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The Beatles – Moggology Volume 2 (Medusa 003/4)

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Moggology Vol. 2 ( Rubber Soul & More ) – Medusa 003/4

Disk 1; Think For Yourself ( Take 1 – Rhythm + Percussion. Overdubs Mono. TK 1 + 4 partial ) / Think For Yourself ( SI on to Take 1 – Vocals ) ( Mono ) ( Tk 2+3 ) / Think For Yourself ( SI onto Take 1 – Organ+Fuzz bass) ( Mono ) ( TK4 Partial ) / Think For Yourself ( SI onto Take 1 – Organ+Fuzz bass + Perc. ) ( Mono ) ( Tk. 4) / Think For Yourself ( Take 1 – Rhythm + Vocal 1 ) ( Mono ) ( TK 1+ 2 ) / Think For Yourself ( Take 1 – Organ, Fuzz Bass + Vocal 2 ) ( Mono ) ( Tk 3 + 4 ) / Think For Yourself ( Take 1 – Single track vocal ) ( Stereo ) / The Word ( Take 3 – Rhythm + Vocal 1 ) ( Mono ) ( TK 1 + Partial TK 4 ) / The Word ( SI on to Take 3 – Vocals ) ( Mono ) ( TK 2 + 3 ) / The Word ( SI on to Take 3 – Bass + Falsetto + Harmonium ) ( Mono ) ( TK 4 ) / The Word ( Take 3 – Without Final Overdubs ) ( Mono ) / Girl ( Take 2 – Rhythm ) ( Mono ) ( TK 1 ) / Girl ( SI on to Take 2 – Guitar 1 + Partial Vocals ) ( Mono ) ( TK 4 ) / Girl ( SI on to Take 2 – Guitar 2 + Cymbal ) ( Mono ) ( TK 2 ) / Girl ( Take 2 ) ( Mono ) / In My Life ( Take 3 – Rhythm ) ( Mono ) ( TK 1 + 2 ) / In My Life ( SI on to Take 3 – Vocals ) ( Mono ) ( TK3 ) / In My Life ( SI on to Take 3 – Solo + Percussion + Guitar ) ( Mono ) ( TK 4 ) / In My Life ( Take 3 – Single vocal ) ( Mono ) ( TK 1 + 2 ) [ 50:54 ]

Disk 2; Wait ( Take 4 – Rhythm ) ( Mono ) ( TK 1 + 2 ) / Wait ( SI on to Take 4 – Vocals ) ( Mono ) ( Take 3 ) / Wait ( SI on to Take 4 – Percussion + Tone Guitar ) ( Mono ) ( TK 4 ) / Wait ( Take 4 ) ( Mono ) ‘June 17th mix’ / A Hard Days Night ( Take 9 – Rhythm Track ) ( Mono ) ( TK 1 ) / A Hard Days Night ( Take 9 – Vocals ) ( Mono ) ( TK 2 ) / A Hard Days Night ( SI on to Take 9 – Vocals 2 + Others ) ( Mono ) ( TK 3 ) / A Hard Days Night ( SI on to Take 9 – Piano + Guitar Solo ) ( Mono ) ( TK 4 ) / A Hard Days Night ( Take 9 ) ( Mono ) / ‘The Singles’ – Can’t Buy Me Love ( Take 4 – Rhythm Track ) ( Mono ) ( TK 1 ) / Can’t Buy Me Love ( SI on to Take 4. Vocal Overdubs + Lost Guitar Solo TK 2 + 3 Mono ) / Can’t Buy Me Love ( SI on to Take 4 – Guitar Overdubs ) ( TK 4 ) ( Mono ) / Eight Days A Week ( Take 6 + Edit Piece Take 15 ) ( Mono ) ( TK 1 ) / Eight Days A Week ( SI on to Take 6 – Vocal Overdubs ) ( TK 3 + 4 ) ( Mono ) / Eight Days A Week ( SI on to Take 13 – Hand Clap Overdubs ) ( TK 2 ) ( Mono ) / I Feel Fine ( Take 9 – Rhythm Track ) ( Mono ) ( TK 1 ) / I Feel Fine ( Take 9 – Guitar Track ) ( Mono ) ( TK 2 ) / I Feel Fine ( SI on to Take 9 – Vocal + Solo Track ) ( Mono ) ( TK 3 + 4 ) / I Feel Fine ( Take 9 ) ( Mono ) [ 46:06 ]

Welcome again to the Magical Musical History Museum as Medusa take us by the ears once again and lead us through more ‘Rubber Soul’ tracks that are given that separation treatment.

As you’ll have read in the review for Vol. 1 the aim of this series it to present the extractions from the Rockband computer game. This it does either brilliantly or completely fails dependent on the track and the way it’s stems are split.

The bulk of Volume 2 presents the rest of the tracks from Rubber Soul and adds a smattering of non album singles for good measure.

First up is the album’s first George Harrison composition “Think For Yourself”. The first track taking the percussion and rhythm overdubs from Takes 1 & 4 respectively sounds like a very early take of the track as an instrumental run though – you almost want to hear someone call a halt to proceedings to say they’ve bust a string or forgotten a chord – the second track close to listening to George and the others sing over the pre recorded backing track.

We then turn to the oddities with the next two tracks being bare boned parts to the track. Interesting to hear for musicians playing these parts – a little boring to my ears if I’m honest but one must make exceptions for others tastes.

( Track 5. ) brings back the vocals, thankfully, and George, being of a rather unique vocal style, didn’t do it much better than on this track. The full rhythm track twinned with the vocals but minus most of the percussion is a very nice listen. The reverse is also just as good as ( Track 6. ) proves.

The following song “The Word” is given comparatively short shift with only 4 mixes to it’s name. Once again, the first take is an instrumental of the track but with the additional bonus of a very pitched harmony vocal buried through the mix at the halfway stage onwards by either Paul or George. The ending is new to me too as it glides to a halt and was usually buried in the fade of the CV.

The Vocal track is very good, a stripped down Lennon vocal, as I’ve pointed out before, is a thing of treasure within the Beatles canon. Sure, this one augmented by the harmonies but when it’s just John he’s really ‘on’. The other surprise within is a almost inaudible conversation between Lennon and McCartney at around the 2 minute mark where it sounds like John is unsure about the harmonies and how they work while Paul demonstrates this to him. You’d never pick it up on the album proper ( Though this may be down to session chatter used by the Rockband makers ) and might have to turn up your headphones to catch it but they are there along with the different, shorter ending.

It shouldn’t go without saying that for the 3 different takes on this disk there are 3 different endings, none of which saw the light of day on the album.

“Girl” – the cheekiest, most knowing song on the album is next up. Discarding the usual rhythm track, the following vocal showcase is nothing strikingly new but, again, serves to highlight the various harmonies throughout.

The next tracks ( Tracks 14. & 15 ) are pretty much a waste of effort. Mostly muted instrumentation and vocals it’s quiet for the best part and loud for a short while. Skip over them, you won’t miss much. (Track 16. ) is the track, music only, in mono. No great shakes either.

Possibly the best track on the album ( ‘In My Life’ ) follows with, again, 4 short takes. the rhythm track ( Track 17. ) is good but without the extras is just the rhythm track.

The vocals take is much better – one never tends to follow the harmonies when measured against the lyrics so while the instrumentation is pushed to the background it’s one less thing to think about. The instrumental break features more John and Paul studio chatter working out the harmonies. Once again, almost invisible to the naked ear but still listenable if you strain.

(Track 19. ) is like listening to a part of Yellow Dog’s “Control Room Monitor Mixes” – a muffled track through glass while someone strums along and George Martin’s harpsichord part is chopped out and played over the top.

To tail the disk we have a mono version of take 3 with a single vocal. This is a new twist on the generally accepted track, the harmonies are a little smoother, a bit less obvious and the ambiance is more ‘church like’. A very good listen.

“Wait” ends out our “Rubber Soul” experience and begins disk 2. It’s one of the songs that stands up well to it’s lone instrumental backing as Ringo’s furious fills and Macca’s bass parts are perfect at standing alone themselves. The same can be said for the second track with John and Paul’s shared vocals as they mingle. ( Track 4. ) is billed as the “June 17th Mix”. Quite what this means exactly is a mystery to me. The song was recorded on that date so unless this was a quick mix that would have been prepared to acetate on that date, that would be plausible.

On to the single “A Hard Days Night” is the winner on this disk with a healthy 5 extractions to it’s name. The rollocking rhythm track grabs the pace quickly and tears towards the finishing line. Equally as exciting is the vocal take where John and Paul both share responsibilities and their excitement is evident as both strain on the leash to be the voice of the piece. Both are the commercial version on the album so there’s not a great deal thats new.

The third version of the song features just the vocals, acoustic guitar, lead electric guitar and the tom toms. A cute little strip of the instruments but the 4th version is, well, it’s nothing as after 1:21 of silence we get George’s solo for a full 14 seconds then .. nothing again for the rest of the track until the final 6 seconds of the chiming fade.
The final take ( Track 9. ) is the C.V. mixed to mono but without the jangled fade out.

On to the ‘singles’ ( Loosely titled as “Eight Days A Week” wasn’t a UK single but a US single .. ) greats us with the first customary rhythm track preceded with the “Take 4″ announcement. The next version ( Track 11. ), once again, pushes up the vocals and Ringo’s drums but also adds 2 mixes of George’s guitar solos from takes 2 & 3. These are almost mixed down from the source but are both readily available elsewhere so they’re not missed that much.
The last track ( Track 12. ) pushes up George’s guitar while muting everything else.

“Eight Days A Week” begins with a mixture of Take 6 and an edit piece from take 15. I can’t say I noticed much between this and the final take – especially with the vocals pushed out. The next track ( Track 14. ) turns this on it’s head and while the vocals are a little less polished than the CV there’s not much here to report back on.

The final version pushes down the rhythm, forces the vocals in to a box and highlights the hand claps. If you really wanted to hear this you could invite your friends round, put a pillow over the speakers and cap along. Pointless. It’s only thing worthy of note is that it has a cold ending.

“I Feel Fine” leads us out from the set but comes on like the label just had to include something to fill in the time. Going straight past the rhythm track, the guitar track ( Track 17. ) does the same but adds the lead guitar over the top of the rhythm. ( Track 18. ) boosts the vocals, reins in the backing. Simple as that. ( Track 19. ) is possibly the most interesting take from this bunch but that’s only because of the chatter surrounding the feedback ( Don’t get excited .. it really is just muttering and was included on the British vinyl version on the compilation “The Red Album” ) I do seem to detect a little organ through the beginning of the track but this is vague at best.

All said, when this set shines, it does well. When it tries too hard, it’s just a waste of time. I’ve chosen my favorite tracks. How about yours?

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The Beatles - Moggology Volume 2 (Medusa 003/4), 3.5 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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