Thursday, 17 October 2013

Planned Parenthood

“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.”
― George Bernard Shaw, Immaturity 


Okay, back to what I prefer doing.  Showing whomever reads this blog that The Beatles are making this stuff up as they go along, especially when it gets to what Paul McCartney's supposed to be doing at any given point in time. Whether getting into a moped crash, or buying a dog. Or whatever. 

We bring up the instance of THE FAMILY WAY soundtrack. 



That thing. 

So I bring you over to the Varese Sarabande website regarding this recording and the liner notes of Chip Madinger. I'm going to highlight some issues of contention with the dramatic history of this recording. THE FAMILY WAY


The Complete liner notes by Chip Madinger
A dry and dramatic comedy of errors, The Family Way is the saga of a young couple (newlyweds Jenny Piper {Hayley Mills} and Arthur Fitton {Hywell Bennett} seemingly unable to formally accomplish their marital duties.  Directed by Roy Boulting and produced by his twin brother John, production began in 1966 under the possible working titles, “Wedlocked” and “All In Good Time,” the name of Bill Naughton’s play on which the film was based. 

In the U.K., the film earned an X-certificate (intended for those over 16 years of age) from the British Board of Film Censors, for a combination of the film’s subject matter, heavily-cloaked innuendo and extended views of a former Disney child-star’s fundament.  However, viewers of the film not only witnessed Hayley Mills’ cinematic coming of age, but also heard the first tangible evidence of Paul McCartney’s independence from The Beatles.

Paul spoke of his initial foray into composing for film to the NME: “It was most unglamorous really.  I rang our NEMS office and said I would like to write a film theme, not a score, just a theme.  John was away filming [How I Won The War] so I had time to do it.”  The Beatles’ producer, George Martin, was key to the project and assumed a familiar role, as Paul told the Sunday Times: “He is the interpreter I play themes and chords on piano or guitar, he gets it down on paper.  I talk about the idea I have for instrumentation.  Then he works out the arrangement.  I tried to learn music once with a fellow who’s a great teacher.  But it got too much like homework.  I have some block about seeing it in little black dots on paper.  It’s like Braille to me.”  To begin, Paul composed 15 seconds of the opening theme and played it on piano to Martin, who transcribed the notes and arranged the melody, merging a church organ, brass band, string quartet and percussion.

It was more than a fortnight later (with Martin back from a cruise to New York aboard the Queen Mary, and McCartney having returned from an extended holiday through France, Spain and Africa) that the duo regrouped to complete the requisite love theme for the film, as Martin recounted for the NME: “I told Paul, and he said he’d compose something.  I waited but nothing materialized, and finally I had to go round to Paul’s house and literally stand there until he’d composed something.  John was visiting and advised a bit, but Paul created the tune and played it to me on guitar.”  Again, Martin took away the melody, this time arranging it for woodwind and strings.  Five sessions at CTS Studios followed, spread over the course of three days and nights, all in the midst of recording The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever.”  In the end, the music was completed only two weeks before the film’s Sunday night premiere in London’s Warner Theatre on December 18th, leaving the editors little time to complete the soundtrack.  The Daily Mirror reported Martin as having told the Boulting brothers: “If it sounds as if it was done in a hurry, it’s because it was done in a hurry.”

Decca Records (U.K.) purchased the musical rights to the film, and although George Martin had been led to believe that only a soundtrack album would be issued, a single by “The Tudor Minstrels” (the soundtrack’s session musicians, so named after the Boulting brothers’ production company, Tudor Films) was scheduled for release on December 15th to tie in with the film’s premiere.  This would seem to have been of little consequence, except that Martin had plans to issue his own single on the E.M.I.-affiliated United Artists label.

