Sunday, April 13, 2008

This date in Beatles history: 1966

On April 13, 1966 – a Wednesday night – the Beatles cut the basic tracks for a Paul McCartney tune called “Paperback Writer.” They nailed it in two takes.

This recording was considered a sonic breakthrough for the Beatles... because of Paul’s fat bass line.

According to Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn, John Lennon once complained that the bass sound on Beatles records was so thin compared to Wilson Pickett’s.

British sound engineers refused to pump up the low end, believing that too much bass would make the record skip... it would knock the needle right out of the groove.

But for this 45, “Paperback Writer,” EMI engineers employed a new mastering technology and went with a stronger bass signal.

Embedded below is EMI’s official promo video for “Paperback Writer” (and its flip side, “Rain”). Extra bonus: a fabulous clip of the band performing the song live in Japan!


estiv said...

UBM, I recently finished Geoff Emerick's book on working with the Fabs in the studio. If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it. Learned stuff that wasn't in George Martin's or Mark Lewisohn's books.

Undercover Black Man said...

^Thanks, Estiv. I didn't even know he'd written one.

dez said...

What a day! Two Beatles vids, one Los Lobos, and a Janet Jackson song! Your blog rocks, David :-)

Malcolm said...

I always liked the drums in "Rain". Second only to "Good Morning"

Des said...

My 9 and 10 year old girls abso-freaking-lutely love the harmonies of PBR as much as any Temptation tune they've heard. I used love listening to them parcel out the parts riding behind me... and they love that bass....or they walk.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ You're raising 'em right!