Monday, January 29, 2007
"Lennon asked producer George Martin to make his vocal sound like the Dali Lama."
Why are the Beatles the fucking best band ever?
One of the hundreds of reasons has to be the John song, "Tomorrow Never Knows" (yes, I think that way. Even though it may say "Lennon/McCartney," that was a contractual thing. I always think of *who* *really* wrote the songs, cuz John and Paul were usually competitive and not collaborative. BUT, there would be no Beatles without their drive to outshine each other...in my humble opinion, that is...)
heh, and even after that lil' rant, I have to contradict myself. Paul, George and Ringo ALL have their hands in this one, and that is apparent when you hear it. At first, when I was experiencing the Beatles as a young kid, I always thought the "Indian-sounding" songs were George's and I didn't really get them. Now, I realize I was dead-wrong about it just being George who was so into Eastern culture and religion (they all got something out of it, it seemed. George was just the most affected). Also, I hear these songs now and think that they might be the most innovative, the most influential (well, just as much as everything they experimented with) of all their sounds and musical ideas. I always think that Chemical Brothers-style mainstream dance music owes a great deal to these early (1966, remember!) experiments that the Liverpudlians were giving to the world.
So, on Friday I was out with Fitzy and a good friend of his wanted to see the band, Gypsyfoot. I wasn't aware of them or their sound at all, but was up for whatevah. Their set was extremely varied, style and quality-wise, but they had me lovin' a spot-on version of the Talking Heads' "This Must Be The Place." (I have been in a new-discovery-in-love phase with the Talking Heads for the last year or so. I went from not caring for them much at all, to LOVING them. It's fun!)
Then they came in for the kill: a showstopping, two-song stunner: "Tomorrow Never Knows," (complete with a didgeridoo!) followed by a "Taxman" bass intro. I, of course, thought they were gonna play the George song, right? Oh, but no! What's this? It's "The New Pollution" by Beck!! wtf. How goddamn cool is that? Breaking into the abstract, arty Beckian lyrics, the crowd goes wild. *Everyone* knows it, and they're all diggin' it. Dancing go-go dancer-style (cuz you must) singing the lyrics and grooving to the fantastic sax riffs, the kids at the show were grinning as foolishly as me! What a blast and what a fucking po-mo moment, man! Forgive the CSCL-ism, but it is what it is. I have NEVER heard a Beck cover at a show. Not til Friday night. I reckon it won't be the last (it better not be). But to see a Beck get covered at a show like that was a trip. Beck is someone I have been seeing in concert, consistently, since 1996. He was always the *most* modern, now thing you could see live (to me, at least). So, when you figure, yeah, the songs off Odelay *are* over 10 years old, and yeah, it's (awesome) fair game for covering, it's kind of a revelation. Almost a lil' sad (maybe cuz, yes, it does make me feel kinda old) but, overall makes me feel really proud of Beck and his influence and popularity. I always wanted the kids to shake their asses to that lil', scrawny, blues-lovin' Californian white boy.
I leave you with fun facts about My Favorite Song of the Moment:
Songfacts: "Tomorrow Never Knows"
The title came from an expression Ringo used. They chose it to take the edge off the heavy philosophical lyrics.
John Lennon: "My first psychedelic song."
This was inspired by Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert's book The Psychedelic Experience, which Lennon would read while tripping on LSD.
Lennon recorded himself reading from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, played it back while tripping on LSD, and wrote the song.
Each Beatle created strange sounds which were mixed in throughout the recording, often backward and in different speeds. McCartney had the idea for using tape loops to create effects.
This was the first track recorded for the album yet the last on record.
This used 16 tape loops. Several people remember standing around the room holding pencils for the tape to loop around and back into the recording machine as the various sound effects and instrumentation were faded in and out.
The vocals were forced through a Leslie (revolving) speaker. Lennon desired the effect that the listener could hear the words but not hear him, like a group of Tibetan monks chanting on a mountain top.
Working titles were "Mark I" and "The Void."
There are 2 guitar solos on this - both were heavily processed.
Lennon asked producer George Martin to make his vocal sound like the Dali Lama.
Oasis gives a tribute to this in their song "Morning Glory" with the line "Walking to the sound of my favorite tune Tomorrow Never Knows what it doesn't know too soon." Oasis is well know for their similarity to the Beatles.