The Beatles, ‘Hey Jude And Revolution’ (TMOQ Gazette / HMC 040)
DVD – Hey Jude studio rehearsals / St. Louis Blues / Hey Jude – Take 1 / Hey Jude – Take 2 / Hey Jude – Take 3 / Hey Jude Original Promotional Videos (Unedited) – Hey Jude – Take 1 / Hey Jude Take 2 / Hey Jude – Take 3 / Revolution original promotional videos (Unedited) – Take 1 / Take 2 – Bonus videos – Smothers Brothers (6th October 1968) Hey Jude / Smothers Brothers (13th October 1968) Revolution / Smothers Brothers (17th November 1968) George Harrison cameo / Original Experiment In TV segment (with re-dubbed audio).
CD – Hey Jude studio rehearsals / St. Louis Blues / Hey Jude – Take 1 / Hey Jude – Take 2 / Hey Jude – Take 3 / Hey Jude Original Promotional Videos (Unedited) – Hey Jude – Take 1 / Hey Jude Take 2 / Hey Jude – Take 3 / Revolution original promotional videos (Unedited) – Take 1 / Take 2 – Bonus videos – Smothers Brothers (6th October 1968) Hey Jude / Smothers Brothers (13th October 1968) Revolution / Smothers Brothers (17th November 1968) George Harrison cameo / Original Experiment In TV segment (with re-dubbed audio)
Long left the road, the Beatles began filming their strongest and longest single, “Hey Jude” at Trident studios on when Abbey Road was over booked. Typically Paul was rushing to get his works down and out quickly, getting product out to the fans in the ’60’s was essential lest you get swamped by the next big thing (Even the Beatles felt this way), before the press started poking in the cracks of the bands foundations (More of which later) and because of the former, the Beatles were still pulling out red-hot zingers as singles like Napster was still 30-odd years away (It was).
You all know the track, should know the history too but in a nutshell, written for Julian Lennon after the collapse of his parents marriage, Paul took a shine to the song, rewrote the subject a little and with a ‘little help from his friends’, established the pleasingly eccentric lyrics and added the longest and most crowd rousing coda of his career. All in all, 7 minutes of it breaking the records for radio play for pop songs over 4 minutes and starting a cottage industry in English football chants and extended codas in pop (‘Hey Jude’s’ has been stolen and abused quite a few times too.)
The song wasn’t without controversy though as, taking to advertise via the medium of scratched out whitewash, the A and B sides in the now defunct Apple boutiques window in London, the Jewish business owners of the locality took offense to this perceived slight until Paul took to pacifying the situation.
During the rehearsal of the song in the studio, TV cameras were allowed access for the recording of the documentary, ‘Music’. Various takes of the track were recorded including chatter and improvisations and the footage was stitched together to compile around 6 minutes of behind the scenes joviality.
The B side was a reworked version of the LP track, ‘Revolution’. It’s sluggish bluesiness and doo-wapping on the album needed a little fleshing out so it was re-scored as a faster rocker, John, the undecided militant was still on the fence about what he might be on when the real revolution came so covered all the bases by suggesting he would be in or maybe out of the troubles when the hammer fell. I guess it depended on how he felt on the day.
Promos for the two tracks, both A and B side were deemed required – possibly at the request of John – and that’s what happened, the taping for both videos took place at Twickenham film studios on Wednesday 4th December, 1968 with TV personality, interviewer and satirist, David Frost introducing the ‘Hey Jude’ clip in a brightly lit TV studio as, along with an orchestra in the background, the Fabs invited the audience to join in on the ‘na, na, na-ing’ at the end. Three takes were shot over the day each with individual introductions. Two takes of the ‘Revolution’ video were captured which featured the Beatles on their own, this time in a dimly lit studio covering the dark and shade between the two tracks.
Hey Jude studio rehearsals – St. Louis Blues / Hey Jude – Take 1 / Hey Jude – Take 2 / Hey Jude – Take 3
These rehearsals and early takes have been around for years as brilliantly glossy audio dubs from video first appearing on Yellow Dog’s ‘Unsurpassed Masters’ series. HMC seem to have gotten various snippets from these sessions and dubbed them against the original soundtrack. These rehearsals are willfully silly as the Beatles giggle and joke between each other in the studio as a rather straight-laced George Martin, Ken Scott and George Harrison sit in the control room.
Beginning with a take on ‘St. Louis Blues’ (Intermittently synched) we have ‘take 1’ of ‘Hey Jude’ there is more of this to synch up with and, equally divided’ we have plenty of Paul, John (& Yoko!) and Ringo footage throughout. It is rather lovely to watch the band warm up if a little disconcerting to hear without the building chorus – brilliant to see the footage that matches Ringo’s ‘trousers’ comment at the end too.
Takes 2 & 3 are essentially more of the same but using different footage – Paul’s handwritten lyrics on the rest, the Georges sharing a joke in the studio, John in his rainbow stripe shirt having a smoke, Paul looking like he’s sharing a few strong words with George Harrison while George holds his guitar, Ringo looking wistfully on and a half eaten apple core (Telling?) Some, if not all of this footage will be familiar from the ‘White Album’ montage from the Anthology home movie, the rest should be almost entirely brand new. Sure, it’s not all in ‘1’ revamped HD quality but you’re VERY unlikely to find this any other way. The audio is what we’ve heard before and in beautiful stereo quality.
Hey Jude studio rehearsals – St. Louis Blues / Hey Jude – Take 1 / Hey Jude – Take 2 / Hey Jude – Take 3
The three takes of ‘Hey Jude’ are presented here in their full versions – David Frost’s ‘Greatest Living Tearoom Orchestra’ comment was recorded separately and differently each time (You’ll recall version #1 from Anthology at least), take 1 begins a very natural David Frost bringing in the band and George’s reference to colour (It’s great to see this footage as recorded rather than broadcast) with Paul staring straight at the camera, nervously warming up before the count in. Mercifully, this version isn’t butchered either, each and every joyous and madcap second is employed.
Take two’s Frost introduction is the ‘Now Or Never’ introduction, Paul comes up with an idea that he want’s to voice just as the filming countdown commences but sinks back in to his chair just as he realises that they’re ready to roll. The band know what they’re doing, it’s a little more formal, already – after a time in a hot studio – John’s disinterest is getting the better of him – the recording itself pretty much the same as the first though the crowd come in on the last chorus – just a little early – and the lady with the tambourine stood by Ringo knows what she’s doing.
Take three has the Beatles well in swing by now. The introduction is the most lacklustre of all as the band already know what they’re expected to do, the improvisational sheen has rubbed off somewhat and things start to fall apart at the end as the band begin to fall out of time with each other. This video is preceded by a few seconds of blank screen as the cameras are set up and Paul decides that he would like the audience to stand up. This brief clip was first posted on the website Daily Motion by Revolver TV in the first couple of days in 2016 – How do we know this? Because HMC have picked up the watermarked video – the raw tape obviously indelibly marked by the uploader but brand new and desirable enough.
Revolution original promotional videos (Unedited) – Revolution – Take 1 / Revolution – Take 2
Recorded later that day, only two passes at the rocker survive, the first is preceded by an image of the clapper-board and the audio is a little warm up chatter by George as he discusses the harmonies – once again watermarked by Revolver TV – then John bawls his song of the moment, ‘It’s Now Or Never’ between stray bass notes. The first take is notable for Paul looking left to John and George as he screams in the introduction, the song wraps up to John crouching down and Paul pulling off his bass.
Take 2 has Paul staring straight to camera, then George turns to Paul mouthing, what is to be believed, “John smells like shit”. More emphasis is on John’s vocals during this take too and, as he gets a little more excitable, there is a little more feedback from the guitar and bumping in to the camera. Apparently there was a third take of the track proposed for which the slate was prepared but the slot was never filmed, HMC have left the frame as is.
Bonus videos – Smothers Brothers (6th October 1968) – Hey Jude / Smothers Brothers (13th October 1968) – Revolution / Smothers Brothers (17th November 1968) – George Harrison cameo
The Smothers Brothers bonus videos are of no difference to the previous incarnations of the promos except they are edited down for broadcast and a little paler than the original recordings. Little parts of history in their own way, for fans of the Smothers Brothers, it’ll be a nice catch up and recap over the long un-broadcast shows. Preceded by a short monologue, ‘Hey Jude’ (Version 1) is introduced by Tommy and loses David Frost’s introduction altogether, begining with the count in. “Revolution” (Version two) is proceeded by an introduction by Dick Smother and ends with the advert for the commercials. George’s brief appearance is essentially a quiet affair and seems to come from the unedited recording, the something important that he has to announce never materialised and quickly folds in to an appearance by the Ron Poindexter dancers. It is nice to have for the collection in very, very good quality however.
Original Experiment In TV segment (with re-dubbed audio).
Finally the ‘Experiment In TV’ segment. An amalgamation between the best sources of this film and the best (re-dubbed) audio, the sound chops between upgrades of the song but this is the best you’ll likely see this example. If you haven’t heard it or seen it, this is brilliant for capturing the Beatles at some of their wise cracking best in the studio as work commences on ‘Hey Jude’.
The CD included is the set is almost superfluous to the video unless you prefer to listen in the car or on the move. The video is the main draw here really but with the audio taken straight from the DVD, it sounds great and for the extra outtakes and chatter, this is most certainly worthy of inclusion in your collection, nae, a must have!
The packaging is the standard TMOQ Gazette paper. Shots from the recording sessions, a write up sourced from ‘The Daily Beatle’ with regards to the filming of the promos and a few pages of facts about the two tracks.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)