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Thread: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

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    Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Rain was the B-side to Paperback Writer and according to Wikipedia was recorded during the Revolver sessions and released in May 1966. It really showcases Ringo's drumming and puts Paul's melodic bass lines right up front. Also, apparently the first usage of reverse tape. If you read the Wiki article there was much use of different speed recording and so on. This is one of my favorite if not most favorite 3 minute song from The Beatles. Discuss!


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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Being a B-side I don't think Rain ever got much exposure. I do quite like it, though it would not be in my top 10 Beatles songs.

    The sound is a bit like what the Bee Gees were doing at the time. It also has a bit of a "shoegaze" sound, long before that term was invented of course.

    By the way you managed to choose a song that suits the current weather in Perth - and has done for the last month.
    Last edited by bob_32_116; 4 Days Ago at 12:01 PM.

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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Quote Originally Posted by Albedo View Post
    Rain was the B-side to Paperback Writer and according to Wikipedia was recorded during the Revolver sessions and released in May 1966. It really showcases Ringo's drumming and puts Paul's melodic bass lines right up front. Also, apparently the first usage of reverse tape. If you read the Wiki article there was much use of different speed recording and so on. This is one of my favorite if not most favorite 3 minute song from The Beatles. Discuss!
    Well, I think that Paperback Writer/Rain was listed as a Double A-Side single,.

    Right. Revolver sessions. Should have been on the album, but "the suits" wanted a single, and it common practice, by the Beatles, at least, to not charge fans for the same songs twice by including them as part of an album package.

    One of the innovative techniques they used was to record it faster and in in a higher key, then slow it down to give it "texture".

    McCartney added his bass line later, which is also pretty innovative. Very busy, creating a swirling storm of its own. Has a presence that was absent in most pop songs of the time. This is where Paul made the bass guitar lead instrument.

    And, yes, it's a pretty interesting drum part. Ringo often claimed it was his best. Here's some guy playing the drum part - he's pretty damn accurate.



    Of course, this could have been a hit single had any other band released it, but it was lost in the sheer volume of other excellent Beatles hits and albums.
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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    pz is right. I heard Ringo say in an interview this song is his best drumming. He also said it is the only song where he drummed in the flashy sort of way that was would later become common among rock drummers.

    In "Rain", Paul's bass playing is a like song within a song. People who say Paul was all about writing and singing pleasant popular songs most of the time, were not listening to the Beatles songs close enough. As a Beatle, he was a tremendous bass player. Very innovative with bass lines that could be mesmerizing. That quality is particularly on display in the wonderful bass track laid down in this song. We know Chris Squire was a big fan of Paul's playing. I would have to think the bass playing in this song was etched in his memory as he came up with his own wonderful, innovative bass lines.




    Last edited by YesNY; 4 Days Ago at 12:52 PM.

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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Very interesting bass cover as it is over the original song before the lead vocal and bass overdubs were added. You bass players pay attention! :)


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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Quote Originally Posted by YesNY View Post
    Very interesting bass cover as it is over the original song before the lead vocal and bass overdubs were added. You bass players pay attention! :)

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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Paul's bass.

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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Quote Originally Posted by YesNY View Post
    Very interesting bass cover as it is over the original song before the lead vocal and bass overdubs were added. You bass players pay attention! :)

    Awesome!


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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Not mentioned yet: the backwards vocal at the end.
    Both John and George Martin claimed it was their idea.
    "After that it was 'backwards forever!'".

    The only thing I don't like about Rain (though The Beatles can't be blamed)
    is that Oasis spent their entire career making versions of this song.
    Liam Gallagher's take on the Lennon sneer is unbearable to my ears...

    (BTW for the next BSOTW, perhaps a Paul song, or George?)
    Last edited by Ceasar's Palace; 3 Days Ago at 05:12 PM.

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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    Well, I think that Paperback Writer/Rain was listed as a Double A-Side single,.
    Maybe it was the core side? Or did double A sides get two Apple skins? I had it but I can't remember it.


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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Quote Originally Posted by bob_32_116 View Post
    Being a B-side I don't think Rain ever got much exposure. I do quite like it, though it would not be in my top 10 Beatles songs.

    The sound is a bit like what the Bee Gees were doing at the time. It also has a bit of a "shoegaze" sound, long before that term was invented of course.

    By the way you managed to choose a song that suits the current weather in Perth - and has done for the last month.
    Old Brown Shoegaze... no that's a George song.


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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Great song. Killer rhythm section & opens the door to the Beatles' studio experiments. Is this the one where John said he accidentally loaded up a tape of the song in progress backwards, and that inspired the backwards vocals?

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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Quote Originally Posted by Albedo View Post
    Maybe it was the core side? Or did double A sides get two Apple skins? I had it but I can't remember it.
    No I think you are right. I had an Apple single - not a Beatles release (guess who?), and the A-side depicted an apparently intact apple, while the B-side showed the inside of the apple, as though it had been cut down the middle. That wasn't a double A side, but I also had the Let It Be album, which had the skin on one side and core on the other, so I think that was their system and nothing to do with A sides and b sides.

    That was the first time I recall seeing a disc, LP or single, that seemed to have a bit of thought put into making it look interesting and attractive, instead of just stamping the disc with the name of the company, as was the norm at the time.

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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    ... This is where Paul made the bass guitar lead instrument...
    How about "Think for Yourself"? Was that an oversight, or are you saying the lead bass (actually a song with a lead bass line accompanied by a separate rhythm bass line) in that song was more of a novelty, whereas the bass in "Rain" is when bass as a lead instrument really became more acceptable to other bands?

