What Goes On
What Goes On: The Beatles Anomalies List

Anomalies M

Magical Mystery Tour

    Clicking noise (switches) in the right channel.

    John extends the "nnnn" of "invitation" and "celebration" for a couple of seconds. Sounds very unusual.

    The tour bus can be heard skidding and crashing at (used as part of the Paul is dead hoax).

    Right channel, a click/scratch. This is the bus being removed from the mix before the crash happens. Unlike the first time!

    Talking audible on vinyl versions, but not audible on CD mix.

    One bass note cracks a bit, rhythm breaks down totally (bass, drums, piano all diverge).

Martha My Dear

    Strange overlap of the words "Take a good", due to Paul's double-tracking not being spot on. Sounds like an "Elvis" style echo!

    Click at the start of the final bass note. Possible edit here?


    Heavy nasal intake of breath.

    Strange halt after the first "Matchbox holding my ..." in Ringo's voice. Maybe this is because he's trying to remember if he's supposed to "wondering", "watching", or starting a new take because of cocked up lyrics.

    Bad double tracking of vocals, especially. "Puppy-dog-py-dog runs" and what sounds like "We-We-Well ..." at 1:32.

    Some feature of the guitar solo coming in and out at these points causes the drums to fall further over to the left channel. Probably leakage between channels in the recording (drums getting into the guitar mic).

Maxwell's Silver Hammer

0:37,0:45 and corresponding choruses
    Each time, the lyrics say "Bang Bang", and then the next time "Clang Clang". Lyric books often wrongly show this as "Bang Bang" all the way through! Check the Anthology CD version out for a clearer "view" of what's being sung.

    During the line "Writing fifty times I must not be so" Paul laughs. I think someone in the background is distracting him. Rumour has it that John mooned him in response to the line "waits behind".

    Double tracking lost on "head" so that Paul can join the backing vocals (doo-doo-doo).

    Left channel, sounds like an accidental snare tap.

    Faint guitar note, best heard in right channel although it is in the centre, under the word "lips".

    A click cuts off the "n" from "Silver hammer maaa".

An interesting point to note, which came in a dream to Eric Stewart ...

The song, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band" (the first one) has a two-part horn solo. [...] It's melody bears a VERY strong resemblance to the chorus of "Maxwell's Silver Hammer".

Picture this to the tune the Sgt. Pepper horns play, one syllable per note ...

"Bang... Max-well's sil-ver ha-mmer, down up on his head"

(upon his)

"Clang... Max-well's sil-ver ha-mmer, sure that he was dead"


Eric went on to say

Just so people don't get confused when they try to listen for that, can you please also state that the resemblance is specifically between the second part of the horn solo and the first part of the Maxwell chorus. Without this information, interested people will have a harder time finding it in the music.

I understand Eric's submission better now, but I think it fits both parts quite well! Obviously a small amount of recycling of musical ideas going on here.

Mean Mister Mustard

    Up to here, the tambourine playing was solid. But, from 0:24 onwards, as Kent Rodway put it

For the last half of the song, it fades out, quits, hits out of beat, overall, a very poor effort. Or perhaps they cut it and meant it that way...

In fact on listening to it, what is actually happening is that the tambourine fades down every time Paul adds his backing vocal lines. This begins with two "Mean old man" lines, and then for every line of vocals onward where Paul joins in on harmony.

This seems like a compressor setup problem, every time the vocal comes in (louder than the tambourine) it drives down the level of the tambourine.


    Acoustic guitar fret squeaks, much louder than in other parts of the song where the same phrase is played.

    Bass fret-squeak in the word "say". Not audible on mono mix.

0:56, 2:01
    Previously listed as "Wrong note in guitar part under word "ma", it makes a major chord, instead of minor chord as expected (right channel)."

I've revised my opinion of this after hearing from Max Mismetti. This is called a dissonant chord, the chord has a major AND minor third. The "third" being the note which normally distinguishes between a major chord and a minor chord. In this case, the strings just rang out louder and made it sound wrong, but it is in fact correct.

    Left channel, Paul provides a quiet "ooooh" during "Need to I Need to" - probably as a tuning reference for either his, or the others' harmonies.

    Click on lead guitar channel after solo ends (left channel).

    Song slows from 118 bpm to 109 bpm, and stays like that. The sound of the snare changes here, so this could be an edited on ending - at least on the drum channel. Vincent Dubrall suggested that this was a "ritard" - the song is intended to slow down. However, the change in sound implies that some kind of joining of takes took place, and the slow down is sudden, not like a gradual slowing.

    Left channel, a cough (not audible on CD, as vocals are dipped off). Also stray guitar notes here.

which prompted Eric Stewart to write

...what it actually is is more interesting than that. The guitar chords are being played on the right. In the exact spot where the so-called stray note (which is actually a legitimate and purposefully strummed chord) is heard on the left, the main guitar chord progression on the right falters and a chord strum is missed. The lone chord on the left is a fill-in, a patch, an overdub to cover up the mistake on the right.

In fact, if you mix the track to mono, it sounds spot on correct.

Listening to just the right track, there is a hole (a fluffed picking action). Listening to just the left track, sounds like a couple of stray, but tuneful, notes.

I think this was indeed a "patch up" job, but intended to be heard in mono. It only partly works in stereo.


    Kick drum pedal squeaking.

    Double tracking seems to be lost on some words in the phrase "I'll remember - lonely one".

    Scratchy sound (left channel, stereo mix only) after each piano section.

Money (That's What I Want)

    In addition to the drum sticks, there is a soft sweeping sound, which sounds a little like hi-hats, but is a little too far off mic to be intentional.

    Lead "crunchy" guitar edited in, in mid-strum (mono version only).

    Soft thump as the guitar portion ends. On the mono CD this thump is quite clearly stereophonic! (Another audible tape edit?)

    Double tracking goes strange on "free".

    Long scream, way off microphone.

    Double tracking on vocals comes back in, sounding much different. Possibly re-done for the CD mix?

2:14, 2:27
    Stereo version only, as the mono makes it hard to hear. George Martin plays wrong piano chords here (right channel).

    John hits a high note and his voice croaks badly.

Mother Nature's Son

0:13,0:16,0:18,0:24,0:28,0:43,0:44,0:57, and most of track
    Clicks, centre or slightly left of centre. Sounds like static discharging (featureless tick) every so often.

    The guitar in the left channel fails to slide (in tune) to the third note of his upward run, the brass manage much better! This could be down to the slight difference between the exact note tunings used on the different instruments.

    Paul's vocal gets a reverb tail, off to the right "as she flies", which wasn't there for the rest of the vocals.

    Paul laughing.

    Second guitar (in right channel) is faded up late. Maybe to cover a playing error, and we hear a funny buzzy noise.

Mr Moonlight

Whole Song
    Another squeaky bass pedal on the drum kit (most of the way through).

    Someone sings a quiet "reference" note for the chorus coming back in.

    Stray organ riff under second "light" - only in stereo version.

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