What Goes On
What Goes On: The Beatles Anomalies List

Anomalies Y

Yellow Submarine

    "And the band begins to play" ... They certainly do, but one of the trumpeters decides to put in a little trill ahead of cue! Fixed in Yellow Submarine remastered.

    Previously, it was claimed that "The acoustic guitar loses it, and hits a series of wrong chords, masked by the brass coming in."

Jesse Smith has analysed this more closely, and come up with an answer

Now I've listened to this over and over, and I think I know what's happened (but not exactly why). It's not that John messed up the acoustic guitar chords. He keeps playing the same sequence that the verse normally follows.

G       D           C   G
And our friends are all aboard
Em   Am           C         D
Many more of them live next door
G       D    C         G
And the band begins to play

(Now the way the band plays, you'd expect this to stay in G)

But both the guitar AND Paul's bass play:

Em   Am      C        G

...again, as if they were finishing the verse. The other verses are finished that way, and I wonder if the addition of the band was a late idea, and for whatever reason they didn't bother to re-record the backing track. Or for that matter, I wonder why they wrote the band's interlude in chords that clash with the verse structure.

Maybe there was a fourth line of vocals after "and the band begins to play", which was later ditched in favour of the band part. Anyway, thanks to Jesse for defending John's guitar playing. Further proof that this is the case is that Paul's bass matches John's chords note for note.

    skoumalo@post.cz writes

I'm from Czech Republic and so it is Czech language anomaly

You can hear it during sound effects break. There is one little sentence in 1:36 "prosime, nedychat" which is in English "please, don't breathe". In Czech fanzine called "Beatles Yesterday And Today" is explanation of this. "There should have been sound engineer of Czech origin on recording session".

"Bevern" writes

1:32 something that voice says: "Posten ir hir Mr Baker (Burton) posten ir hir!" and then "Do fortsitter vi resan". It's Swedish and means: "The mail is here, Mr Baker, the mail is here!" "Then we'll continue the trip"

Most English speakers hear this as "Full steam ahead, Mr Barclay/Barker, Full steam ahead". "Full steam ahead it is". It's supposed to be someone on the bridge of the submarine, talking to the engine room by the communications tube. This submarine being steam powered ... which is unusual.

    Niels de Wit from the Netherlands writes :-

I've always heard the Dutch phrase "HOU ZE TEGEN!" ("Stop them!") appearing not once, not twice, but 3 times in the "instrumental" part of Yellow Submarine! It's even pronounced with a typically Dutch "hard" "g"

I have no idea what this line really is. It sounds like someone yelling "Hot potato, hot potato" then "Aye Aye Sir!"

    The backing vocals come in a line and a half late in verse 3. See Real Love single version for the complete "answering" vocal.

Bruce Benham says

The answer line "a life of ease" is only found on the Mono Revolver mix. The single uses this mix also.

The Yellow Submarine mono LP mix is the same as the Revolver Stereo mix (essentially) in that the line is missing.

Chris Chardi points out that the "life of ease" line is also audible on the Yellow Submarine Songbook remix.

    Ringo's voice cracks here, leading people to hear either a totally off key note, or "slubmarine".

Yer Blues

Whole Track

Bass guitar's low string seems to be tuned flat, compared to the rest of the track, and the rest of the bass guitar.

    Scratchy noise, "Wanna <scratch> die".

0:20 (exactly repeated at 3:34)
    Pop noise, from guitar on right.

0:51 ,1:05-1:08, 1:22, 1:26, 1:49

1:02-1:09,1:31-1:40, 2:00-2:07 Listen!
    Left channel, John can be heard shouting out lyrics that are different from the finished verses, and do not match printed records of earlier lyrics. They are most obvious here (where they differ) but there is a vocal there throughout.

This is coming from an off-mic guide vocal, performed while the band part was recorded, and is leaking through the drum microphones. Heard clearer in OOPS (removes main vocal).

    Click, in tail end of word "already".

    A couple of handclaps audible behind vocals.

    (Left channel) Yells.

    (Left channel) Faint guitar track. Bleedover from the original guitar solo, bleeding through the drum mics. Right channel is the overdubbed new solo.

    The supposed "instrumental" verse at the end also has some bleedover from the guide vocals. This segment was spliced in from another take, according to Lewisohn. The edit can be heard in a clipped guitar note. Unfortunately, it fades before we get to the repeat of the "alternate lyrics" section above.

The anomaly at 0:20 (3:34) made me check carefully: The instrumental verse at the end is exactly the same recording as the start of the song, it is not a different performance or take. The two parts of the song, when lined up in an audio editor, are identical, save for vocals. They flange together, indicating a slight variation in speed, that's all.

Daniel Caccavo explains these vocal anomalies

It's the leftover leakage from his live vocal (which he replaced).

Tom Hartman (who was outside the room as the boys left the session) recounts that John said, "as long as you got the vocal" to the engineer, which cracked everybody up. If you listen to that shouting, and think of that as the vocal that John referred to, it's pretty funny....

Occasionally, what sounds like a third voice, singing a higher harmony to the "Girl you know the reason why" parts sticks through (Paul).

