12 Jan

What Goes On — The Beatles Anomalies List

Someone mentioned What Goes On in an AskMetafilter thread recently, and I had to post about it being the Beatles geek that I am. It’s an exhaustive listing of “anomalies” in Beatles recordings — that is, clicks, editing mistakes, double-tracking errors, background chatter, and so on. Some of it is really hard to hear, but most of the anomalies can be heard without even resorting to headphones.

(Left channel) John says ‘TELL me why.’ It’s possible that John says ‘I already TOLD you why;’ if so, ‘I already’ is too faint to hear, but the inflection is too unclear for me to state it conclusively.
It is suggested that this is a reference to the earlier 1964 song, Tell Me Why.”

(It’s pretty obvious to my ear that he’s saying “…TOLD you why!”)

The odd thing about it is that I find many of these anomalies terribly familiar. I have noticed the double-tracking screwups in “Eleanor Rigby” many times, but never thought of them as errors, really. They are just the way the song is. When I listen to my own recordings I cringe at every little anomaly — but the Beatles’ work was full of them and no one minded!

(Edited to add: on this page you are told where the phrase “fucking hell” is included in “Hey Jude”. It is there, pretty clearly. That makes two well-known pop songs of the 60s that managed to slip the F word into the recording when someone said it in the background. The other one? Guess, and maybe I’ll post it one of these days.)

5 thoughts on “What Goes On — The Beatles Anomalies List

  1. I still don’t hear the words “fucking hell” in Hey Jude. Maybe you could tell me what drugs you’re taking to hear those words, then I’ll finally hear it.

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