What Goes On
What Goes On: The Beatles Anomalies List

Anomalies W


    One chord is much quieter than surrounding chords (left channel).

    One chord, left, is played a bit too early, ahead of the word "hold".

We Can Work It Out

    Left side, acoustic guitar hits a loud dodgy note on the word "right". Sounds like an open 'B' string caught when changing between the D and C chords. Happens more subtly in many other places in anticipation of each chord change.

    Edit in the organ part (right channel) - and the level of the organ pops up slightly with a click.

What Goes On

    Right channel, the backing chorus is late, leaving just "goes on". The suddenness of the vocal coming in makes it feel like an edited in piece or a late fade in, as opposed to being actually sung like that. Also, it doesn't happen in the chorus at 1:30 and 2:13. Listen carefully to the right channel alone to hear whether there is a "What" or not.

    Talking, left channel - Paul says "Yip!"

    Upper harmony drops in level (right channel) in "tearing" and returns with gusto for "when you".

    Chorus is late (" ... goes on") on right channel.

    Low harmony for "tearing" is flat, and corrects upwards (right channel).

    Left channel, someone says something.

1:27 (quiet), 1:29 (louder)
    In the left channel background, John says "TELL me why", both before and after Ringo's line "Tell me why". It's possible that John says "I already TOLD you why" one time. If so, "I already" is too faint to hear, and the inflection is too unclear for me to state it conclusively.

It is suggested that this is a reference to the earlier 1964 song, Tell Me Why.

    Right channel, a little whoop!

1:35-1:54 especially loud at 1:46-1:53
    Ringo hums the melody during the middle eight. This left Joe Brennan wondering how many songs Ringo hummed during, though without a specific mic.

Max Mismetti suggests that all of Ringo's humming was caught while recording the basic track - as a guide vocal.

    Guitar is patchy throughout, many muted strings, stray notes. Most noticeable here.

    Faint yell (left channel).

    Ringo sings "in your mind" twice at the end of the song, quietly.

What You're Doing

    Stereo versions only, on the right channel you can hear the reverberation of the word "Four!" from the count in, along with Ringo's first beats. Also, at 0:04 John starts following the beat on the body of his acoustic.

    Paul sings "Please ... stop your lying".
    Backing sings "You!" (it should be "Please!")

    Paul sings "You ... got me crying girl"
    Backing clearly sings just "Oo!"

When I Get Home

    Paul's voice croaks badly, and goes off tune in second "Wo-ah!"

    Double tracking error on the word "again".

When I'm Sixty Four

    Faint click, right channel.

Fixed in Yellow Submarine remastered.

    Bass drum pedal can be heard to squeak.

Partly fixed in Yellow Submarine remastered.

0:57, 1:57
    Compare the tubular bell phrasing: In the first run at this, it is played on the beat, and sounds fine. The second time, there are quite a few "off-beat" strikes, which sound oddly out of time.

1:05, 2:00
    Paul sings "um um" along with the other instruments, emphasizing the beat.

    Paul gives a little "Huh!" after "When your lights have gone", most audible on left channel.

    This was listed as a "strange tone" - a few people pointed out it is the first piano note. Additional information indicates it may be an edit point: In OOPS, the sound of Ringo's kit becomes duller, and Paul's vocal changes. This would account for the note's quality - the edit seems to have removed the initial attack of the piano sound.

    Finger click under the word "more", followed by very pronounced exhale/pant ... Paul then "smiles" the rest of the lyric. I wonder what was so funny?

    Edit in vocals track, "When I'm sixty four [ed] ye Hoo!"

    Faint whistle at the end of the track. Fixed in Yellow Submarine remastered.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

    Just before "I don't know why", centred, there is a sound that is best described as being like a digital watch beeping the hour! (It has been pointed out that it couldn't in fact be a digital watch, because this was 1968 ... I was being descriptive rather than literal.) There's a distinct rapid "pip-pip-pip" to it.

