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.

“1:28
(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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: