What Goes On
What Goes On: The Beatles Anomalies List

Anomalies R


    Click to right channel, just ahead of vocals coming in.

    Something weird happens to the drums and bass track - one bar ends up with 6 beats, the fills seem to go on for a little too long, and the bass loses the pattern. This sounds like it might be a join between takes, or a "loss of position" by Ringo. Somehow, John stretches his vocal over these beats and hides it. The down beat should be where the word "sun" lands, (the bass and guitar get there, but the drums don't, and you are kept waiting a little!)

    Possible edit, there's a "clup" in the track here.

    Guitar loses plot as soon as the drum fill ends.

Revolution 1 (White Album)

    Most certainly not "Take 18" punched into the tape (as reported by Lewisohn's "Recording Sessions"). Sounds much more like "aah, Take Two" or "<r>ight Take Two".

JWB writes

I have a bootleg of the overdub session and this is what is on the ORIGINAL TAPE

    Engineer: "Revolution TAKE 20."
    JL: "What?"
    Engineer: "TAKE 20."
    JL: "Hey!"
    Beatles: *laughter and chatter* (unintelligible thanks to YOKO.)
    GH: *heavy laugh*
    acoustic guitar begins immediately after laugh
    (The very end of the laugh can be heard under the guitar on the White Album.)
    Engineer: "....I'll take it to...." ?????
    JL: "Okay."
The engineer ... already said TAKE 20 twice immediately before. I think he was making a comment to Lennon and he cut it off quickly when he realized they had begun the take.

The tape that I have is a "control room monitor recording" by LOCO YOKO. It is from June 4th, because it starts out with a complete playback (probably the reduction mixdown itself being performed). Then there are long sections of drums and organ overdubs being performed simultaneously (probably on the same track since they only had two tracks to work with, and Lewisohn states that a guitar was recorded the same night).

    "Go On!" prompts an unidentified voice to get the washboard sound underway!

    George Martin counts in the brass section with a very sharp "Wun Two Thri Fuh", just like on the Strawberry Fields bootlegs of the orchestra parts.

    Vocal noise, sounds like a misplaced "Bom!" or "Uh!"

    Whole track volume dips down and back up.

    Strange high pitched ring or tinkle sound, centre, between "gonna" and "be".

    Whole track volume dips down and back up, as if something dropped out. Strange noise, just as guitar comes back in late (sounds like "Oh!")

    Lead guitar flubbed to bits at the end!

    Snare almost completely disappears under the word "Mao".

    Guitar is panned from left to right too late, catching the first "stab". This ends up suddenly switching sides.

    Although the rhythm track has been faded down, George's guitar can still be heard to the left, buzzing away.

    Stumble (triple) beat in the whole track here caused by editing, rather than by performance! The track seems to play that section once, and then repeat 2 more times. It adds a whole extra "beat" to that bar, making the effective time signature 5/4, not 4/4

3:27, 3:28
    Sounds like two burps, centred.

    Brass section cut off by guitar riff introduction as the song ends. This must have been added over the brass section due to shortage of tracks.

Revolution (Single)/Past Masters Version

    In the centre, (better audible by listening to the left side only), you can hear a click track.

    John's guitar changes tone (not as in tone switch, I mean sounds different) - caused by headphone leakage as John's vocal is faded in.

    An edit in the word "well", it changes slightly, but suddenly.

    Mistake in the vocals - sounds like "evol tution" due to second vocal. This is a double tracking error, the original line was faded out and fades in as "in-sti-tution, well you know".

    Someone says "Raahght", left channel, thud of a microphone/drum too? Click track (metronome?) reappears.

    Double skip on snare sound. Edit, or playing error?

    Second voice is late for "Alright".

    Left, as John begins with "You say you'll change", there's a loud click/pop.

    Stray notes from the guitar (centre).

    "Head" sung out of place by the second voice.

    "Alright" out of place by second singer.

    Click track audible again.

    Voice in the background says something like "Thank you/That's it".

The click track/metronome keeps appearing in this song because the drums are very heavily compressed to get that powerful sound. Whenever the drums stop, the compressor automatically starts to lift the level of the drums, thereby catching the relatively tiny sound of the clicking. The same kind of effect occurs on the intro to "Here Comes The Sun", and also in the final chord of "A Day In The Life". The latter example was compressed by hand, that is moving faders up and up as the chord died away. If someone had sneezed, then it would have deafened most of the studio's occupants!

Revolution 9

It's hard to decide what is anomalous in this track. However ...

Lewisohn, and other lyrics books show the early section's lyrics as "Brother can you take me back ...". It sounds more like "Robert, can you take me ...". Also suggested as "Brahma". On the CD, this section of the track is pushed back into the end of "Cry Baby Cry".

The mixer used to mix this track has a scratchy pan control. You can hear this at 1:03-1:10, 1:24, 1:37-1:58, 2:13-2:18, 3:02, 3:24-3:26, using the CD version timings.