In order to level the playing field, Decca’s release was put back for a week, while Martin prepared his recording.  And so on December 6th, before a Beatles’ session for another McCartney original, “When I’m Sixty-Four” (which Martin had also scored), George made tape copies of a handful of cues from the just-finished film soundtrack to assist in preparing the arrangements for his own orchestra.  In between Beatles’ sessions for “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “When I’m Sixty-Four,” Martin found time to prepare his score, and in a three-hour session at E.M.I. on the morning of December 15th, recorded, mixed and mastered both sides of the single.  Both discs (each coupling “Love In The Open Air” with “Theme From The Family Way”) were released on December 23rd, and failed to make any impression on the charts in the weeks that followed.
Having witnessed Britain’s lack of response to George Martin’s wistful treatment of “Love In The Open Air,” United Artists in America requested a more up-tempo, beat group sound for their forthcoming single.  Martin dutifully re-arranged the theme, and recorded the re-make at E.M.I. over three days in early February 1967.  Coupled with a new B-Side, “Bahama Sound” (a Martin composition unrelated to the film), the American United Artists single also went unnoticed.  Meanwhile, Decca’s U.S. counterpart, London Records (the American Decca Records having established itself as an independent label in 1942), left The Tudor Minstrels’ disc unchanged, with their efforts mirrored by its lack of chart success.

As for the soundtrack album, Decca issued the disc (in both mono and stereo) on January 6th, 1967, but, despite the prominent position of Paul’s name on the cover, sales of the album fell short, and the disc failed to make an appearance in the British album charts.  When issued in the States by London on June 12th (with revised artwork), the American release followed suit and did not chart.

All 24 of the McCartney/Martin musical cues appearing in the film were bundled into 13 tracks on the soundtrack album, with six of the tracks banding together a number of shorter musical cues.  There is reason behind the cryptic cue IDs, as they roughly correlate to the film reel on which each cue appears, and the sequence of the cue on that reel.  (For those keeping track, there are a few gaps in the sequencing: there is no Cue 2M2 or 2M3, film reels 3 and 9 contained no musical cues, and Cue 6M1 is the brief appearance of the theme music from the television drama, Coronation Street.)

And so, nearly 45 years after the soundtrack was recorded, this is the first compact disc release to feature the original 1/4″ stereo master tapes.  Also included is a previously unreleased stereo mix of ‘Theme From The Family Way,‘ the B-Side to both the British and American singles by The Tudor Minstrels.

Chip Madinger June 2011
Chip Madinger is the co-author of Eight Arms To Hold You, the authoritative guide to the Beatles work as solo artists.  He is also the author of Lennonology, a forthcoming reference series that will extensively detail the life and artistry of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.  For more information regarding these books, please visit www.lennonology.com.



Plenty to be highlighted there. Plenty. 

Released the 6th January, 1967 The Family Way soundtrack was composed with the benefit of moustache.

220px-31-Nk-hwy6L.jpg
He's got a moustache in Nairobi, so we have to assume he has a moustache when he lands back in London - this gives him between 20th November, 1966 and 31st December 1966 to get this score composed! Unless George Martin truly was the one to get this film score done, which I think would be the case. I mean McCartney's got The Escorts to produce, and him and Mal have to kick his resident housekeeper out without 2 weeks notice. So much to do! What else does he have to do between the 20th November, 1966 and the 31st December, 1966.


Brian Epstein holds a party for The Four Tops in London
6.00pm, Sunday 20 November 1966 (46 years ago)


The Four Tops had performed at the Savile Theatre in London on 13 November 1966. The venue was owned by The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, and the backdrop for the performance was said to have been designed by Paul McCartney. Seven days later Epstein held a party for The Four Tops at his home at 24 Chapel Street, London. It was attended by John Lennon and George Harrison.

====================
Well McCartney had to have designed it before the 6th November, unless he posted the design to Epstein from his car (I believe the DB5)


Recording: Strawberry Fields Forever
7.00pm, Thursday 24 November 1966 (46 years ago)



Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick

With touring behind them, The Beatles retreated from public view to begin work on their eighth album. They were keen to use the studio to its full potential, experimenting with different sounds with the intention of producing their best work to date. The first song of the late-1966 sessions was John Lennon's Strawberry Fields Forever, which was issued as a standalone single along with Penny Lane in February 1967.




I came back to England [from India] towards the end of October and John got back from Spain. It was all predetermined when we'd meet again. Then we went in the studio and recorded 'Strawberry Fields'. I think at that point there was a more profound ambience to the band.

