Hey Bulldog - Reviews

Quoted from Recording Sessions: p.181-183

Sunday 11 February 1968. Studio Three: 4.00pm - 2.00am. Recording 'Hey Bulldog' (takes 1-10). Mono mixing: 'Hey Bulldog' (remixes 1 and 2, from take 10)

The Beatles were undoubtedly in a productive mood at this point in time. They had completed their planned three songs so quickly, in just four sessions, that a 2.30-midnight session pre-booked for studio two on Saturday 10 February was cancelled. On this day, 11 February, the plan, ostensibly, was for the group to be filmed working in the studio, the clip to be given to television stations worldwide to promote 'Lady Madonna'. But once inside the studio the Beatles decided to record, the result being 'Hey Bulldog' , started, finished and mixed for mono in ten hours, and recorded on straight four-track, without any reduction mixes.

There was no question of 'Hey Bulldog' rivalling 'Lady Madonna' for the next A-side. John had composed it specifically for the Yellow Submarine film and soundtrack album. [Note. Although it does indeed appear on the latter, only some prints of the film include the 'Hey Bulldog' sequence. It was edited out of most copies.]

While the cameras whirred for the 'Lady Madonna' film John led the Beatles through ten takes of 'Hey Bulldog' , following the general instruction he gave to George Martin in the control room at the start of the session, and captured on the original tape: "Just tell us when we get a good one ... ". All ten takes featured a basic rhythm track of piano, drums, tambourine, lead guitar and bass guitar. Onto take ten was then overdubbed a fuzz bass, deliberately off-beat drums, a rasping middle eight guitar solo, double-tracked Lennon vocals and a single-tracked backing vocal by Paul.

The song, as released on disc, had a curious ending. It was standard practice for the Beatles to ad-lib and mess around after they had reached the point where the song would be faded out on record. In 'Hey Bulldog' they duly began barking, shouting and screaming. But during this day's mono remixing - done, incidentally, at 51 cycles per second - they decided to keep some of the extraneous material in. "That was a really fun song," recalls Geoff Emerick. "We were all into sound texture in those days and during the mixing we put ADT on one of the 'What did he say? Woof woof' bits near the end of the song. It came out really well."

Posted: 15 mei 2011

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