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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

ANTHOLOGY 1 - side six

Many critics and fans now consider the group's fourth album Beatles for Sale (and its American counterpart Beatles '65) to be a low point in the band's career, but I can assure you few of us thought that when they were first issued in late 1964.  Indeed, these releases helped the Beatles solidify their position as the number one act in the world at that time, a feat that no one could have predicted at the start of that momentous year. 

You Know What To Do - The group was most likely scheduled to record a fourteenth track for A Hard Day's Night on June 4th, 1964, but Ringo was taken ill and a replacement drummer named Jimmy Nicol was hastily called in to rehearse with the band so that he could fill in for the first few dates of their world tour, which began the next day.  Following the rehearsal, the other three Beatles recorded demo versions of tunes they had ready to go.  When the Anthology was assembled in the 1990's, George Harrison had absolutely no memory of this pleasant early composition, only his second to date.  It would have been interesting to see how they would have arranged this number had it resurfaced during the Beatles for Sale sessions.

No Reply (Demo) - John's demo on that day was a song that would resurface and be chosen to open that next album.  The lineup for this version probably has Paul on drums and George on bass.  John and Paul crack each other up repeatedly as they play around with the lyrics, particularly the phrase "your face."

Mr. Moonlight - In August of '64, at the second session for their fourth album, the group tackled this oddity with an arrangement close to the final version they recorded a few months later.  The major difference is that George plays a deliberately wobbly guitar part which would eventually be replaced by Paul on Hammond organ.  On this session tape, we hear John's voice crack the first time he attempts the opening shout of the title phrase.

Leave My Kitten Alone - At the same session, the boys also recorded the song most fans wish had taken the place of the previous number on Beatles for Sale.  We'll never know why that tune was favored over this one, but thankfully we can all enjoy this scorching rocker here on the Anthology.

No Reply - Picking right up where they had left off a few months earlier, John and Paul revived the "your face" joke on take 2 of this number.  But the arrangement, now with Ringo on drums and producer George Martin on piano, was already heading toward the dramatic feel of the master, take 8.

Eight Days A Week (False Starts) - We get a great glimpse into the evolution of this McCartney composition as John and Paul try a few variations on a vocal intro that would ultimately be scrapped in favor of an instrumental fade-in. 

Eight Days A Week - The complete take 5 still has a vocal intro and features a few differences in the ways they sing "hold me, love me" and the song's title.  I love the kicks Ringo adds on the drums before "ain't got nothing but love" and wonder why it was decided to drop them.  The boys also sing "oohs" on the outro at this point.

Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey! - The released version of Paul's Little Richard tribute was take 1, but they did make an additional attempt at the number before that decision was made.  Not a huge difference, but this second take is simply not quite as good.

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