George Harrison
Anthology


Following considerable discussion and rehearsal, just one take of Strawberry Fields Forever was recorded on this first day. The Beatles performed the song in the key of C, as had Lennon on his most recent home demos of it. It began with a Mellotron introduction performed by Paul McCartney, and featured Lennon and George Harrison on electric guitars, and Ringo Starr on drums. Onto track two Lennon recorded his first lead vocal, with the tape running fast so it was slower and at a lower pitch upon playback, and Harrison simultaneously added a slide guitar part.
Now we were off the road and in the studio with new songs. Strawberry Fields is the song that John had, about the old Salvation Army home for kids he used to live next door to in Liverpool. We related it to youth, golden summers and fields of strawberry. I knew what he was talking about. The nice thing is that a lot of our songs were starting to get a little bit more surreal. I remember John having a book at home called Bizarre, about all sorts of weird things. We were opening up artistically and taking the blinkers off. We used a mellotron on Strawberry Fields. I didn't think it would get past the Musicians' Union, so we didn't advertise it; we just had it on the sessions. It had what would now be called 'samples' of flute, which are actually tapes that play and then rewind. We had eleven seconds on each tape, which could be played on each key.

Paul McCartney
Anthology


Track three was filled with double-tracked vocals by Lennon during the first chorus and the third verse, and the fourth track featured harmony vocals by Lennon, McCartney and Harrison. These latter two parts were omitted when the song was remixed for Anthology 2 in 1996.
=========================================

Hmmm if it was predetermined when they'd all meet, why was there so much confusion with knowing when Lennon was back, where McCartney was and when, different stories from two guys who'd know, Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans, and be made very aware of those predetermined dates of meeting and work. This whole story is just that. A story.

So there's the 21st thru 23rd unaccounted for so far. We know MM said McCartney worked with The Escorts and this was reported on the 19th November, 1966. So when the hell he did it is a mystery because he's been out of England for 13 days. Probably when he found time to design a backdrop for a concert!


Recording: Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas
12.00pm, Friday 25 November 1966 (46 years ago)



Dick James House, 71-75 New Oxford Street, London
Producer: George Martin

The Beatles' fourth Christmas record, Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas, was recorded on this day at the first floor demo studio owned by their publisher, Dick James. Each member of The Beatles sang on the recording, with Paul McCartney also playing piano. A number of songs and skits were recorded, which were edited into a 10-part, six-minute piece on 2 December. The songs included Everywhere It's Christmas, Orowainya, and Please Don't Bring Your Banjo Back, and the sketches included Podgy The Bear And Jasper, and Felpin Mansions.


We worked it out between us. Paul did most of the work on it. He thought up the 'Pantomime' title and the two song things.

Ringo Starr

The Beatles' Fourth Christmas Record – Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas was edited by The Beatles' press officer at Abbey Road on 2 December 1966, and was sent to members of The Beatles' UK fan club on 16 December.
=========================================================================

2nd December, same day as The Escorts single on Columbia was due out. Wow, McCartney sure starts working fast when he has to. The title, the two songs, a backdrop for a concert, producer for an album, an upcoming soundtrack, he's barely been back in the country 5 days and he's going crazy workaholic. Has he seen Jane at all? Is there time? How about Maggie (I'd see Maggie personally.)


John Lennon films a sequence for Not Only... But Also
8.00am, Sunday 27 November 1966 (46 years ago)


John Lennon filmed a second appearance on the comedy television show Not Only... But Also on this day. Lennon played the role of Dan, a doorman at the fictional nightclub Ad Lav. The name was a spoof on the Ad Lib Club, a venue often frequented by The Beatles and other leading showbusiness personalities of the mid-1960s. Dan the doorman.

=================================================================

That's two days unaccounted for on McCartney, the 26th - 27th. The 28th November finds them working on Strawberry Fields Forever again, beginning at 7pm that evening. And then again on the 29th. The 30th thru 2nd are unaccounted for, but mixing and release of the Christmas Record was finished by the 2nd. The 6th finds them recording When I'm Sixty Four and their radio Christmas messages. The 8th December finds them working again on Strawberry Fields Forever and When I'm Sixty Four. McCartney did two sessions that day, one on his own for Sixty Four, and then returning with the other three for Fields.

