and not the one included on Anthology CD 2 because that version has the slate edited out; we can hear after George Martin says “Strawberry Fields RM3” a different tape intro and later the same mellotron sounds but without the Donald Duck impression, and Paul’s count in loud and clear, and also no hiccup from John, so the RM3 Mono mix from the bootlegs is very similar to this new “Take 7”, but this is in stereo. An undocumented RS mix or simply Giles edited out the “Donald Duck” sounds, the hiccup, the “Ohh” and added Paul’s count-in? But if he did that, why the original RM3 doesn’t have also neither of that and the count-in has the same volume intensity? Giles took Paul’s count-in from the Mono Mix? (because none of the bootleg sources containing Take 7 have a count-in.)
This Take 7 Stereo Mix is new to me. Let’s wait for what the line notes of the Deluxe Box will say.
4. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 26]
Again, the bootleg version is complete with pre-take announcement sounds and no slight fade out at the end, while on this new version we have that. Also Giles try to hide John’s vocal warm ups during the first seconds on the song that can be heard clear and loud on the bootleg and here are almost imperceptible.
5. Strawberry Fields Forever [Stereo Mix – 2015]
This doesn’t belong here, this is an outtakes CD, Come on Giles?
6. When I’m Sixty-Four [Take 2] (*Actually SI onto Take 2)
New. This “mix” made by Giles could be a replica of a Rockband mogg version if it wasn’t that we have some extra vocals from Paul (u-bi-doo) during the middle and at the very end.
Starts with a “Take Two” announcement and some warm up but the rest is just the released take (minus overdubs), so this is not actual Take 2 (Takes 1 and 2 were instrumental). This is Take 2 + Vocal Overdub (the same as the released version, Giles could have use a different vocal take but he didn’t) recorded two days later. Why not Take 1 instead or both? Why only one version of this song (same with other songs like Lovely Rita or Pepper reprise) and six (if you count the mono mix) of Strawberry Fields Forever?
7. Penny Lane [Take 6 – Instrumental]
New. One of the highlights of this new Deluxe set not available before.
Paul starts the count-in and the familiar piano notes, but from the second 41 the song adds a different rhythm buried on the final take (and also buried on the Anthology CD2 version that uses part of this take).
This is like hearing a new Penny Lane version with instruments and elements not present on the final or the other known takes. Length 2:55
8. Penny Lane [Vocal Overdubs And Speech]
New. “Vocal overdubs”?? Just the boys hearing through their headphones a rough cut of the song while they add some “da da daa” and handclaps (and sing some parts at the same time but not for recording, just to keep track of their “hand clap overdubs”). Still, new and nice to hear. Length: 1:47
9. Penny Lane [Stereo Mix – 2017]
10. A Day In The Life [Take 1]
“In the Life Of… Take One” announcement available before but some micro seconds before that are new. This take was partially available mixing the Anthology Vol. 2 CD and the Making of Sgt Pepper, here is complete for the first time. It lacks Paul’s vocal part. During the last 24-bar count in by Mal, John jokes on him counting from 10 to 13 in a funny voice.
11. A Day In The Life [Take 2]
The other highlight of this new boxed set. Pretty much the same as Take 1 but at the end John improvises with his piano. Starts with a “Take Two” announcement that is new. 2:20 of this song was available before on the Anthology CD 2, now we have it complete running 4:48. It also lacks Paul’s vocal part. The final “Hummm” Take 11 was edited here at the end for some strange reason and on the 2 disc version will be included after Take 1. (For the die-hards, they need to also buy the 2 CD version just for that edit)
12. A Day In The Life [Orchestra Overdub]
Already available on Anthology 2 discs but now here it is complete and clean, still nothing really new or great because it’s also the released take from the final part. Starts with some ambient noises, people talking at distance, “A Day in the Life” playing as background just to keep track. The end is the same as on the Anthology CDs but lacks Paul’s comments that were inserted there. Just 0:55 of duration.
