What Goes On
What Goes On: The Beatles Anomalies List

Anomalies L

Lady Madonna

    Rhythmic noises in the right channel during piano notes, it carries on for a bit. Also you can hear Paul's breath on the microphone at 0:08.5 as a rumble (right channel).

    Often reported as a click, but this is part of Paul's vocal "is never ending". The final sound turns into "endinnngk". Rafael Szot de Lima notes that

It is a click indeed, because it was (almost) fixed in the 'One' CD. If it was part of the vocal, it was not supposed to be fixed, I think.

I think that it is indeed part of Paul's vocal, and the reason it was corrected in 'One' is because it was an unwanted part of that vocal. It's not an instrumental/editing click. It's also right in the middle of the stereo field (so it's not part of the two instrumental tracks, left and right).

Let It Be

    Drumstick clicks, through an echo. (Let It Be Album version only, not on Past Masters).

    The "p" in "speaking" suffers from a loud plosive (worse on PM, partly fixed but still there on LIB).

    (LIB, not PM) Under the word "Let" there is a sound like a chair creaking, or a bicycle wheel freewheeling.

1:07 Listen! (PM/Blue Album, not LIB)
    After the words "For though they may be parted," there is a whisper, possibly "Stop, John/It". Rumour has it that it's "Excuse me", as a result of John having just parted. Yes, I did spell that right. Thanks to Biffy, the Elephant Shrew for explaining that one ... Paul does seem to giggle a little here!

Stephen Moss adds

This sound doesn't sound like John, unless it's a low whisper that shouldn't be picking up on Paul's mic. More likely it's from the booth; it might be the word "sibilance"

Again, voices from the booth should not be audible on the track due to the soundproofing in studios.

    (PM, not as audible LIB)

Reported as a thump against microphone, I think it's again a plosive (breath noise into microphone after the word "Beeeeh").

    (PM, not LIB)

Right channel, John or George plays three wrong notes as they head into the solo, then stop altogether.

    Three little distortions in organ solo (last few notes).

    (PM, not LIB)

Centre, leakage of the "other" guitar solo evident in many places, probably leaking from drum mics.

2:21 (LIB, not PM)
    One note in guitar solo, very quiet, is wrong. Sounds like an open string being caught or released?

    Piano chord under the word "Mother" is wrongly played, and quickly corrected.

3:18-3:19,3:30 (PM, not LIB)
    Leakage of another guitar playing between "answer" and "Let it be", and the second time, just before "Whisper words".

3:22 (LIB only)
    An edit during the word "be", to lengthen the track by one stanza. The words should go to "whisper words", but we get one more "there will be an answer" on this version.

Tony Cox adds

... the title track drums have been doctored by Phil Spector as follows. At 0:52 Ringo originally played a SINGLE hi-hat on each bar (one on BROKEN, next one on PEOPLE, next on IN etc, but Phil Spector took the whole drum track(s) and passed it through an echo unit so the (whole) drum kit repeats in 16ths, so BROKEN is accompanied by tic-tic-tic-tic... Now here's the woof:

This works well at this verse, but on the next verse the song changed tempo ever-so-slightly. And Spector never adjusted the echo, so at ANSWER 1:14, the real hi-hat and the echoed hi-hat overlap into a splurge. Secondly, going into the chorus then, he didn't turn off the echo soon enough so the drums at 1:18 is a mess.

Little Child

    Stereo version only, right channel. Harmonica solo contains bleed-through of the band, as this was edited in from a live take.

    Cuts out again at the end of solo. Mono also has obvious bad edit at this point as the track sound changes and the harmonica vanishes.

Long Long Long

    Echoed click, centre, then right. Not part of the guitar work.

0:05, also 0:17, 0:18, 1:43, 1:49
    Guitar's 4th string vibrates due to use of a capo, buzzing.

    'Fwip' during "It's/been a", making it sound like "It feel a ...".


Odd noise, right after the drum fill, sounds like a guitar creaking. It may come from an accidentally clipped note on the organ.

    Brief "boop" from the bass guitar.

    A bottle rattles on one of the speakers. It sounds like a coin being spun on a table. This sound was of accidental origin, but the bottle was deliberately set up so it would happen again. The sound was put in at the request of George Harrison, who thought it was cool.

Long Tall Sally

    Guitar makes strange sound (right channel).

Lovely Rita

    John sings as an aside "Aah, Paul" under the main lyric.

Jim Wagner adds

... right at the point where the heavily reverbed vocals end and Paul's dry vocal begins there is a screamingly obvious tape splice. In a split second the muted splice sound jumps from one channel to the other (due to the 45 degree angle that many tape splices are done with).

This makes a lot of sense. There is a loud "pop" in the left channel, at the moment the "aah" from John appears. Looking closely at the waveform on an audio editor, there does seem to be an edit that has eluded capture, until now.

    In the right ear, after "your heart awaaay" < a fwip> "Standing by..."

    Odd sound, just before call of "Rita!" (Right channel).

    Probably Paul, screaming "Woo-hoo-hoo".

    Hiss in the background, right channel, from the piano track which has finished but not yet been faded down.

    Edit in the tape, causing a click, to join on the ending. Most audible on the left channel.

2:38 Listen!
    Ringo shouts "You'd better believe it" or "They'll never believe it" in the very final moments of the song. Also suggested that this voice is John.

Not counted as anomalies, but these keep getting mentioned ...

The pop after "Over dinner" - this is very much intentional, and represents the cork popping over dinner.

The "chukka chukka" sounds Lennon makes as "vocal percussion", which are also intentional and not that uncommon.

Love You To

    Leftover bit of "eee", from another take.

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

    Left channel, a click.

    A cough? It has also been suggested that this is Ringo's hi-hat banging together more loudly and sibilantly than expected, possibly as a result of treading on the pedal too. Well, the hi-hat on the word "sun" is louder, but the cough comes immediately after that, on the word "in". Fixed in Yellow Submarine remastered.

    Electric guitar breaks through on right channel just before the "Lucy ..."

    John sings "grows so incredibly high", and a much delayed "igh" is heard. Was this from a previous vocal take? Fixed in Yellow Submarine remastered.

    Lead guitar drops out, right channel.

    Paul sings harmony on the "Lu" syllable in "Lucy". He was supposed to sing in tandem with John, and corrects himself by the second syllable.

    Burst of reverb/echo after the "aaah" that doesn't occur on other "aaah's".

    Print-through of an "Aaah" audible in the centre, also an accidental "sharp note" mis-key of the long chord that begins on the word "Aaah". Fixed in Yellow Submarine remastered.

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