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Wednesday, Jan 12 2005

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.)



  • Sunday, Feb 6 2005

    Just to let you know that the URL above to Hey Jude and What Goes On has moved, come in via and go via the Alphabetical Index. Just passing through 🙂

  • Sunday, Feb 6 2005

    Thanks for letting us know!

  • Sunday, Sep 11 2005

    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.

  • Monday, Sep 12 2005

    None at all. Anyway, listen to the sound clip at , and you can hear the phrase in question muttered behind the words “then you begin”.

    It’s actually nowhere near as clear as the F word in another famous 1960s song that I alluded to above.

  • Monday, Jan 5 2009

    The anomalies web site has moved a little further this time, to


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