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The Beatles – Moggology Vol. 5 (Medusa MD-020)

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The Beatles “Moggology Vol. 5″ (Medusa MD-020)

Come Together (Take 9 – Faders 1-7 ‘Single Vocal’ stereo) / Something (Take 36 – Faders 3+4+8 Down ‘No Orchestra or Organ’ Stereo) / Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Take 21 Partial – Rhythm Track Mono) / Oh! Darling (Take 26 – Rhythm Track Stereo) / Octopuses Garden (Take 32 – Faders 1 – 5 only ‘Rhythm and Vocal Mix’ Mono) / I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Edit of takes 9, 20, 32 – Faders 6 – 8 Down. Basic Mix. Mono) / Here Comes The Sun (Take 13 – Faders 4+5 Down ‘No Orchestra. Stereo) / Because (Take 16 – Faders 5+6 Down ‘Single Vocal’ Stereo) / A Huge Melody 1 Remake (Stereo) / A Huge Melody 2 Remake (Stereo) / Her Majesty ( Take 3 Mono)
The Extras; Sun King – Mean Mister Mustard (Take 35 Stereo) / The End (Take 7. Stereo) / Come Together (Take 6. Rhythm Track With Guide Vocal. Stereo) / Golden Slumbers – Carry That Weight (Take 17 – Fader 8 Down. ‘No Orchestra’. Stereo) / The End ( Take 7 – Fader 3 Down. No Orchestra. Stereo)
The Apple Acetates; Old Brown Shoe (Demo Take 2 – Apple Acetate Mono Mix) / All Things Must Pass (Demo Take 2 – Apple Acetate Mono Mix) / Rock Of All Ages (Apple Acetate – Bad Finger With Paul McCartney. Mono) (68:59)

And so we come to the latest (possibly final as we’ve reached the last album) “Moggology” release, part of Medusa’s hit and miss series on building these rock band fragments. As you’ve have seen, some of these pieces work, some of them don’t. It’s not for the want of the manufacturer trying but some of the music was just never meant to be stripped down and while it’s a nice attempt to through new light on to these recordings, theres not much that is actually revealed.

“Come Together” (Take 9 – Faders 1-7 ‘Single Vocal’ stereo) – A great version of the CV. Sounds very roomy ( At one point you can hear the squeak of finger on guitar string as chords change ) and john’s guitar is a lot clearer in the mix. At 1:54 a different guitar break can be heard but thats the only thing that really creeps out.

“Something” (Take 36 – Faders 3+4+8 Down ‘No Orchestra or Organ’ Stereo) Sadly just the shortened mix of the final track (without it’s Lennon – led piano jam towards the end) the orchestra is nothing that you’d miss to be honest as you’ll mainly be listening to George’s guitar.

“Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” (Take 21 Partial – Rhythm Track Mono) Made much better for not having McCartney’s vocals or, more specifically, Macca’s lyrics. The jolly piano lines and trademark melodic bass lines are all present and correct and the ghost of a crowd chattering can be heard faintly behind the rest. A nice karaoke version of the song but unfortunately the tune alone isn’t enough to carry it along itself.

“Oh! Darling” (Take 26 – Rhythm Track Stereo) A near instrumental version of the track with McCartneys vocals ghosting underneath. Almost like listening to a rehearsal itself were the song not so familiar as to be fully formed. This time it’s almost a shame that the vocals are obliterated as anything else could have been shifted – either the bass, piano, guitar or drums to have made this a more interesting listen.

“Octopuses Garden” (Take 32 – Faders 1 – 5 only ‘Rhythm and Vocal Mix’ Mono) Beginning with a short ‘out-fake’ or false start, the track is missing it’s various winsome harmonies and piano lines thus it becomes a shallower listen.

“I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” (Edit of takes 9, 20, 32 – Faders 6 – 8 Down. Basic Mix. Mono) Masking most of John’s scratchy guitar lines, the song becomes a lither, funkier, jazz driven snake as McCartney’s bass takes over a lot more. The pyramidic harmonies are still there though fortunately.