    Right, and then later centred, the rising tone and rapid gibbling noise is the tape used to supply artificial double tracking running out, and being rewound while the mix is taking place. This is not a sound effect tape, or tape loop, but was an accident left in the mix.

Just to settle the question "What's the chatter about a 'cheap bitch and a bottle of wine' on Rev # 9" question, here's the transcription. Listen!

AT = Alistair Taylor, GM = George Martin

AT ... bottle of claret for you if I'd realised. I'd forgotten all about it George, I'm sorry.
Well, do next time.
Will you forgive me?
Mmm.. Yes ... [ with a smile in his voice ]
Cheeky bitch!

"Bevern" writes

You can hear someone say: "hur mycket ir klockan?" Swedish as well. It means: "what time is it?"

This is actually the line "bottle of claret ..."

Also, because so many questions come to me about this, here's a rendition of most of the audible speech in Revolution Number 9. This is my best guess, some of it is subjective due to being overlaid by other sounds, and also hampered by most of it making no sense at all!

    JL: "Mrs Welsh wearing a pair of [her] sun/son's brown underpants"

    JL: "about the shortage of grain in Hertfordshire. Every one of them knew that as time went by they'd get a little bit older and a little bit slower .... This was on the air force set thing"

    JL: "manufacturing person who was always umpteen types of 'umpty dumpty (????) finders, yep ah did-dly ... Peak District was leaving intending to pay for ..."

    GH: "Who's to know? Who's to know?"
    JL: "colours for the season. Everybody who knew ..."

    JL: "Pakistan ... also spoken for"
    GH: "every day through the business terms"
    JL: "had informed him on the third, and I, that unfortunately he was"

    GH: "Every few days ..."
    JL: "in a pair of brown under" [edited away, clothes, pants?]

    GH: "local doctors that are (???) this may seem"
    JL: "I have nobody's ..."

    GH: "on Eaton, with the situation"
    JL: "They are standing still"
    GH: "upon a telegram from the"

    GH: "to us played it false as the headmaster reported to"
    JL: "who could tell what he was saying, his voice was low and his eye was high and his eyes were glowing"
    GH: " ... Sunday, He really ... became a great deal ..."

    JL: "on fire, his glasses were in t'safe, this was"
    GH: "into, which enabled him to move his"

    JL: "certain, so the wife told him he'd better go to see a surgeon .... or what with the price .... yellow underclothes"
    JL: "So, any road, he went to see the dentist instead, who gave him a pair of teeth, which wasn't any good at all. So ... so instead of that he joined the bloody navy and went to sea."

    JL: "in my broken chair, my wings are broken and so is my hair. I am not in the mood for wearing"

    JL: "Dogs were dogging, cats were catting. Birds were birding, Fish were fishing. Thence Pwllheli, went swimming"

    GH: "only to find the night watchman"
    JL: "onion soup"
    GH: "unaware of his presence in the building"

[Note: JL interjects "onion soup" at the point where GH says "unaware". I think that this was some JL wordplay on what GH was about to say. In fact, I think you can hear GH begin to smile, especially through the "presence" and "building".]

    JL: "Industrial output, financial imbalance"
    GH: "Thrusting it between his shoulder blades"
    JL: "The Watusi, The Twist"
    GH: "Eldorado"

    JL: "Take this brother, may it serve you well"

    YO: "Maybe, it's not that, it's .... maybe, even then, expose yourself ..."

    YO: "It's almost like being naked"

    YO: "if ... you become naked"

Rocky Raccoon

Whole Song
    Low E string on guitar, is slightly flat.

    There's an interesting tremolo effect on Paul's bass up to 1:07, which stops entirely over this period, then returns. In places it goes back out, and then back in.

    Under the words "Danny Boy, this", you can hear a second faint track saying "Boyyyy". Is this a guide vocal track?

    Piano is cut off very abruptly (in the right channel).

    Bad edit as piano comes back in, losing first note.

    Click during fadeout, sounds like lip-smacking noises from Paul?

Rock And Roll Music

    Possible edit in the word "with".

    Piano drops out abruptly at 1:46, and returns with edit noise at 1:51. Clearer on stereo than mono, but still evident.

    John sings "oughta got rock and roll music" instead of "gotta be..."

Roll Over Beethoven

    Messed up guitar intro. Listen to Chuck Berry's original, and then this one.

    George's "ooooo" seems to be cut in the middle. Either an edit, or he stopped and someone else picked up the sound.

    On Mono CD, the "sss" sound makes an odd stereophonic sound, as if there was a problem in transfer of the master to CD.

    Final chord is very obviously edited on.

Run For Your Life

    In the build up to John's vocal, there is a phasing effect. It's John's vocal mic picking up his headphones as he approaches the mic to sing.

1:06 (Vinyl only)
    Muffled thud of a microphone being hit at the end of the fourth bar of the six bar guitar solo. Cleaned up for CD release!

    During the guitar solo, there are noises like a speaker or amplifier having a problem? Evident as slight unintended distortion of guitar sound.

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