Ashley Pomeroy writes

Listening to this, I'm fairly sure it's a 'harmonic' - if you pluck (I think) the 7th and 12th frets on a guitar you get a distinctive 'pinnnng' noise, and I suspect this was George's fingers accidentally straying. In that respect it's an anomaly of sloppy guitar work and not time travel. No offense to the memory of George Harrison, of course!

Also indicated as possible treble feedback from the acoustic guitar.

    Listen to the right channel as the guitar solo begins. Ringo ends the drum roll, and then returns to the hi-hat rhythm. Just for a moment, he blows it, and it all recovers by 2:00.

    Paul missed the middle note of his triple in the bass line (right channel)

    (3:43) Click that makes the tambourine disappear. It suddenly reappears (3:46), only not as loud as before. It disappears again (3:48), then (3:54) it is faintly heard in the middle and its volume is raised (4:00).

    Acoustic guitar vanishes.

4:06, 4:22, 4:39
    Chris Chardi writes

The pattern of the song up to the coda had the band hitting a D chord before each "weeps" (3:49) and then a C chord before each "weeps" in the next pass (4:06). But in the coda, this pattern becomes jumbled. At 4:06, the organ plays the wrong chord, a D, while the rest of band plays a C.

At 4:22, it becomes even worse. For years, I'd wondered why Paul's bass line sounds incorrect here. But upon closer inspection, it's the rest of the band that commits the error! At 4:22, Paul plays a D on the bass while the rest of the band plays a C. Given the pattern of the song thus far, Paul was correct. Notice also how, at 4:39, the rest of the band hits a D, while Paul hits a C! Paul's correct again!

Good catch, that ending always did sound ragged, now I know why!

    Right channel, Ringo misses the kick drum (both beats!)

Why Don't We Do It In The Road

    Squeak during drum intro.

0:11, 0:27
    Faint vocal, Paul? going "mmmm".

With A Little Help From My Friends

    Centre, loud tweets during the word "Billy".

    Noticeable increase in mains hum as the fader opens for Paul's bass (right channel). Fixed in Yellow Submarine remastered.

    Under the word "lend", a voice says "one".

0:39/40, 0:42
    Distant, echoey voice sound behind main vocals. It may be an artefact of the drums or guitar, but it has also been suggested as a talkback speaker.

    Rhythm guitar misses a chord, continuing on the same chord for too many beats.

    Right channel, crackles in bass line (bad lead/connector?) Fixed in Yellow Submarine remastered.

    Ringo admits that he wasn't confident about that high note at the end. Here you can hear an edit to join on a successful attempt at the last phrase, beginning with the words "Ye/es I get by with-a-little-help-from my friends with-a-little ..." Note that the level of the vocal comes up in the middle of this edited word ("Yes"). Fixed in Yellow Submarine remastered.

Also note that there is a soft "oo" on the end of the backing vocals at 2:29, the point of the edit.

    Over the end chord, someone says something extremely faint. May be "friends"?

Within You Without You

    Immediately coincident with percussion starting, there is a drop-in or edit. Drone instrument on right channel doesn't start "naturally" here.

    Sitar in centre drops out suddenly here (edit or a punch in?)

    George is singing along to the drum part, with an audible "Da da da da, two .. We were". Ronald A. Westgate III says

Those are bhols, the mnemonic system Indian drummers use to say their rhythms.

    Small drop-out glitch in the backing track under end of word "you".

Words Of Love

Whole Song
    Ringo's bass drum squeaks through this one, too (left channel in stereo versions).

    First one, then both "clappers" come in late - part way into the intro.

    One person stops clapping, the other continues for too long.

    Possible edit or drop-in in the guitar track (more audible in the left channel of Stereo version).

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What Goes On V3.09 © 2017 Mike Brown. Visit the website at http://wgo.signal11.org.uk for the latest version and contact details.