|Interesting Music Facts You May Not Know, Events
Occurring During the 8 Track Craze (1965 - 1980)
|This is a completely haphazard, disorganized and unstructured collection of errant
tidbits of information, assembled from my decision to retire as a small-time performer
while remaining immersed in the art, as ummm - well, if I had the credentials I would
say "a Historian". As it stands, I'm just a guy who was given some talent, became
a hot local player, but never wanted the WORK required to really get somewhere.
Following are true stories of those who did the work to become famous. I will try
to avoid facts that are already widely known to someone with that interest.
|THE FAMOUS "STRAWBERRY FIELDS" SPLICE
It's well known that the official release of the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever" was the joining of
two separate takes. The band favored the beginning of one version and the middle and ending of
another version. The two takes were roughly the same tempo, BUT were a half tone apart in pitch.
By reducing the tape speed on the higher-pitched take, George Martin was then able to splice the
takes together. The vocals drag noticeably starting about 1/3 of the way into the song, but it was
otherwise a flawless splice - even by today's standards, and undetectable to the listener.
To put this into proper perspective, keep in mind that these were the days of completely ANALOG
recording on tape. You couldn't sing one perfect chorus in 4 part harmony, then simply copy and
paste it in place of all the choruses in the song. They didn't have "timestretching", the digital
process of raising speed without affecting pitch and vice versa. Your heard MUSICIANS and what
they could do, not PROCESSING and what it could fix. Thus, the way to join two pieces of music
was to CUT it. That is, actually cut the tape with a razor blade. And if you happened to cut off a bit
too much? It can't be fixed and the entire song is ruined. Now, even if you already knew all THAT:
Nowhere can you find exactly where that legendary splice occurs. You can search You Tube, spend
house doing online research, ask the experts - NO ONE can tell you the exact location of that splice.
Guys, I found it in about 10 seconds. Thankfully, George Martin did everything possible to emphasize
the "new STEREO sound", often placing vocals and instruments fully to one side. The effect is so
pronounced that the vocals can completely absent if one speaker is not working. Thus, by isolating
one side you can often hear edit points that were "buried" in the overall stereo mix.
During the second verse on the left side, you can hear the sound of the drums suddenly change. In
particular, the snare changes from "heavy and deliberate" to "light, dry and delicate" - as if going
from a large reflective room to a smaller carpeted one. The fact that the splice occurs in the middle
of a snare fill is very helpful in noticing the difference, and you can also hear the horn section coming
in more abruptly and snappy than would be natural - they "cut on" as opposed to "coming in".
And now, the moment you've been waiting for, the exact location of the splice (red mark):
Second verse: Let me take you down 'cause I'm |going to Strawberry Fields
The splice actually occurs AT the word "going", not between the two words. Locating the
splice between the two words would allow the differences in the music to be heard.