This time around on #askNat I’m knocking out two questions. The first one came from The Beatles Rarity Facebook site and is from Michael Nieradka who asks:
Who plays harmonica on Apple Scruffs?
“Apple Scruffs,” for those of you who don’t recognize the title is a song on George Harrison’s 1970 blockbuster triple-album set All Things Must Pass and is a tribute song to the hardcore Beatles fans who used to hang out outside the Apple Corps building and at the gates of EMI Studios in London in hopes of seeing or interacting with one of The Beatles. In August I published a BROW about the song that gives further details about the sessions and I share a nice demo of it too (click here for that). But to answer your question Michael – George played the harmonica on the song.
In fact, George plays all the instruments on the track. It is the only track on All Things Must Pass where he plays/sings everything, which along with the harmonica includes acoustic guitar, twin slide guitar, a percussive foot tapping, backing vocals and of course lead vocals.
The next question is from Phill Boylett in the U.K. who has this to say:
When the Beatles albums were released in the U.S. in the sixties, the stereo versions often contained duophonic or “fake stereo” versions and not the true stereo mixes. When the two Capitol albums boxed sets were re-issued a while ago they contained mono and stereo versions of the albums. My question is – Do these re-issues contain the same mixes that were issued in the sixties? In other words are they still “fake stereo” or have they been upgraded to true stereo versions?
Phill is referring to the box sets Capitol Albums Volume 1 and Capitol Albums Volume 2.
Capitol Albums Vol. 1 was released on November 16, 2004 and contained 4 CDs. Each CD contained both a stereo and mono version of a 1964 Capitol Beatles album. The albums in this first set were Meet The Beatles!, The Beatles Second Album, Something New and Beatles ’65. The idea behind these sets were that the U.S. mixes of some of these tracks differed from the U.K. versions and there was a demand among mainly first generation American fans who wanted a remastered account of the versions they “grew up with.” So that is exactly what they got with this first set. All mixes on the CDs are the original mixes that appeared on the Capitol albums in 1964.
Similarly, Capitol Albums Vol. 2 was released on April 11, 2006 and contained 4 CDs. Each CD contained both a stereo and mono version of a 1965 Capitol Beatles album. The albums in this second set were The Early Beatles, Beatles VI, Help! and Rubber Soul. Like before, the idea behind this release was to get the U.S. differing mixes issued in a digital format (i.e. on CD). So that is exactly what was planned. However, there was a screw up!
On the first issuances of the Vol. 2 set Capitol made a manufacturing error that affected both the Beatles VI and Rubber Soul discs. The mono tracks on these two discs were simply “fold down” mixes (i.e. mono mixes created from the stereo mixes by combining the left and right channels). This mistake may have had something to do with the other two discs (Help! and The Early Beatles) in the set also having “fold down” mixes as well – but for those, that’s the way they were supposed to be since those two were like that on the sixties vinyl. Beatles VI and Rubber Soul, however, had unique mono mixes on the 1965 vinyl albums. Capitol sent out a message that if anyone wished to return their two flawed discs, that they would be replaced with corrected copies (within 60 days of purchase). Click here to see the letter EMI sent out concerning replacement discs. Fortunately, the error was corrected on all subsequent pressings of the set.
You can test to see if you have an incorrect or corrected version. Here’s a few comparisons to try.
Compare the mono and stereo versions of “I’m Looking Through You” on the Rubber Soul disc. If you hear the false start in the intro on both versions, then you have the flawed disc, as the mono version should not have the false start. The fade out should also be slightly longer in the mono mix. If they are the same, you have the flawed disc.
For the Beatles VI disc, you should note that the stereo version of “Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey” has a slightly longer fade out. If they are the same you have the flawed disc. Also on the track “Bad Boy” the drums and bass are mixed a little louder on the mono than they are in the stereo mix. If they sound exactly the same you have the flawed disc.
For another test (with either disc) you might check the running times of each track. If the stereo times match up exactly with their mono counterparts, you very likely have the flawed disc.
Thanks Michael and Phil for two good questions!
Have something to add? Put it in the comments section below and thanks for reading!
Thank you to everyone who has sent in their questions! Keep #askNat going by sending your questions to me in any of the following ways:
1) There is a designated form that you fill out right on the website where you can give your name, location, email address and submit your question. The form is right here and is the same form used to submit requests for BROWs (Beatles Rarity Of The Weeks), but modfied to do both BROW requests and #askNat questions.
2) If you are a Facebook user, you can submit your question right on TheBeatlesRarity FB wall at www.facebook.com/beatlesrarity. If you think about it, try to remember to flag your question with “#askNat”.
3) Similarly, if you are a Google+ user, you can submit your question on TheBeatlesRarity Google+ page at www.gplus.to/beatlesrarity. Google+ supports hashtag searchability so it will be helpful if you preface your question with “#askNat” here too.
4) For you Twitter users, www.twitter.com/beatlesrarity gets you to the right place. Post your question and be sure to add “#askNat” somewhere in the tweet.
Here are some links to Amazon to read more or purchase some of the music related to this post:
1) All Things Must Pass [BOXED EDITION] 2001 2-CD remastered version of original 1970 triple LP with bonus tracks, and containing “Apple Scruffs.”
2) The Capitol Albums Vol. 1 – 2004 remastered 4-CD box set containing stereo and mono versions of 4 1964 Beatles records: Meet The Beatles!, The Beatles Second Album, Something New and Beatles ’65.
3) The Capitol Albums Vol. 2 (Brick) – 2006 remastered 4-CD box set containing stereo and mono versions of 4 1965 Beatles records: The Early Beatles, Beatles VI, Help! and Rubber Soul (note: these discs have been corrected to contain the correct mono mixes).