9th December finds the release of A Collection of Beatles Oldies. And work again on Strawberry ...

Six day hiatus, the Beatles return to the studio again for work on Strawberry on the 15th December. Martin has to score the string & brass arrangements and get the musicians. Busy man.

I drew the cover myself. There's a sort of funny pantomime horse in the design if you look closely. Well I can see one there if you can't.
Paul McCartney


He's also designing The Beatles' Fourth Christmas Record – Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas. Which is released on the 16th December. Shame that the death of Tara Browne would be on the horizon within the next day and a half. Count your blessings. Browne dies on the 18th, December 1966 in a car accident.


Paul McCartney and Jane Asher attend the première of The Family Way
6.00pm, Sunday 18 December 1966 (46 years ago)



Paul McCartney and Jane Asher attended the première of the film The Family Way at London's Warner Cinema.

The cinema was located at 1 Cranbourn Street in central London. Asher appeared in the film, and the soundtrack had been written by McCartney and scored by George Martin.


If you are blessed with the ability to write music, you can turn your hand to various forms. I've always admired people for whom it's a craft - the great songwriting partners of the past, such as Rodgers and Hammerstein, or Cole Porter. I've admired the fact that they can write a musical and they can do a film score. So film scores were an interesting diversion for me, and with George Martin being able to write and orchestrate - and being pretty good at it - I got an offer through the Boulting Brothers for him and me to do some film music for The Family Way. I had a look at the film and though it was great. I still do. It's very powerful and emotional - soppy, but good for its time. I wanted brass-band music; because with The Beatles we got into a lot of different kinds of music, but maybe brass band was a little too Northern and 'Hovis'. I still loved it. My dad had played trumpet and his dad had been in a brass band, so I had those leanings. For the film I got something together that was sort of 'brassy bandy', to echo the Northernness of the story, and I had a great time. We got an Ivor Novello Award for the score - for the best film song that year, a piece called 'Love In The Open Air', which Johnny Mercer was nearly going to put lyrics to, but I didn't know who he was. Later I realised, 'Oh, that Johnny Mercer! You mean the greatest lyricist on the planet!' I should have done that. Never mind - it fell through - but it was good fun doing the music.

Paul McCartney
Anthology

===================================================================================
Excuse my language but when the FucK did you find time to do this? The film already premieres by the 18th, December. You've been back in London since the 19th November, and so far in online diary of events, I'm not sure when you and George Martin found time to get together to do such things. When? When did you take a look at the film? When was it ready for viewing for you to know what the film score should be? It must have been ready quite soon because it was already out in theatres before Christmas, and we all know what the rush to Christmas is like around the world, forget the entertainment industry, think how hard it is to book places and get tickets and all sorts of things in the final weeks leading up to that festive event. The 20th December, 1966 finds The Beatles, all with moustaches being interviewed in front of EMI studios. I don't know about you, but Tara Browne's been dead for 2 days, and these people don't seem to show any trace of sadness or not being up for interviews. Maybe they're ultra-professional. Let's say they are. But they don't seem down or anything. I would be if my friend had just crashed into a lorry, and had a wife and two children left behind, regardless whether he was on the outs with them or not, it's almost Christmas. I mean, yes they don't have to show any emotion to reporters, but they don't seem all that sad either. His death was less than 48 hours previous. And then it's back to work on When I'm Sixty Four.

Let's see. In a month of being back, The Beatles have only worked on two major songs, a Christmas project, apparently a film soundtrack, appeared in a television skit, a friend dies, and ... what. The 21st finds them again working on Strawberry, which is by now a labour of love. The 29th December finds them working on Penny Lane, Strawberry and When I'm Sixty Four.

When you look at it day by day, it seems like they're doing a lot. When you bunch it all up in a block, they don't seem to be doing anything. They're NOT writing more than they actually are writing. They seem to be taking more time off and away from the studio than actually spending in it, and spending a lot of time on one particular song in general. But you can say that's the art of it. I'd agree. They're trying to expand what they do in the studio, so this can take time. I don't have any argument with that whatsoever.

