It is a rainy Election Day in Arcata as I sit down to listen to take 1 of “Tomorrow Never Knows” — the first song The Beatles recorded for Revolver, and the first thing I wrote about in this blog.

In fact this early version of “TNK” — which Beatles guru Mark Lewisohn called “a heavy metal recording of enormous proportion” — already appeared on Anthology 2. But it sounds a little smoother here, for better or worse. It is followed by a mono mix of the finished track, the bird sounds of which are causing my cat to perk up her ears.

Next up is three versions of “Got to Get You into My Life”; at this point we are going backwards through the album. The first starts with a spirited discussion between John, Paul, Ringo, and George Martin about how the song starts. Finally Paul (I think) just counts it off. At this stage “GtGYiML” starts with an organ — there are no horns yet — and features some not-quite-together harmonies. It’s kind of weird to hear The Beatles sound this bad.

By the next, unnumbered take things have improved a lot. Paul’s on bass instead of organ, that snaky guitar part is there, and the harmonies are on point. Finally, take 8 is the final track I think, but without the vocals. The massed horns are pretty impressive. You have to admire the craft that went into this song — even if it’s still not one of my favorites.

At the beginning of take 1 of “Love You To” we hear George H. saying “Granny Smith,” the working title. This take is just acoustic guitar and vocals; at the end George plays the same chord about a dozen times and the song just stops. Also included is an “unreleased rehearsal,” which is 95 seconds of George fucking around on the sitar and droning wordlessly on the mic, trying to find notes that sound right. Finally we get “take 7, a reduction of take 6” (meaning some previous tracks have been combined to make room for new ones). It’s still called “Granny Smith” but is substantially finished. It may have been “Granny Smith” right up to the day George had to decide what it would be called on the record; he was notorious that way.

At this point in the sessions the boys took a break from album recording to throw together the “Paperback Writer”/“Rain” single. For the former the Super Deluxe includes a few minutes of instrumental backing tracks — groovy but inessential. As for the latter, looking back at old posts I see this quote from Geoff Emerick

Rain also had an unusual sonic texture, deep and murky. This was accomplished by having the band play the backing track at a really fast tempo while I recorded them on a sped-up tape machine. When we slowed the tape back down to normal speed, the music played back at the desired tempo, but with a radically different tonal quality.

Super D. includes the “actual speed” master, and it’s a trip.


A little unnerving, actually, like the universe has suddenly sped way up. But it’s wild to hear Paul play that intricate bassline at such a breakneck pace — I bet he had blisters on his fingers after that one.

OK and here’s “Dr. Robert” again — take 7 this time, which is very similar to the album track but minus overdubs. Great vocal mesh between John and Paul. Again I think of Dr. Oz but the polls are not closed in Pennsylvania. I hope people vote for the guy who had the stroke, not the guy who’s been a charlatan all his life.

Disc 2 closes with two versions of “And Your Bird Can Sing,” one labelled “Take 2” and one “Take 2 – Giggling.” My notes indicate that these were recorded on 4/20/66 — nudge nudge, say no more.

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