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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Quote Originally Posted by YesNY View Post
    How about "Think for Yourself"? Was that an oversight, or are you saying the lead bass (actually a song with a lead bass line accompanied by a separate rhythm bass line) in that song was more of a novelty, whereas the bass in "Rain" is when bass as a lead instrument really became more acceptable to other bands?
    Either way. Doesn't matter. Both.

    Think for Yourself was more novelty in my mind, but it most certainly fits the criteria of a bass line going "lead". My guess is that it was an attempt by Paul to get some extra added oomph to his bass line, which was an issue for him, as he could hear recordings from other bands with nice punchy bass, but couldn't seem to get the white coat engineers at Abbey Road to provide.
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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Quote Originally Posted by YesNY View Post
    Very interesting bass cover as it is over the original song before the lead vocal and bass overdubs were added. You bass players pay attention! :)

    As someone who has only limited musical experience, I love videos like that because it really makes it clear for me about what people are talking about when they mention Paul's bass part, for instance. I like being able to see the musician's hands as they are playing a song I like, even though I can't do it myself.
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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    Well, I think that Paperback Writer/Rain was listed as a Double A-Side single...
    Wikipedia says Rain is a B-side, but it did chart on its own at 23 on Billboard's Hot 100. Paperback Writer charted at number one. In the UK, it is a little confusing as in the Rain article it says the Paperback Writer single peaked at #1 without making any distinction between it and Rain.

    Anyway if one had to pick a turning point single, it is the Paperback Writer/Rain one. A turning point, in that from this point forward almost all the singles where there was a Paul song on one side and John song on another, or two singles released one after the other, the Paul song, commercially, would come up on top. And Paul got bigger share of the A sides.

    When I play the "1" compilation album I find it striking how so many of the early number one singles were John songs, and the latter ones were Paul songs. From Paperback Writer onwards, with exception of a few John songs, and one from George, and one sung by Ringo, Paul dominated the Beatles singles success.

    Don't get me wrong, a lot of those latter John songs that came up short, and were relegated to B sides, or performed lesser on the charts than a Paul single around the same time, were tremendous. I don't want to get into a Paul vs, John thing. It is just for the parlor game people like to play of when The Beatles went from John's band to being Pauls' band, we can point to the the Paperback Writer/Rain single, and the Revolver album from the same sessions, Paul started putting out a bigger portion of the hits, and would have a much increased input of the band's direction on the albums from this point forward.

    But John's input in the latter years, just like Pauls' in the early years, shouldn't be tossed aside as secondary. Just spinning the gears in my head. I could be wrong about this whole turning point thing. (That is where you all get to chime in on how off the mark I am. )

    Last edited by YesNY; 1 Day Ago at 11:33 AM.

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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    No, you're not far off the mark, I think.
    My theory is that as the Beatles branched out in the second half of the 60s, they became more interested in other art forms than music. This applied to both John and Paul, only Paul kept his main focus on songwriting whilst John devoted much more time to other persuits. Drug use being one of them...

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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Quote Originally Posted by YesNY View Post

    When I play the "1" compilation album I find it striking how so many of the early number one singles were John songs, and the latter ones were Paul songs. From Paperback Writer onwards, with exception of a few John songs, and one from George, and one sung by Ringo, Paul dominated the Beatles singles success.

    Interesting observation! John was definitely "bored of being a Beatle" by '65 - check out the Maureen Cleeve interviews. Yet reading through Mark Lewisohn's fine research, whenever the Beatles convened at EMI to start on a new album it continued to be a John song that was first to be worked on. So it seems that John's interest in songwriting didn't necessarily wane, but his songwriting style certainly did, with much less focus on writing hits & more focus on introspection & social commentary. At the same time Paul was the first Beatle to get into avant-garde art & musique-concrete, but while embracing experimental music, also kept a focus on "pop" sensibility.

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    Re: Beatles song of the week 13-Aug-2017 -- Rain

    Quote Originally Posted by brianos View Post
    Interesting observation! John was definitely "bored of being a Beatle" by '65 - check out the Maureen Cleeve interviews. Yet reading through Mark Lewisohn's fine research, whenever the Beatles convened at EMI to start on a new album it continued to be a John song that was first to be worked on. So it seems that John's interest in songwriting didn't necessarily wane, but his songwriting style certainly did, with much less focus on writing hits & more focus on introspection & social commentary. At the same time Paul was the first Beatle to get into avant-garde art & musique-concrete, but while embracing experimental music, also kept a focus on "pop" sensibility.
    Paul often has stated how competitive he and John were when it came to writing songs, and how it benefited the music, so it is not that John didn't want to write hit songs. I think it is as time went on, it was just that John was more focused on lyrics than Paul was, while Paul skewed more towards melody being of utter importance.

    In interviews, post-breakup, John said his favorite Beatles songs he wrote were the ones that could, I paraphrase, stand up on their own as poetry. Thing is people have never gone to the store buy the latest hot poem that is out there. They will however did so for a great tune.

    An over-generalization, perhaps, but I will toss it out there: Paul improved at a faster pace as a writer of melodies, while John's advances were more in wordplay, sometime backed by very creative successful experimentations in the backing music (Rain, Strawberry Fields Forever, I Am the Walrus) although the melodies were sometimes a bit simplistic. For all the interesting musical instrumentation in Rain, the basic vocal melody is not much more complex than a nursery rhyme.

    Plus people like songs about the sunshine better than rain. Another reason that, for a Beatles song, Rain did mediocre on the charts. That is my story and I am sticking to it.
    Last edited by YesNY; 22 Minutes Ago at 12:52 PM.

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