Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby tifosi77 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:31 am

Digitalgypsy66 wrote:The Beatles (and George Marin specifically) were pioneers in multi-tracking. The predominant method of recording (and only way for the first several years of the Beatles) was the 4 track tape recorder. I hope I'm explaining this right, but how I understand it is that each track contains a discrete instrument or set of instruments. So, you'd have drums on a track, vocals on track 2, guitars on 3, and bass on track 4. This made for a restrictive method of recording...so the Beatles began multi-tracking, essentially expanding 4 tracks into 16 or more tracks.

They would record on a 4 track and then mix those 4 tracks down to one track of a new 4 (or 8) track tape, opening up three or more tracks (which could in turn be multi-tracked). Obviously, this opened up the amount of sound that could be put on a sound recording.

That's a good way to explain it. It's called 'bouncing'; you record your first four tracks, mix them, and 'bounce' them down to one track on a new master tape. The story of "Bohemian Rhapsody" was that Freddie Mercury was getting the other guys to sing all these parts sort of without knowing what the final product was supposed to be, and he'd get them to triple- and in some cases quadruple-track their voices.* Then he'd mix that take with others and bounce them down to a new master. On one bounce down the engineer noticed that the tape they were using as a scratch pad had passed through the machine so many times that it was becoming translucent.... which is not a good thing. So they quickly had to re-stripe a new tape from that and effectively restart the bouncing process from the middle. But if that engineer hadn't said anything, it's entirely possible that the tape could have snapped and gotten fouled in the machine, which would have meant that hundreds of hours of labor would have been lost, and possibly meant that the song would have died with it, as the other members were not entirely excited about singing all those parts without knowing what was going on.

To quote Prof Snape, recording like this is really a subtle science and exact art. Much more difficult than simply multi-track recording.... which is part of what makes those older albums so remarkable.







* Iirc, Queen recorded on 8-track machines. But the magic of Queen's vocals was that they'd typically have all four members of the band sing each harmony part around the main melody. So every chorus bit would sound like it was being sung by 16 people. Think the opening to "Princes Of The Universe"....... 'Heeeere we are.....' sounds like an entire vocal ensemble, not just four dudes in a room.
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby tifosi77 on Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:55 pm

tifosi77 wrote:
redwill wrote:
tifosi77 wrote:Did I totally imagine redwill asking about the use of the song "Jessica" on Top Gear? :?


Hahaha! I figured it was putting too many questions to you and I abandoned it. The gist was what do you suppose Top Gear and the BBC have to do to play a non-Allman Bros. version of "Jessica" to a quarter-billion people every week? Also, I mentioned that it pissed me off that Clarkson attributed the song to Duane Allman instead of Dickey Betts.

:lol:

I typed out a typically-wordy response that had your question quoted, and when I hit the Submit button I got an error that said something like "The requested information does not exist". Thought I lost my marble.

I saved the response at work, I'll post it when I get to the office.


To my non-Allman Bros fan ears, the first time I heard the Top Gear opening I thought it was a weird arrangement of "Ramblin' Man". (In terms of my musical knowledge, Mrs Tif refers to the 1970s as "The Dearth".) I think there have been two or three episodes where they happen to hear the original Allman Bros version on the radio as they're driving between challenges. Always accompanied by a bit of a nod and a wink.

You may or may not be aware, but "Top Gear" has been on the air since around 1977, which makes it as old as Star Wars. It was briefly canceled in the early 2000s, but since the relaunch in 2002 it has become one of the most watched regular TV shows in the world. The original iteration of the show, called "Old Top Gear" in show parlance, used the Allman Bros recording as the theme. And to my knowledge, they continued to use that version up til the show's cancellation. With the relaunch, they re-recorded a new version of the song that was in keeping with the updated look, vibe and feel of the new format.

So how does that work?

Spoiler:
It is actually fairly straightforward. Did a bit of research and it seems that the publishing rights for "Jessica" (author, Betts) are administered by Warner-Chappell Music (via their acquisition of the EMI Publishing catalog two years ago). They have a film & TV licensing department, just like the one I worked in at EMI-Capitol, and the BBC would have to request their permission for the use. This probably means contacting the W-C affiliate in the UK, who then submits an inter-company request to the copyright holder here in Los Angeles, who then in turn seeks any requisite artist approvals or input. (This is what I did at Universal; I fielded all the licensing requests for U.S. repertoire from UMGs 54 overseas affiliates. My fax machine would go through an entire ream of paper every day. I hated it.) W-C may or may not be required to seek Dickey Betts' approval for this kind of use, but anything where there is an implied endorsement (like a theme song, or - especially - a commercial) it's a good idea to get the artist(s) on board.

The rights requested are probably all forms of TV (with a videogram buyout), throughout the world (even though the song is not used in all international broadcasts), in perpetuity, as background instrumental for main theme.

For a song like this like, that kind of use on a U.S.-only TV show would probably be in the range of $30,000, as a one-time fee. Ordinarily you'd just double that to get the ROW value, but there are two factors that probably mean Betts is getting a bit more money than that: First, the Beeb is no longer licensing the Allman master recording, so Betts isn't getting any of that licensing revenue; if they have any say in the matter, it's normal for artists to bump their publishing quotes a bit if the licensee isn't going to use the artist's own recording of the song, which makes complete sense. (George Thorogood, for example, wouldn't even bother granting permission for re-records of 'Bad To The Bone', which we - as owner of the master rights - greatly appreciated, since we got 50% of the revenue. Same thing with the Beach Boys; you either used the Capitol master, or you didn't use a Beach Boys song.) The other mitigating factor is that the song is now identifiable as the Theme From 'Top Gear', perhaps more than it ever was as an Allman Brothers song. That gives Betts additional leverage in negotiating a rate.

