Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Day in the Life - of The Beatles

A Day in the Life - Beatles Most Ambitious Song Ever Recorded by Virgil Vince

When people discuss A Day In The Life Beatles producer George Martin is often the centerpiece of the conversation. Referred to as 'the fifth Beatle', Martin was instrumental in helping the Beatles achieve the ever-more complex soundscapes that filled their heads towards the end of their time together as a band.

The culmination of their fascination with pushing the recording studio to the very limits of the possible was the 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' album, which presented the Beatles in full-blown psychedelic regalia. The record employed everything from harpsichords to backward-masked lyrical tracks, and it is regarded as one of pop music's greatest masterpieces of all time.

For the final track on the album, A Day In The Life Beatles members Paul McCartney and John Lennon pulled out all of the stops. Together with Martin, they constructed what can only be described as a song in 2 distinct movements linked by noisy, urgent crescendos. The two Beatles had written a few short verses independently of each other, and as neither of them had found a way to create a full song out of what they had recorded, they decided that the best thing to do would be to incorporate the two into a single track.

The transition between the two different parts of 'A Day In The Life' proved to be an early sticking point while recording. As can be heard on the Beatles Anthology, a simple piano bridge was initially inserted, along with the voice of a recording technician counting out the bars that the projected interlude would last. George Martin, at the request of McCartney, wrote a hasty orchestral score and presented it to a 40 piece group to record the 24 bars necessary to make the song whole. In order to make the orchestra sound larger than it actually was, their part was recorded and overdubbed 4 times, creating a cacophony of sound that to this day is enough to disturb the peace. The raucous final crescendo was capped off by a single piano chord, reverberating into silence. The song is followed by what was originally the run-out track on the record, a mish-mash of Beatle-talk that was cut up and re-arranged by Martin into complete nonsense. Compact disc and cassette releases of 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' tacked this track onto the end of 'A Day In The Life', and faded it out into eventual silence. is the mystical rehearsal studio for rockers DEMON TWEAK. Listen as they prepare for battle with the evil trickster Loki by playing home brewed classic rock direct from Ragnarok. Also read articles on your favorite classic rock band written by resident historian VIRGIL THE STORYTELLER.

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