The John Barrett Notes: 1962-1963
By John C. Winn
N: Ron Richards was actually the producer of this recording
test/session, standing in for George Martin. The numerals next to each title probably
indicate the original order of recording. Although this reel no longer exists, a 7"
lacquer was cut of each title. A tape copy of "Besame Mucho" was discovered in
1983, and an acetate of "Love Me Do" was found by George Martin's wife while
cleaning out his closet! These were both included on ANTHOLOGY 1.
N: This was probably the original session tape. Take numbers are
unknown, but take 2 was the "best" for "How Do You Do It" and
"Love Me Do" required at least 15 takes. Interestingly, "Love Me Do"
was given Job #M172, the same as the previous session, while "How Do You Do It"
was assigned #M188.
N: "Love Me Do" was apparently mixed first, perhaps
indicating that George Martin was already putting his faith in it, or perhaps because it
required more editing to assemble a master take. Since this tape no longer exists,
subsequent issues of the Ringo version of "Love Me Do" are mastered from vinyl
(see AR51876 - 20 Sep 1982).
N: "P.S. I Love You" required 10 takes, and "Love Me
Do" 18. Only "Please Please Me" was given Job #190; the other two songs
still fell under #172. This is apparently the session tape (no mixing session for
"Please Please Me" is noted in Lewisohn); if so, there is no record of the mono
mix tape for the other two songs in Barrett's notes. Or could it be that these were truly
recorded in mono and no remixing was ever possible? Although this tape is missing, an
acetate of the best take of "Please Please Me" is included on ANTHOLOGY 1. In
Gottfridsson's FROM CAVERN TO STAR-CLUB, there are photos of three one-sided 7"
acetates. Two of them, "P.S. I Love You" and "Love Me Do (2nd
Version)", are from this session and were auctioned in 1997 at Sotheby's. The third,
auctioned in 1994, looks similar, but is said to feature "an alternate take" of
"Please Please Me" from the 26 Nov session. It's likely the same one included on
ANTHOLOGY 1, though.
N: At some point, the Ringo take of "Love Me Do" was cut from
this master reel and replaced by the Andy White take. Interesting that a copy of "How
Do You Do It" should also be on this reel - if it hadn't been, we probably wouldn't
get to hear it (although a one-sided 7" acetate has surfaced), since the session and
mix tapes no longer exist. The unedited take is on many bootlegs, and an edit is on
N: This reel had 18 takes of "Please Please Me" and 6 of
"Ask Me Why", but apparently none of "Tip Of My Tongue". Lewisohn
implies in RECORDING SESSIONS that some takes of the latter title were recorded but
clarifies in CHRONICLE that they merely "played [it] to George Martin."
N: "Ask Me Why" was also mixed into mono during this session;
maybe it was on this tape or maybe there's one missing from Barrett's notes.
N: The second single was actually released 11 January 1963.
N: This reel clearly still exists, since it has been booted pretty much
in its entirety.
N: Looks like we'll never get to hear these.
N: Another reel which has been bootlegged, except for take 9 of
"Misery". Take 10 of "I Saw Her Standing There" was a copy of take 9,
from which the "one-two-three-fah" count-in was spliced out (and thus it's
missing on the bootlegs).
N: I guess we'll never know how this arrangement of "Hold Me
Tight" differs from the remake.
N: Why did they have to scrap this one?! Take 1 was "best",
by the way.
N: George Martin's overdub takes. The "Misery" overdubs were
actually takes 12-16. The piano overdub of "Baby It's You" was never used, so
take 5 was "best".
N: Apparently at this point, mono remixes were given sequential take
numbers rather than "RM", unless this is a quirk of Barrett's notes. These are
all mono mixes, except "Misery" and "Baby It's You" which are
twin-track copies incorporating the new overdubs.
N: This reel is from two separate mixing sessions. The first continues
the mono mixing from the previous tape. The next session begins with twin-track copies of
the four single titles included on PLEASE PLEASE ME. "Ask Me Why" was apparently
a straight copy (unless someone can verify that the single mix differs from the mono LP);
"Please Please Me" was a new edit of different takes than used on the single.
"Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You" were mixed into fake stereo from
the 11 Sep 1962 mono mixes (if there were any - see my earlier comments), so perhaps those
session tapes were already gone by early 1963! Finally, we have three mono mixes of
"Misery", the "best" of which uses a different piano overdub to the
stereo mix, and a mono mix of "Baby It's You". Note for George Martin fans:
there IS NO RECORD of a stereo mix reel for the PLEASE PLEASE ME album. Thus, direct
twin-track copies of the session tapes were assembled to make the stereo master reels
(TL11440A/B), and Martin was apparently correct in all those 1987 interviews when he said
he never remixed this album for stereo (although he was wrong about it not being released
in stereo at the time).
N: This entire reel has been bootlegged, but there are still some
unsolved mysteries surrounding the edit piece overdubs. The asterisk (*) probably
corresponds to take 8 of "From Me To You", since that take as heard on bootleg
matches exactly the stereo mix heard on A COLLECTION OF BEATLES OLDIES. It was apparently
a straight copy from twin-track tape, as with the PLEASE PLEASE ME album.
N: This reel is also available complete on bootleg. An edit of takes 4
and 5 was prepared, perhaps at the end of this session, which turned up on a 1976 in-house
reel, and eventually on ANTHOLOGY 1. A second edit of takes 4 and 5 (with a different edit
point) was created in 1984 for SESSIONS.
N: These harmonica overdubs ended with take 28, and "take 30"
is actually an edit of takes 6, 13, 17, 20, 21, and 23. This edit was copied direct from
twin-track and sent to Capitol, who added a bunch of echo and released it on stereo copies
of THE BEATLES SECOND ALBUM. The mono mix is apparently not from take 30, since it is
lacking some harmonica overdubs. Recently, two stereo mixes surfaced from John Barrett's
personal cassettes. The first is an edit of take 14 with the end of take 30; the second is
an echo-free copy of the complete take 30.
N: Exactly which takes were edited together to make the mono mix is
unclear, but the intro piece has two tapes running in sync (take 8 with vocals and another
edit piece with harmonica). Lewisohn also claims that stereo mixing of this title was done
during this session, but that seems unlikely. Two stereo mixes did surface in John
Barrett's cassettes, apparently prepared by Barrett himself. One has a vocal-only intro
and the other has a harmonica-only intro.
N: According to Lewisohn, the stereo LP wasn't released until 26 Apr
N: This EP was apparently prepared slightly before the TWIST AND SHOUT
EP, which has matrix numbers directly following it, and a catalog number just two places
higher. However, THE BEATLES HITS was held back for release a few months, probably because
"Twist And Shout" (the song) was getting so much attention.
N: The three missing reels from this session are out of order in the
notes. This second one contains the last takes of "She Loves You" and the first
takes of "I'll Get You", although it's unknown how many takes of each song were
N: The third and final reel.
N: The first of three reels from this session.
N: From the sound of it, "She Loves You" was spliced together
from a zillion takes. With no twin-tracks to copy from, fake stereo mixes were done of
"She Loves You" in November 1966, and rather oddly, of "I'll Get You"
in December 1970!
N: Take 7 of "You Really Got A Hold On Me" was an overdub of
lead guitar onto take 5, take 10 was an edit piece containing only the word
"baby", and take 11 was an edit piece of the ending riff. Takes 3-5 of
"Money" were taped at 30 inches per second rather than the usual 15, probably to
preserve quality for future overdubs.
N: Take 6 of "Money" was an edit piece of the piano intro
only, and take 7 was a complete overdub of piano. "Devil In Her Heart" has a
second lead vocal and maraca overdub. "Till There Was You" was later remade.
N: Although this reel no longer exists, some off-line outtakes of
"Please Mr. Postman" from this session surfaced in the "Alf tapes".
The first is probably take 3, and the second is an unedited version of take 9. Overdubs
included a second lead vocal and handclaps.
N: Again, two off-line outtakes appear on the "Alf tapes",
both prior to overdubs. One seems to have a "take 7" announcement, and the other
is presumably take 10. Takes 11-17 were overdubs of a second lead vocal and further lead
guitar, and 18-23 were edit pieces of the ending.
N: A test take and several piano pieces (actually takes 8, 9, 10, 12,
13, and 14 according to the session sheet) which are labelled (track 3). None of these
takes seem to have been used.
N: Although it's not marked as such, take 8 was the "best" of
"Till There Was You", the only song on the album with no overdubs. Takes 6 and 7
of "Roll Over Beethoven" added a second lead vocal, handclaps, and the guitar
solo, and take 8 was an edit piece of the final guitar chord.
N: There was no take 5, and takes 12-14 added a second lead vocal. It's
possible that take 14 was copied directly from this twin-track tape to create the German
stereo mix which has the "hi-hat intro" left in.
N: Rather confusingly, the remix numbers are identical to the take
numbers they are being mixed from. Thus "It Won't Be Long" (RM17-RM21) does not
indicate the 17th-21st mixes of that song, but individual mixes of takes 17 and 21, which
were then edited together to produce a "best" mix. This session also produced
the final "best" of "Money", an edit of takes 6 and 7.
N: Since the session and mix tapes no longer exist, the subsequent fake
stereo mixes of these songs were undoubtedly produced using this single master tape.
N: Apparently assembled around the same time as the first two Beatles
EP's but held back for later release.
N: The overdub for "All I've Got To Do" was probably more
N: The overdubs for "Not A Second Time" were a second lead
vocal and piano. There is no evidence that take 9 was edited to another take during
mixing, so perhaps the take itself was edited down from a longer performance.
N: This reel is conspicuous for apparently being the only twin-track
WITH THE BEATLES session tape to have survived (perhaps because it was misfiled when the
Australian messages were copied to be sent overseas). This explains why no outtakes from
this album appeared in the ANTHOLOGY albums or videos. Luckily, the whole reel has been
bootlegged almost entirely, apart from the first three of the four "Various
Messages" takes. The overdubs on "Hold Me Tight" were backing vocals and
N: There was evidently no take 14 of "Don't Bother Me", whose
overdubs included a second lead vocal, tambourine, bongo, and claves. The notes for
"Little Child" do not match up to Lewisohn's description. He has take 7 being
the basic "best", with take 13 overdubbing harmonica, take 15 overdubbing piano,
and take 18 the harmonica solo. It seems more likely that 13 was the "best"
backing track, take 15 the "best" overdub of harmonica and piano, and take 18
"best" for the solo. What sounds like a double-tracked lead vocal from John is
apparently John and Paul singing in unison from take 13, saving us the trouble of finding
yet another overdub! Although take 18 is marked "best", more work was later
N: Hammond organ overdubs by George Martin, with take 13 being
N: A very peculiar reel. Besides final mono mixes of "All I've Got
To Do", "Don't Bother Me", and "Not A Second Time", temporary
"best" mixes were done from edits of "Little Child" and "Hold Me
Tight". The handwriting next to "I Wanna Be Your Man" is degraded and
difficult to read, but presumably this was a temporary "best" mono mix
incorporating the new organ overdub. Finally, George Martin seemingly did some
simultaneous piano overdubbing/mixing of "Money" which doesn't seem to have been
N: Takes 14 and 15 of "I Wanna Be Your Man" are overdubs
including maracas. Takes 19-21 of "Little Child" are vocal overdubs of
"come on come on" during the middle eights which were apparently forgotten about
in the final mono mixing, but can be heard in the left channel of stereo mixes.
N: The messages were for the first Fan Club Christmas Flexi. It's
unclear whether "You Really Got A Hold On Me" (which Lewisohn claims was on
four-track tape) is a remake, an overdub, something intended for the Christmas Flexi, or
something else, but it was only a single take (take 12).
N: The Beatles switch to four-track recording, and from this point on,
a majority of the session tapes still exist. Extracts from this reel, including takes 1
and 9, were included on the ANTHOLOGY video.
N: An unknown take of "This Boy" is in the ANTHOLOGY video.
N: Takes 12 and 13 of "This Boy" are on the "Free As A
Bird" CD single. Takes 16 and 17 were overdubs.
N: The documentation is a bit fuzzy, but it appears that mono and
stereo mixes of both titles are on this reel. Lewisohn doesn't mention a stereo mix of
"This Boy" being done this day, but it has recently appeared on bootleg from
Barrett's reference tapes, complete with "RS15" announcement. It's also not
clear how the master for "This Boy" was produced. The previous reel indicates
that a "best" could be edited from takes 15 and 17. Lewisohn has two mono mixes
done, both of take 15, being edited together. There is clearly an edit in the song just
after the middle eight. These stereo mixes were released for the first time on a 1976
Australian single. The PAST MASTERS CD uses this mix of "This Boy" but a 1966
remix of "I Want To Hold Your Hand".
N: A 16th and final take, consisting of unknown overdubs (perhaps
Ringo's second lead vocal).
N: Final mono mixing for the album. "Little Child" was from
takes 15 and 18, ignoring overdub take 21. "Hold Me Tight" is apparently from
take 26, with the second middle eight from take 29 edited in.
N: Stereo mixing for the entire LP, which in this case probably just
consisted of twin-track copies with EQ and reverb added. The only exception is
"Money", which as the notes indicate was completed on 30 Oct by syncing up two
twin-track tapes. The left channel has the rhythm and vocal track from the basic take 5,
and the right channel is the same vocal track plus piano overdubs from take 7, explaining
why the vocals appear in the middle (the only such instance on this album), and why the
intro lacks the tapping heard on the mono mix (that was from take 6, an edit piece not
used here, despite the (ED) notation). Other differences: "Little Child" is from
take 21, and thus has more overdubs than the mono mix; "It Won't Be Long" uses a
different edit (of takes 17 and 21) than the mono mix; "Hold Me Tight" is
apparently an unedited mix of take 29, with extra backing vocals on the ending.