At the referenced times, someone is shouting (not particularly singing) words that do not fit the main lyric at all, not even the alternate (original) lyrics. Things that stick out are reported as phrases like "Backs out" (1:31), sometimes as "[It] blacks out" (also 1:31), "Black cab" (1:34), "Who we are" (1:37), "crossed the road" (2:00), "Why it's alive" (2:03) - but they are hard to hear.

Chris Chardi thinks that

... Lennon hadn't nailed down all the lyrics when the band recorded the instrumental take and was just singing random words as a guide vocal.

So these lyrics heard in the background would pre-date the "original lyrics" that are sometimes quoted in Beatles references. If only we could hear them more clearly!

Yes It Is

    George reported as making the harmony sound false. This is another one I'm going to retract on thinking about it. This is an intentional chord, and sounds out of place simply because it is rather unusual.

    Small drop out in the word "I" (as in "what I said"). Sounds like tape damage.

    Plosive from John singing "happy", sometimes reported as a "bump" sound.

    Click, centre.

    Click, right side.


    After the word "believe" there is a squeak, sounds like it's from a violin string (left channel).

    Click, centre, right at the start of the word "There's".

    Click in the word "I", possibly a finger noise in guitar part.

    The words "something wrong ... for yesterday" are double tracked. This could be to do with Paul having replaced a section of the vocal - George Martin said that the vocal was piped as a guide track for the orchestra. So the original and new vocals combine here to double track accidentally? Phrasing of the word "yesterday" is different, and it shows up.

    Right channel, just before the words "Now I need" there is a clunk from the guitar.

    Thud, right channel.

    Strange sound as Paul releases the neck of the guitar. Mono version only.

You Can't Do That

    John's guitar changes tone on the pause before "Oh ..." in preparation for the solo - changed too early. Or this is possibly a bad edit, and the guitar tone changed between takes.

    John sings "I'll go and let you down" instead of "I'm gonna let you down".

You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)

    At the start of John's incoherent mumbling, someone belches. This is often attributed to Ringo (why?), but Paul and John were the only ones present (see Lewisohn).

    Sound like something (a coin, something round) is spinning to a stop just behind the mumbling.

You Like Me Too Much

    Hiss being modulated up and down, this is the electric piano's tremolo effect (see Tell Me What You See).

    Click of the modulation being turning off.

    Pedal of the "real" piano (not the electric one) being lifted early, and it makes a clunk noise.

You Never Give Me Your Money

    Short breath is taken.

    Someone picks up a tambourine, left side.

    Bad edit. Lead guitar (centre) which was silent, very suddenly appears at this point and goes out of time.

3:46-3:56 Listen!
    Talking, during the guitar playing. Specifically 3:52, what does John sing after the very last "1-2-3-4-5-6-7 ..."? It's not "All good children go to heaven". Could be "Bloody 'ell" [3:52, right]

You Really Got A Hold On Me

    Edit to a different take as the vocals come in ... hi-hat sound changes here.

    Switches back to original take. Hi-hat becomes much clearer.

    Edit as guitar playing minor part comes in.

Jerry Sitser suggests another "off-record" anomaly.

How about starting a new category for album jacket anomalies? In the title for "You Really Got a Hold on Me," there's an extra space between "got" and "a" - at least on this Parlophone version. We'll ignore the bad grammar, especially since the Beatles didn't write this one.

Your Mother Should Know

0:19, 0:21
    Ringo begins a soft hi-hat count in, but seems to tentatively "tap tap" on the ride cymbal as well, just to make sure it's there. The ride cymbal proper starts from 0:25, growing in intensity.

You're Going To Lose That Girl

Whole song
    Piano seems out of tune in relation to other instruments. Either the piano is sharp, or the guitar is flat. Also Ringo's squeaky bass pedal pops through in places.

    Third piano chord played "wrongly" - F#m chord with an A# (as if it's a major chord). Seems to stick out, and not in a pleasant way. Is this a dissonant chord, or just wrong?

    Overdubbed "t" at 0:40 compensating for John's pronunciation of "right" as "I will treat her ride and then".

    Edit in the backing of the song.

You've Got To Hide Your Love Away

    Edit in John's vocal, the quality of his voiceschanges totally here.

You Won't See Me

    Tempo of the song slows down. At 30 second intervals, from the start, the tempo is 119,118,116,115,114,and 113 bpm.


    Odd sound to right.

    Paul sings "But I'd get turned away" or "But I get turned away", but not (as often documented) "But I could turn away". The 'd' is very soft.

    Upper "oo" in harmony comes in before lower one.

    Click, in centre.

    One (or two?) continuous mid-range note(s) held all through here. Very odd. Flakes out a little at 2:52.

Identified as Mal Evans, on organ! (Rubber Soul LP liner notes mention Mal playing on this track). Very obvious from 3:00-3:04, where the backing vocals stop (it blends into the vocal so well!).

    George (?) says something. Right channel, sounds like "Y'row".

    Shouting - "C'mon?" (Paul, right, during fadeout).

    Double click, possible handclap, right channel, just before fadeout ends.

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