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Sunday, August 1, 2010

"Lady Madonna" Backing Track Take 3

After all the response to last week's post of a partial take of "Day Tripper," this will be Beatle's week on The Big Picture. Today we'll start with take #3 of "Lady Madonna."

This is the take that ended up being the master, but it's mostly Paul on piano and vocal and Ringo playing brushes.

According the Mark Lewisohn's The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, a number of tracks were added at another session later that evening including Paul's bass, John and George on fuzz guitar (through the same amp no less), Ringo's drums and another vocal by Paul.

The song was finished a few days later with John and Paul backing vocals and a sax section.

1) Paul is a really good rock piano player. Even though a second piano was supposedly recorded later, you have to wonder exactly what was added since this track is very solid already. If anything, I suspect that the part between the bridges might've been fixed, since he plays it a bit differently from the main part.

2) Notice the handclaps in the background at about 1;37. According to Lewisohn, there were more added  at a later date.

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Mike B. said...

Hey Bobby - thanks for posting this, and great timing!

I'm working on a track right now where I'm trying to get just this kind of piano sound. It sounds really compressed to me; can you tell us what type of compression approach they likely used for this?

Bobby Owsinski said...

I asked Ken Scott, who engineered the session, for the details but he didn't remember for sure. They only used one of two compressors at Abbey Road during that time - either a Fairchild 660 or EMI-modded Altec 436.

Bob Buontempo said...

I believe I read that it was an old upright piano with a couple mics stuck up inside it. And the compressor choice that Bobby mentioned should be correct, from what I've read. It's cool how, at the end of the track, there is that single cymbal crash, without any other drums, and the hand claps that were reinforced later.

Also, of course, Lennon's comment during the piano sustain of the last note. Typical, pure Lennon!!


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