“Here Comes The Sun” (Take 13 – Faders 4+5 Down ‘No Orchestra. Stereo) Does just as it says, Strips out the orchestration from the song and raises the sound of George’s acoustic guitar. As the orchestration took a back seat originally it makes a shallow difference to the song.

“Because” (Take 16 – Faders 5+6 Down ‘Single Vocal’ Stereo) Again, not a grand change from the original apart from the missing harmonies. Maybe it might have been a bigger difference to take away the instruments a la “Love” but unless you were quite au fait with the material, there’s nothing vastly different for you.

“A Huge Melody 1 Remake” (Stereo) / “A Huge Melody 2 Remake” (Stereo) / “Her Majesty” ( Take 3 Mono) – The first melody begins with a reel announcement (‘RS2′) and continues on as usual. Consisting of “You Never Give Me Your Money” in to “Sun King”, through “Mean Mr. Mustard”, “Her Majesty” (Taking it’s original, rightful place before it’s dismissal at the cutting stage), “Polythene Pam” and then “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window” – The only other differences being that you can hear a little more of John’s ad-libbing through “Polythene Pam”. The Second melody contains “Golden Slumbers” and “Carry That Weight” as well as “The End” from which all the vocals and the guitar sparing are cut(!). An arresting listen without those it’s strange that it’s cut to bare bones.
“Her Majesty” Is most acoustic with a whispered lyric and the final chord intact.

“Sun King – Mean Mister Mustard” (Take 35 Stereo) – Stripped of the vocals and it’s rhythm guitar “Sun King” is a blissful listen, reminiscent of Peter Green’s “Albatross”, “Mean Mr Mustard’s” trumping moog notes are never more defined. The track ends on cymbal crash rather than it’s fade in to the next track.

“The End” (Take 7. Stereo) – Another instrumental take on the track this time with George’s backing guitar replaced back in to the mix.

“Come Together” (Take 6. Rhythm Track With Guide Vocal. Stereo) A very faint guide vocal at that.

“Golden Slumbers – Carry That Weight” (Take 17 – Fader 8 Down. ‘No Orchestra’. Stereo) / “The End” ( Take 7 – Fader 3 Down. No Orchestra. Stereo) These are two very interesting mixes – without the orchestration that George Martin lovingly created to accompany the pieces they sound naked. Obviously all the ‘modern day’ components are there but what these recordings do is serve the best of the rest appropriately – Macca’s bass has, for me, not been as noticeable before and the same is true of the backing vocals. “The End” doesn’t feature much noticeable differentiation.

The Apple Acetates; “Old Brown Shoe” (Demo Take 2 – Apple Acetate Mono Mix) / “All Things Must Pass” (Demo Take 2 – Apple Acetate Mono Mix) Discovered around late 2012 / early 2013 these ‘group’ acetates (As opposed to the solo outtakes that we had had earlier) have early mixes for the George tracks. “Old Brown Shoe” is missing a little extra instrumentation towards it’s ending, “All Things Must Pass” features a double tracked George vocal – an idea we must be thankful that he didn’t stick with.

“Rock Of All Ages” (Apple Acetate – Badfinger With Paul McCartney. Mono) Also discovered around the same time this snippet of on Apple acetate features Paul throwing a few “Helter Skelter” style screams as backing for the Slade style track. Unfortunately, it’s around 30 seconds long but it’s suitable enough until the full version arrives.

Again “Moggology” has been a half and half affair. Some great mixes here but not enough for the diehard to need to add to their collection and only really useful for the Apple acetates at the end.
The artwork follows the same part as before though and is full of “Abbey Road” cover outtakes though nothing that we haven’t seen before.

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2 Comments

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  1. Profile photo of Stuart
    Stuart says
    May 28, 2013, 1:02 am

    Thanks Solly! I was possibly expecting more than I heard on this disk – I think my review is partisan enough to make it look like I wasn’t throughly in to it. It’s certainly a very good listen but without the surprises of the other 4 volumes.

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    solly says
    May 27, 2013, 7:51 pm

    I picked this title up the other day and really enjoy it. The sound quality is outstanding. Its listening to Abbey road before a lot of overdubs were included. My favorite tracks are “I want You” and the instrumental” Sun King.”

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