Monday, May 3, 2010

The Missing Liner Notes: With the Beatles

* The album title came about after hours of brainstorming; it was originally titled A Collection of Songs Written by Justin Bieber and Subsequently Recorded with The Beatles, but EMI marketing guru Rodger Nigel Feggleshire IV, Sr., Esq., Ph.D. pointed out at the last minute that Justin Bieber had not been invented yet, and so the album's title was shortened to Recorded with The Beatles. This was deemed largely "inaccurate" by George Martin, since the music was not so much "recorded" as it was "telekinetically beamed to acetate by the god-like powers of their superior minds." After cycling through several other useful prepositions, including Between the Beatles, Near the Beatles, and Without the Beatles, they finally settled on, F*ck Yeah, The Beatles! - and then quickly reverted back to Without the Beatles. The final title, as we know it today, was the result of a typographical error.

* Paul McCartney was not present for any of the studio sessions, because he was dead. Obviously.

* The songs "You've Really Got a Hold on Me" and "Hold Me Tight" on the album's second side were intended to be part of a "Bondage/Sado-Masochism Medley", which concluded with a rare Lennon-Starr composition titled, "Choke Me 'Till I'm Blue". Ringo insisted on singing the last number with a ball gag strapped to his face, but when George Martin couldn't get through the recording without laughing himself to the point of wheezing and drooling, the idea was scrapped.

* The lyrics to "Don't Bother Me" were inspired by a "Do Not Disturb" sign that George found in an antique shoppe. "I wrote the whole bloody song just from the words on that sign," he said, "and it went, 'Do not distuuuuurb, do noooooooot disturb,' like this ... I brought it 'round to the lads, and they suggested I beef it up a bit more. I still like the first version better. I thought it was quite brilliant, really."

* The carpal-tunnel-causing, finger-twisting bass line on "All My Loving" was originally performed by guest bassist "Thing", later of Addams Family fame. The virtuoso performance was cut short, however, when George stumbled into the studio and screamed, "A fiendish Thing!", thus offending the guest musician and necessitating Paul's temporary return from the netherworld to complete the session.

* The boys decided on the black-and-white, "shadowed faces" design for the album's cover, because only Ringo's head was available for the photo shoot. He had left the rest of his body in railings by accident.

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