Aug 242007


“Hello, Goodbye” is another one of those slight yet “cinematic” Paul numbers in which Paul and Ringo get to work up a mustachioed groove.

The Beatles, “Hello, Goodbye” (German true stereo mix)

Again, the sawing strings get under the skin better than on the original, and the definition around the vocal effects is sometimes shocking. Sometimes I feel like I’m hearing the full resonance of the echoes, man. Then there’s that euphoric drum break on the coda. Check it out!


  15 Responses to ““Hello Goodbye”…In True Stereo”

  1. saturnismine

    the drums are to the right again! i had no idea that george martin and company were so rote at this time in their bouncing and mixing.

    the german fondness for clarity has caused them to crank the treble on this to the point where ringo’s snare is really papery and thin, even where he’s hitting the snare pretty hard.

    george’s guitar lines over the chorus get a little lost in this mastering. they sound more distant. perhaps because the emphasis in the mastering is more on bottom and top end, at the expense of mid-range.

    this is a rather slight number. and though the arrangement is a bit pixie-ish, busy, and leaden with bells and whistles (such as “why why why why why why…”) along the lines of songs like “rita” “getting better” and “fixing a hole”, it somehow just doesn’t sound very psychedellic to me.

    i’ve also never been fond of how ringo plays the chorus: thump thump thump. either george martin kept him on a leash here, or he couldn’t find anything suitable to play, so they requested that he just play the downbeat on kick and / or floor.

  2. this is on my 10 worst Beatles Songs list with
    Dont Pass Me By
    Revlution 9
    The Long and Winding Road
    Good Night
    Lady Madonna
    Drive My Car
    Paperback Writer
    Yellow Submarine
    One After 909

  3. great mix though!
    All of these mixes have been awesome.
    Thanks Easter Bunny!

  4. BigSteve

    Paperback Writer? Seriously?

  5. BigSteve

    Just to keep up with my pattern here, the ‘strings’ on Hello Goodbye are two violas.

    I’m an admitted maccaphobe, but I always liked this one, despite some typical vocal affectations, especially during the break and the outro.

    Speaking of which, outro is a great term, is it not? I took a minute to look it up, and the OED lists this as the first recorded usage:

    1967 V. STANSHALL in ‘The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band’ Gorilla (record) (title of song) The intro and the outro.

  6. Yeah, I used to like it, but WMGK beat the piss out of it with a brutal 20 year hi rotation.

    Same thing happened with Black Dog and Rock and Roll on WMMR. I fuckin hate both of those songs and never wanna hear them again because of the Radio.

    I used to love them.

  7. alexmagic

    I’m hearing this one on some crappy speakers, so I’ll refrain from commenting on what the Germans have done this time around. Being on the other, Paul-friendly side of the Great Divide, I’ve always had a fondness for this one, especially the false ending and the big finish.

    Here’s one that might be appreciated more with the regular video for it: (the one that opens in black and white with them in the Pepper uniforms, and doesn’t use those creepy shots of them in the fake Beatle Suits until later). Paul seems like he’s completely whacked on something, especially on the “Why why why why” part, which may or may not be an effect of trying to match what sounds like slowed-down version of the song. Everything’s weird in this one – Paul in the uniform without his William Campbell Imposter Moustache, John in the uniform without his glasses or moustache, George and Ringo with moustaches in their Beatle Suits. The whole video may have been the most traumatic moment in the history of rock facial hair for me growing up.

    You also get Blind Lennon breaking out an Elvis guitar-holster-and-point move, Ringo failing to execute the classic headshake and a semi-blown group bow. I don’t remember seeing this before, but there’s also apparently a Bizarro Version of the video: where they wear their “regular” clothes instead of the Pepper uniforms the whole time, but do a complete run-through of the song, with extended hula action.

  8. saturnismine

    alex, youtubes are often not synched properly, but i agree that the sound seems slowed down.

    it looks as though the second one contains footage that they use at the end of the coda. and the mix of the second one is much more keyboard heavy. in some ways i prefer it. you can hear more ringo in the coda. more things pop out or hang over the edges of the mixes pocket.

    those videos are the height of creative ennui.

    halfassery throughout, and complete lack of commitment to the bit. george doesn’t even stop strumming to “guitar synch” his soaring single note run. look at how john mocks the song’s coda at the end. in the alternate version paul looks like he might barf (or at least belch) after he says “bye bah bah bah bah”.

    plus, they’re wearing their pepper uniforms, exhibit a in support of the argument that they they were on the downtick of a creative period post-pepper and pre-white album.

  9. alexmagic

    I think the out of synch-ness of Paul and George is just how it is and entirely on them, from my remembrances of watching the clip in the pre-YouTube days of yore. That specific reaction of Paul after the why why why/bye bye bye part in the uniform-wearing video has always made me laugh, like he’s either just realized badly he’s been mouthing the words, or he’s just realized that he doesn’t even remember leaving the house that morning.

    The more I think about it, the “Hello Goodbye” video might be a big part of where I’ve connected tiredness to the theme of the album over the years. Paul, George and Ringo are just completely out of it, John (the “laziest man in England”) doesn’t care, and when they try on both the suits and the uniforms, neither make sense anymore.