13. A Day In The Life (Hummed Last Chord) [Takes 8, 9, 10 and 11]
New although Take 11 was already available coming from the Rough Cut of the Anthology Video but from off-line audio, now we have it direct from the board. 1:53 is the total length of this track and until we have the liner notes, we don’t know yet who’s doing the “Hummmss” besides John, Paul and George that can be heard on the tape, plus a woman that could be Patti Boyd (picture available) or Leslie Bryce (Beatles Monthly Book) or Cynthia or anyone else and one or two more male vocals that could be also anyone since Mark Lewisohn says this four takes named edit pieces takes 8-11 were recorded after the orchestral session where many friends attended. Even Mark L. don’t document who’s here doing all the “Hummmms” but it immediately reminds me of these pictures:
14. A Day In The Life (The Last Chord)
New. All nine takes for the first time (all announced and all complete except the final take, according to Mark L, take 7 was 59 seconds long but Giles here just included THREE seconds, the rest seems to be as complete as they were recorded). John, Paul, Ringo and Mal Evans at the same time on three pianos recording all nine edit pieces of the final piano note. Take 9 here is the overdubbed version and almost near the end we can hear George Martin saying “pretty good”. Total length of this track is 2:52, another highlight of this new collection.
15. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 1 – Instrumental]
New. Take announcement coming from both Geoff Emerick and Richard Lush. That is new, the following warm-up pre take is edited here on the official box to just 13 seconds, five of which are new, but the rest was already available from the Rockband video game “chats and warm up before the actual song” mix and lasting longer (49 seconds) before they play the actual Take 1 (also NEW). Another highlight from this box, and after the take ends we can hear Geoff saying “Take Two”..
16. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 9 And Speech] (*Actually Takes 9 & 10 and Speech)
Another “Gilestein” mix. Actual Take 9 was a backing track or instrumental. Take 10 became when Paul added his final vocal part BUT before that he also tried many vocal takes, none of which were included here but the final and official vocal take! (except for the “Free Now” impro) Why, Giles? (An alternate vocal take snippet can be heard during the “Eight Days A Week” movie, by the way). So this could be also be near as another Rockband mogg of the official vocal track on top of the instrumental Take 9. The actual Take 10 Mono mix is available on bootlegs coming from an acetate in poor quality but we can hear the final part with the longer ending and there is no Paul improvising the “Free Now” bit. That came from an earlier vocal take and we can hear the difference in Paul’s vocal, there is echo on his voice during “I feel it, I feel it”, and there was no echo when he sang the actual Sgt Pepper song, and Giles simply added it here (works great though!), and the final speech is little bit suspicious: First, it doesn’t come from the final vocal take since we can hear Paul saying “I think it’ll probably be another day singing it”, second, it was already available also from the Rockband chats and bits but CLEAN, no background music apparently coming out from the headphones of the Beatles as we can hear now on this official track, where we can hear again in the background the “Free Now” bit, while Paul, John and George are talking. Weird, Rockband has this dialogue clean.
So, this is a mix from Takes 9 & 10 with a mix from another vocal take, not Take 9.
Take Nine announcement and full end of the song (the acetate version of Take 10 fades out little bit earlier): New, vocal track (Take 10): the official version, not new; Free Now impro: well, partially new and the final Speech: Not new and with a strange mix on the background (clean on Rockband).
17. Good Morning Good Morning [Take 1 – Instrumental, Breakdown]
New, only 1:03 but great. After the breakdown we can hear a “Take Two” announcement as well.
18. Good Morning Good Morning [Take 8]
The first 8 seconds pre-take warm up are new, the rest of the take was already released on the Anthology 2 CDs in a different mix (inverted channels plus sounds better there than here in my opinion, John’s vocal is brighter), the rest of the song until it’s end is identical, no extra seconds after.
