Thursday, 23 June 2011

Paperback Writer

As a 6 year old I was obsessed with The Beatles, I have all their albums on vinyl and even now I'm amazed out how undated the majority of their music still is. Their ability to craft amazing pop/rock songs incorporating a wide range of musical influences is well documented.

One particular record that is perhaps neglected is Paperback Writer which I think ranks as one of the best songs they ever did. It was certainly a departure from their previous singles, it was the heaviest sounding and probably the funkiest single they had released up to that point. Ringo Starrs' drumming in particular stands out as it did from the release of Rubber Soul. His drum sound became a lot tighter, there was a punch in the sound he got from his snare drum. Whereas on previous records he often opened up the hi hat that created a wall of sound, he changed this style on Rubber Soul closing the hi hat and he also used it as a means to accentuate certain parts of songs. The songs now gave him more space to incorporate fills and he began to show himself as a more than capable rock drummer and a very underrated one at that.

It was also the first time that Paul McCartney's bass was more front an centre, he is an intriguing bass player, he plays more like a rhythm guitar play than a straight out bass player who either sticks solid to the beat or creates funky fills to fill in the space. After Paperback Writer McCartney came out of shell more as a bass player and I think this can be heard on Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds for example.

The Beatles performed the song on their final world tour in 1966, and there is live footage of their performance of that song from the shows they played in Japan at the Budokan Stadium, well worth viewing, even if only for seeing Paul struggle with his microphone during the song!

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