Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Rock Band (Audiofӧn AF 020)
( 73:13 ) Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band / With A little Help From My Friends / Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds / Getting Better / Fixing A Hole / She’s Leaving Home / Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite / Within You Without You / When I’m 64 / Lovely Rita / Good Morning Good Morning / Sgt. Pepper ( Reprise ) / A Day In The Life / Good Morning Good Morning – Sgt. Pepper ( Reprise ) – A Day In The Life – Hey Bulldog / Miscellaneous chat
The Rockband behemoth has spawned yet another CD in it’s range. The king bees in these circumstances have been from the Yellow Dog family – Rattlesnake & Audiofon having released at least 8 disks from these recordings all in fantastic, officially remastered sound. As before though most of these recordings add nothing too new to the table music wise instead treating us to hours of various notes, warm ups & studio chatter opening the blinds ever further in to the Beatles sessions – Far more in that sense than the Beatles own Anthology series that, while featuring butchered versions of previously unheard outtakes, cut away most of the feel of the studio as the fabs warmed up to lead in to song.
As with the other releases this review focuses on the pre-song chatter as you know what to expect from the songs so unless there’s a long lost coda or interesting change in the track I haven’t mentioned the song.
1 ) Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band / With A little Help From My Friends : Begins with a few stray notes, a warm up on George’s guitar, Paul gets his bass right. Paul mentions that the backing track has probably to be finalised first
2 ) Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds : Organ chords, guitar strumming start us off. George wants a recording played back to him before it’s pointed out that it won’t be put to tape. John coughs & Paul calls out instructions as to how things should go & how he wants John to sing then he counts in ..
3 ) Getting Better : John mentions that he finds that something is quite fast & then reasons with himself. He tells Paul how he would like a ling singing “If you can think, y’know .. ” Ringo points out who’s doing what wrong before we’re left with more warming up & straight in to the count down.
4 ) Fixing A Hole : A brief warm up while John mentions how he wants to finally wants to nail the track this time.
5 ) She’s Leaving Home : Begins with George Martin asking how Paul’s finding the tempo to which Paul replies in the affirmative, Mr. Martin gives the go ahead while John mutters something like “Don’t waste your breath, hold it” before George’s double count in.
6 ) Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite : The “Anthology 2” pre-song chatter before it was sliced after John corrects Geoff Emerick’s introduction there are a few spare notes & then John laughingly speaks in tongues because he’s trying to fit all his lyrics in to one space. Paul gives him some pointers as to how to let his words flow. After a little more warming up John begins to spout nonsense lyrics about breakfast cereals, what he’s drinking but still isn’t in the zone as Paul announces in a comedy voice that he’s ready to go but the pass comes to falter & John berates himself for it while Paul calls him a “Sensationalist.”
7 ) Within You Without You : Warm Sitar chords fade up while George Harrison goes through the lyrics almost phonetically. Before re-counting the tempo & telling the players where they went wrong previously. He asks to go from the beginning & then asks Geoff Emerick to take the track “Just in case .. ”
8 ) When I’m 64 : A warm up on guitar & the tempo is tapped out in pedal. The familial bass guitar part is then played while George plays a wilder guitar part before letting the bass through again. There is no count in this time.
9 ) Lovely Rita : Ringo tapes out a messy rhythm on his kick drum for a few seconds. John asks for a little more volume from his microphone from the beginning of the song. The piano chords & guitar lines are worked out while John asks if he can be heard. A little more working out before John as concerns about his guitar & the connection. He then mentions playing a funny chord ( “A Freak Out one” ) before the band go straight in to the track.
10 ) Good Morning Good Morning : One of the musically more interesting tracks on the album – Rather than fading in to “Sgt.Pepper’s Reprise” this track ends more naturally. It begins with around 25 seconds of Ringo warming up on drums & the guitar riff being played. As mentioned, the coda ends with the cacophony of animal calls, John shouting in German, Paul shouts ‘everybody’ before John decides he’s had enough by shouting “That’s enough”. The Squawking guitar chord that usually leads in to “Sgt. Pepper” that sounds more like a chicken is nowhere to be heard until ..
11 ) Sgt. Pepper ( Reprise ) : Begins with various warm ups on drums & guitars & then a discordant piano is played towards the track. The song begins with the clucking chicken & the feedback fueled guitar strikes up. I had thought that without the ‘chicken’ sound that it could have been a guitar chord that sounded unusually bird like but that it remains only remains to spur the mystery. The track fades out with the audience applause.
12 ) A Day In The Life : Begins with the Anthology “Drop the mike quite low .. ” chatter but with extra guitar strumming at the end while John vocalises the tune. The track ends with the final chord lasting around 45 seconds.
13 ) Good Morning Good Morning / Sgt. Pepper ( Reprise ) / A Day In The Life : Essentially a medley utilising the Rockband versions of these tracks spliced in to one long track. No additions, no new chatter.
14 ) Hey Bulldog : Not a Sgt. Pepper track but left from the Magical Mystery Tour sessions – John asks for a little more piano in his headphones as all he can hear is guitar. the band warm up & John signals that he’s happy to start. An ascending guitar part plays, Ringo steadies the drums while John states that he usually has problems with his piano part but then counts in.
15 ) Miscellaneous chat : Rather than the infamous “Think For Yourself” chatter that made it’s first appearance on Yellow Dog’s “Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 7” this collection is closer to the various bits & bats of studio chatter that kept the transition between albums through out the Anthology video series.
A jumble of preludes to songs that were included in Anthology but rather than having bits & pieces judiciously chopped up then these are presented fully ( Or as fully as Apple will allow ) – These include various snippets from ‘Tommorow Never Knows’ ( Also on Anthology 2 ), ‘Here Comes The Sun’ & “I’m Down” these all record the thoughts, complaints & laughs that the fabs had in the studio. Mostly they’ve been picked for their humour while Beatles cajoled each other to start their respective songs or try to explain their methods. As fun as they are then a lot of the Beatle community would have been happier with new music but while we’re waiting for something else to spill from the vaults then this is a fine way to pass the time.
They are :
“Rockband” ( Rattlesnake RS 239/40 )
“Sgt.Pepper Rockband” ( RS 241 )
“Abbey Rd Rockband” ( RS 242 )
“Rubber Soul Rockband” ( RS 243 )
“Helter Skelter & 18 other songs” ( Audiofon AF 16 )
So 6 disks all in all. Sorry for my over counting.
Can you please run down the 8 disks issued by the YD family of labels regarding Rock Band?