    I think we’re on the same page here, that all this either contributed to or was symptomatic of the mood that ended up on Magical Mystery Tour. To bring psychedelia back to it, some synesthesia: The album sounds like they look on the Beatles For Sale cover.

  10. saturnismine

    yeah, we agree.

    even john’s horseplay seems more annoyed than fun.

    i can’t stop watching paul burp in the alternate “bye bah bah bah”. it’s hilarious. that was definitely a throwup burp.

    good work by you here: “all this either contributed to or was symptomatic of the mood that ended up on Magical Mystery Tour.”

    i’d say both.

    and finally, one caveat: it’s a glorious noise they make during this relatively uninspired period. even while burning out, they manage to create genuine beauty. and though i’ve been critical of some of the songs, if it’s psyche i’m looking for, i’ll take them over most of the post-pepper music that other bands produced during the same period.

    only the stones and hendrix seemed to want to shake people off of their cotton candy clouds, and bravo to them for it.

  11. BigSteve

    I like the way the concept of opposites in the lyrics is played around with. Paul seems to be trying to choose the positive half of the opposites (hello high yes and go instead of goodbye low no and stop), but that attitude is undermined by the part where John and George counterpoint with “I say yes but I may mean no … I can stay till it’s time to go.” Even Paul admits “You say why, and I say I don’t know.”

    And the musical backing has both the rising riff in the chorus (the first third and fourth times played on distorted guitar but the second time sung hellogoodbyehellogoodbye) and a descending one (the one under “and I say gogogo” and “and I say I don’t know”). And then after all the ups and downs, the outro just stays on one chord with an unvarying drumbeat, perfectly balanced out, with the lyrics given to almost nonsense syllables “Hey-la Hey-hell-ohah”

    The reconconciliation of opposites is kind of a typical mystical/psychedelic concept.

    Does it seem to anyone else that in much of the song (not the bridge or the outro) Paul’s vocal seems almost like a Lennon impression?

  12. alexmagic

    one caveat: it’s a glorious noise they make during this relatively uninspired period. even while burning out, they manage to create genuine beauty. and though i’ve been critical of some of the songs, if it’s psyche i’m looking for, i’ll take them over most of the post-pepper music that other bands produced during the same period.

    Oh yeah, absolutely – no matter what kind of mental state went into all of this and how relatively messy a lot of it is, the end result is still something I enjoy tremendously, and it’s those extra touches being mentioned that separate Magical Mystery Tour from something like the previously cited SF Sorrow, which I like well enough, but lacks “it”.

    Re: Hendrix – songs like One Rainy Wish, Bold as Love, 1983 and Burning of the Midnight Lamp stand out for me as sincere attempts to make use of the sound of the psychedelic era. One Rainy Wish is especially earnest about it, in a way probably unique to Hendrix. That Silver Suns track from your future of psyche post has a heavy “Third Stone from the Sun” vibe, though I think Third Stone is an example of one of his songs using the sound but pre-dating his attempts to express “something else” with it.

  13. saturnismine

    thanks for bothering to read the psyche thread. we’re all busy with lifestuff, so i appreciate the gesture.

    i’ve always been very interested in the hendrix / beatles connection, as other rth’ers know all too well. and i think you’ve found some of the hendrix tunes that reveal his interest in the beatles. it’s an interest that universalizes his music.

    for instance, the piano that the mod mentioned in ‘crosstown traffic’, the one that doubles the bassline underneath “darlin’ can’t you see my signals turn from green to red…”, always struck me as VERY Beatle-esque.

    other hendrix songs i’d add to the list are, ‘waterfalls’, for the same reasons you describe regarding ‘one rainy wish’, “little wing”, which has very ringo-esque drum breaks that remind me of the breaks in “a day in the life”. “wait until tomorrow” does things with the higher registers of the bass and the lower strings of the guitar that are VERY similar to “drive my car” (listen to the stereo version with the instruments all the way to one side: it almost sounds like hendrix, even though it predates him).

    rth’ers have read the following by me numerous times, but it bears repeating here: john’s “don’t let me down”, “hold on”, “sun king” mode of guitar playing is VERY close to the way Hendrix plays on “wind cries mary”, “waterfalls” and “one rainy wish”. in practice, playing them requires almost the exact same vocabulary of licks and i’ve always thought that john was listening pretty closely to hendrix, learned to play that way, and wrote a few songs out of it.

    fun discussion about some of my favorite tunes!!!


  14. saturnismine


    i really like your question about paul’s vocals!

    i thought for a long time that this may have been one of those songs where george martin got lead vocal takes out of both john and paul, and blended them, obviously favoring paul. there are flickering moments when the sound of paul’s voice approximates johns. there are too many to name, but how about the “oh no” at approximately 54 seconds? i never considered the notion that paul was imitating john. you may be on to something!

  15. saturnismine, your comment about the Beatles/Hendrix connection got me to thinking: is there a similar connection between Dylan/Hendrix? Obviously, Hendrix was influenced by Dylan’s lyrical imagery, but might Dylan have been influenced by Hendrix in some way(s), and if so, how?

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