At the same time when the hell did Mccartney work on The Family way soundtrack, in time for it to be edited in to the movie? It had to have been done long before the 18th December rolled around. So when did he and Martin begin this work????





It was more than a fortnight later (with Martin back from a cruise to New York aboard the Queen Mary, and McCartney having returned from an extended holiday through France, Spain and Africa)
------ that brings you to the 19th November, 1966. A fortnight is two weeks / 14 days. This is more though. So let's say they got together on the 20th November, or the 21st. The original, let's hear what you got Paul, wow 15 seconds, occurs at least 2 weeks before.
19 - 14 = 5. So let's say the 5th November as a mean date.

But it's more than a fortnight, so lets say McCartney first got wind of the project in late October, early November. But he's gone by the 6th. He had time because Lennon was in Spain. Why such a hurry then to get out before he comes back then! Anyway.

The 30th thru 2nd are unaccounted for, but mixing and release of the Christmas Record was finished by the 2nd. The 6th finds them recording When I'm Sixty Four and their radio Christmas messages. The 8th December finds them working again on Strawberry Fields Forever and When I'm Sixty Four. McCartney did two sessions that day, one on his own for Sixty Four, and then returning with the other three for Fields.

9th December finds the release of A Collection of Beatles Oldies. And work again on Strawberry.

So let's clean that up:
November 30th - December 2nd - no entries, but the Christmas Record is worked on.
December 6th - When I'm Sixty Four / Christmas Messages
December 8th - Strawberry Fields Forever / When I'm Sixty Four. For McCartney this almost equates to a 12 hour working day these two sessions.
December 9th - Strawberry Fields Forever.

Five sessions at CTS Studios followed, spread over the course of three days and nights, all in the midst of recording The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever.” In the end, the music was completed only two weeks before the film’s Sunday night premiere in London’s Warner Theatre on December 18th

The film premiered on the 18th December, 1966. The music was completed only two weeks before it was shown to the public. Two weeks is 14 days. 18 - 14 = December 4th 1966.

It took them 3 days and nights to finish the recording over five sessions. This is to be completed by the 4th December 1966.
Well, they weren't working on Strawberry between the 30th November and December 8th. So that's just trying to make it into this great race against time and look how wonderful it came out amongst all this activity. But they ARE working on The Christmas album, and When I'm Sixty Four. George Martin's all instrumental LP "The Beatles Girls" is released on the 28th November, 1966 in the USA. When did he find time for that???? He's just back from holiday as well, but of course, he's had the summer of 1966 to do such a thing.

I see no mention anywhere of recordings at CTS studios over a 3 day period, consisting of 5 sessions. Strawberry was NOT being worked on at the same time, and for this soundtrack to be finished two weeks before the premiere, it needs to be composed, scored, recorded, mixed ALL BY THE 4TH DECEMBER 1966. But I can find head nor tail of when Paul McCartney & George Martin got together between the 20th November 1966 and the 4th December 1966, with the story they're telling of how quickly things were put together. Well yeah! So quick it seems you didn't even do it, it was that quick!


It was more than a fortnight later (with Martin back from a cruise to New York aboard the Queen Mary, and McCartney having returned from an extended holiday through France, Spain and Africa) that the duo regrouped to complete the requisite love theme for the film, as Martin recounted for the NME: “I told Paul, and he said he’d compose something. I waited but nothing materialized, and finally I had to go round to Paul’s house and literally stand there until he’d composed something. John was visiting and advised a bit, but Paul created the tune and played it to me on guitar.” Again, Martin took away the melody, this time arranging it for woodwind and strings. Five sessions at CTS Studios followed, spread over the course of three days and nights, all in the midst of recording The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

This whole paragraph bothers the hell out of me. Especially with the DECEMBER 4th cut-off date for this entire soundtrack to be assembled. McCartney gave him 15 seconds of material before both left on holiday. Martin goes off and does who knows what with that 15 seconds. They reconvene after holidays and McCartney still has nothing. So Martin makes him write something, and gets John to kick him if he doesn't come up with it quick (just joking). Then it's off to CTS studios for three days and nights ....................................... WHEN??? When they were doing the Christmas Album? It has to be done before the 4th ....



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