Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Look Inside The Beatles "Rain"

Here's a great look inside the making of The Beatles 1966 hit "Rain." The song is often mentioned as a favorite of the various Beatles, since it was done all together as a band and might even represent their peak performance together. "Rain" was the B side to "Paperback Writer," but there was actually a lot going on that warrants a mention.
  • On the first take you'll hear at 0:00 (which was actually take 5), the backing track is at a higher pitch than the rest of the subsequent takes. That's because they recorded the song faster than normal on a sped-up tape machine so when they slowed it back down to normal speed it would sound bigger.
  • At 2:47 you hear a take with just John Lennon's lead vocal. Again, it's slowed down so it sounds a little slurred as a result.
  • At 5:20 you hear just the bass amp and tambourine track. This was a grand experiment looking for a different bass sound where engineer Geoff Emerick used a speaker cabinet as a microphone for the bass amp, a variation we do all the time these days with a "sub-kick" mic.
  • At 8:23 you can hear John doubling his lead vocal on the chorus. The vocals are split left and right so you can hear it well.
  • At 10:53 you can hear the boys adding the background harmony vocals.
It's pretty interesting to hear that the drums and background vocals are sometimes a little shaky, but work well in the track. Still, we probably wouldn't let those things go by today.



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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting that there seems to be a single guitar overdub recorded at double speed in A (check out 2.26m) playing an arpeggio E-A-E. This has not been mentioned by Geoff Emerick when discussing the track, which was one of the first he engineered for the Beatles.

At normal speed this overdub sounds more than an octave lower (since the overall track has been slowed down to lower the pitch from A to G.

This overdub beautifully complements McCartney's excellent bass riffing, high on the neck.

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