|Paul McCartney and George Martin in studio 2 with session musicians, probably for “Penny Lane”.|
1. Fixing A Hole [Take 1] (partially NEW)
2. Fixing A Hole [Speech And Take 3] (NEW)
We have something weird happening here with the “Fixing a Hole” takes. Mark Lewisohn documents that TAKE 2 was marked “Final Master” from the Feb 9, 1967 Regent Studio session and was the one used to work on Feb 21. He says the Beatles did three takes at Regent, One and Two complete and the third being a breakdown (which could only mean incomplete), but the following track on this new Deluxe Box has Take 3 complete (2:38 plus the dialogue and warm up and the intro), only Paul changing and missing a few verses but the take is complete not a breakdown. Then he says that of Feb 21 they did another Take 1 to be mixed together with the original Take three recorded Feb 9. Yes, Take 3! (a breakdown take?), Take 2 was “Final Master” but they wanted to use a Breakdown take 3? But as that didn’t work, they used that original Take 2 from Feb 9. But if you listen carefully this Take 1 on the new Deluxe box set is the released Take (with the original bass, the released version has (apparently) a small part re-recorded), not only the instrumentation but also Paul’s vocal (not double tracked yet), it lasts longer than the released take (this is 2:49 (+ ten extra seconds of post-take) and the released take is 2:37) and maybe that’s why it could sound like a different take and also Paul singing different vocals near the end. But this is the released take, after a back to back comparison using also Rockband’s moggs for backing track (slight different speed on the released version) and for vocal track (playing both at the same time, even the “Heeh” during middle eight that is buried on the official version and that can be heard with the Rockband mogg is present on both versions). Other people who have also been listening to it have posted the very same. More weird, this doesn’t have a double tracked vocal from Paul yet but at 2:34 we can hear another Paul vocal singing with himself. Also this “Take 1” is not slated at the intro and also is incomplete, we can’t hear the actual end, the tape cuts at 2:49 and after that we can hear like another warm up intro for a following take (or part from an overdub?), so we can’t compare the actual end of “Take 1” versus the actual Take 3 from Regent Studios.
Maybe documentation for this song was incorrect and now it’s accurate and Take 1 was the one used to add overdubs and not Take 2. Still, if you also do a back to back comparison between this Take 1 and 3, some instruments sound different, Take 3 has a more “naked” and “live” sound and Take 1 sounds already mixed. Also, Paul’s vocal tones and intentions on many of the lines of the song are way different compared to the released take (or “Take 1” here). Maybe Giles also added a vocal overdub from Feb 21 that was also double tracked that day and erased the actual live vocal take from Feb 9? With the liner notes perhaps we will find out more, or maybe not.
Part of the “Speech” before Take 3 was already on the Rockband “pre song” chats.
3. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Speech From Before Take 1; Take 4 And Speech At End]
“Speech From Before Take 1” was already on the Anthology 2 CDs and it’s the very same.
The pre-take 4 warm up is already available from the Rockband songs (shorter here), Take 4 is new and also the speech at the end. Length 3:07
4. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Take 7]
The pre take warm up also already available on the Rockband songs but Paul’s count-in is new, it’s not the same count-in from the Anthology 2 CDs: (George Martin: “OK Man let’s go, Lights on”/Paul’s count-in and John whistling) so the count-in here or on the Anthology CDs comes from a different take but not the 7th. The other main difference is that the Anthology Version has double tracked vocal or echo attached to John’s vocal, while on this new release it’s pure, single tracked. the vocal is also centered, while on Anthology it’s on the left channel. Here, the take is complete while on the Anthology, the tape-loops at the end.
Also the end here was already available as part of the “outtakes medley” from the Anthology video but now it’s longer.
5. Lovely Rita [Speech And Take 9] (*actually SI onto Take 9 into take 10 or 11)
Partially new although according to Mark Lewisohn, take 9 was a reduction mix from take 8 and also a backing track and vocals were added a day after giving birth to take 10 and 11, so this could not be Take 9. The speech at the intro could be from an earlier take and it’s already available (edited here) at the Rockband intros, then we can hear Paul’s count in very far away (“One, Two, Three, Four” and by the way, this same count-in intro is also available on the Rockband mixes starting from “two, three, four” ) and once the song starts he is reciting with loud and clear voice, not the same as for the count-in, so this is a vocal overdub take, but it’s actually the released vocal take. Sadly, the only difference is the lack of overdubs and the harmonies from the intro, the best is that we can hear the full ending of the song and Paul and John singing at the end when the song already ended “Oh no no, I refuse to Go”.
6. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Take 1 And Speech At The End]
Part of the pre-take warm up was already available from the Rockband intros, the rest of the take is new.
7. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Speech, False Start And Take 5]
The speech is already available as part of the “Eight Days A Week” movie and also the False Start, the rest of the take is new.
8. Getting Better [Take 1 – Instrumental And Speech At The End]
Part of the pre-take warm up is already available from the Rockband intros, the take announcement is new and the full take 1 is new (and superb!)
9. Getting Better [Take 12]
New-This time the actual Take and not with a vocal overdub, although this was the backing track for the released version, starts with count-in and some extra guitar riffs before they start the actual take.
10. Within You Without You [Take 1 – Indian Instruments Only]
New– Well, to start, Giles inserted the announcement for “Take One” five seconds after the song started. I’m sure that the original take announcement from Geoff Emerick was before the song started and not once it has already started (like the rest of the Beatles sessions!). Second, Giles also added George’s voice saying “OK, ah just go” at 2:35 . Why? To avoid people get bored? I don’t think this is part of the actual take but.. maybe. Although it sounds as taken from the same rehearsal tape from the following track..
Third, Mark Lewisohn describes Take 1 with a duration of 6:25 but here we only have 5:32. Nice Take 1 without violins.
11. Within You Without You [George Coaching The Musicians]
New. This is fantastic, better than “Take 1”, this sounds like a rehearsal and 22 seconds of this were already on the Rockband intros. “Just tape it Geoff, just in case”, Harrison indicates at the end. The length is 3:55.
12. She’s Leaving Home [Take 1 – Instrumental]
New– In the end, this was the take used for the final version. Some warm-ups, then George Martin doing the count-in. Both Takes 1 & 6 features the extra cello segment that Martin edited out from the final version (and that was already available as part of the 4-track Multitrack tape on bootlegs)
13. She’s Leaving Home [Take 6 – Instrumental]
New– The other “best” take to choose from. The intro from George Martin “(Is)the tempo all right Paul?” is edited here, we can’t hear Paul’s answer here but this is available from the Rockband intros and Paul says: “YES”, and sadly we can’t hear that on this official box.
Where is an alternate vocal track from Paul for this song, Giles? Two instrumentals for the same song sounding almost the same and where no Beatle is playing?
14. With A Little Help From My Friends [Take 1 – False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental]
New– Are we missing some vocal take from Ringo on the entire outtakes discs?
15. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) [Speech And Take 8]
New– and the final highlight in my opinion from this set. Missing are also more takes of this song.
|London taxis advertising the new Sgt Pepper release.|
CD 4: bonus tracks in Mono
16. A Day In The Life [Unreleased First Mono Mix]
“A Day in the life.. this is RM1 of Four Track Take..ahh.. Six” announcement from Geoff Emerick is new. But on bootleg we have a different announcement circulating: “Four track remix, this is Take six” and was placed together with the RM1 acetate version, so maybe that announcement on bootlegs comes from the tape reduction made to create Take 6 but not the Mono mixing?. The rest of the song is the same version on bootleg circulating from many years where Paul makes the “Oh S**t!” mistake, but here is in perfect quality.
17. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Unreleased Mono Mix – No. 11]
New– “RM 11” announcement from Emerick, it has also some pre-take sounds. The ‘lost’ version for many years.
18. She’s Leaving Home [Unreleased First Mono Mix]
New– “RM1” announcement from Emerick, Paul and John can be heard at the beginning ready to sing and then Paul’s count in. The harp at the intro has the ADT effect not featured on the final version and also the extra cello part is present here.
19. Penny Lane [Capitol Records U.S. Promo Single – Mono Mix]
New– This is RM11 although no slate is available, it’s similar to RM10 which circulates in perfect quality and features the extra piccolo trumpet at the end. This RM11 comes from an acetate and despite what people have commented, the quality is pretty decent considering this was also a lost acetate and the original mix is no longer at the Abbey Road Studios. Better to have RM11 rather than having the same version already on bootlegs and many other releases (RM10).