Short version of the foregoing: If Dickey Betts got less than $100,000 from the BBC for Top Gear, he needs a new manager.

I wrote this response the other afternoon; my desk is right outside the break room, and the TV was on BBC America the whole time I was typing. Top Gear, back-to-back-to-back-back-to....... 8-)
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby Factorial on Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:20 pm

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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby penny lane on Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:32 pm

Digitalgypsy66 wrote:The Beatles (and George Marin specifically) were pioneers in multi-tracking. The predominant method of recording (and only way for the first several years of the Beatles) was the 4 track tape recorder. I hope I'm explaining this right, but how I understand it is that each track contains a discrete instrument or set of instruments. So, you'd have drums on a track, vocals on track 2, guitars on 3, and bass on track 4. This made for a restrictive method of recording...so the Beatles began multi-tracking, essentially expanding 4 tracks into 16 or more tracks.

They would record on a 4 track and then mix those 4 tracks down to one track of a new 4 (or 8) track tape, opening up three or more tracks (which could in turn be multi-tracked). Obviously, this opened up the amount of sound that could be put on a sound recording.


For all the lack of musicianship in the early Beatles, George Martin had the endless resources to their questions~ can we do this ? If anyone was the 5th beatle, it was Martin.
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby WDWBurghGooner on Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:52 pm

http://beatlesmagazine.blogspot.com/201 ... ially.html

This is a great little story about how John Lennon officially signed the papers to dissolve the Beatles while staying at the Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World.
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby Geezer on Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:47 pm

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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby Geezer on Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:04 pm

CNN has the 60's: British Invasion on at 9 PM and several time slots later. Deals with cultural influences. There had always been generational stuff but this to me seemed to trigger much of what became a really raucous decade.
The most obvious was the ling hair which caused a lot of friction that seems so idiotic now. This was still going on into the 70s. Prior to the Beatles most "longish" hair was the motorcycle gang type hair combed back at the sides. When you look at the Beatles there 1964 hair wasn't really that long. One of my buddies' younger brothers was expelled from school because he would,t cut his hair to the maximum collar length that the school's dress code dictated. The kid ended up quitting school rather than shortening his hair to the dress code.
For those unfamiliar with what dress codes were like in the 60's at our public high school:
Boys weren't allowed to wear blue jeans (after grade school)
couldn't wear tennis shoes
couldn't wear t shirts as outer shirts
Girls had to wear dresses or skirts; no slacks, shorts ,jeans
I don't know the exact minimum length was stipulated but skits, dresses were knee length.
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby Geezer on Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:13 pm

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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby columbia on Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:15 pm

Footage of the Beatles's Last Show, on Its 45th Anniversary
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-a ... sary/8255/
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby penny lane on Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:25 pm

columbia wrote:Footage of the Beatles's Last Show, on Its 45th Anniversary
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-a ... sary/8255/



Image

God, I wish I could travel in time! ;) George so cool in his converse.
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby tifosi77 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:33 pm

Excellent. Can't even imagine what it would have been like on Saville Row that day.

Cirque du Soleil "LOVE" opens with a recreation of that performance of "Get Back". Sort of like the show is just picking up where the band left off in 1969. Awesome.
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby Geezer on Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:12 pm

Wonder how many people were late going back to work as a result of the roof top mini concert. The thing that always impressed me about that is how good they sounded live.
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby Geezer on Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:06 pm

Pretty funny fact I learned from the CNN show. Ed Sullivan told interviewer that he signed the Beatles for 3 shows for $10,000.
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby penny lane on Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:54 pm

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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby Gaucho on Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:02 pm

penny lane wrote:God, I wish I could travel in time! ;) George so cool in his converse.


The Converse were the first thing I noticed, too! :wink:
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby Gaucho on Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:19 am

Image
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby Tico Rick on Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:45 am

That's awesome, Gaucho!
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby tifosi77 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:15 pm

Totes cool.
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby columbia on Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:26 pm

That looks shopped.
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby Lt. Dish on Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:36 pm

Gaucho wrote:Image


So cool. :thumb:

Spoiler:

or

Spoiler:
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby tifosi77 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:27 pm

columbia wrote:That looks shopped.

#pixels
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby Gaucho on Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:51 pm

Five Unlikely (But Great) Beatles Covers (not sure why "unlikely"):

http://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2014/02/five-unlikely-great-beatles-covers/
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby Gaucho on Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:03 pm

50 years ago today The Beatles arrived in the USA for their first US tour!

Image
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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby eddysnake on Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:46 pm

Donovan was on Howard Stern yesterday for about 1.5 hours and had some great Beatles stories

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Re: Beatles 50th Anniversary Thread

Postby Geezer on Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:00 pm

CBS is running a 50th Beatles Sunday 8pm - 1030pm. This is the exact time (8-9 PM) slot that Ed Sullivan show ran. It's even on Sunday which was the night Sullivan was on. 2/9/64 was a Sunday
Last edited by Geezer on Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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