Monday, July 11, 2011

The Beatles: If I Needed Someone

It's Mélange Monday and today's cut is from the remastered “Rubber Soul” album by The Beatles. On my way to Pennsylvania on Thursday, I decided I needed something to listen to during my trip through central West Virginia where daytime radio is not to my liking. To remedy the situation, I stopped at the Wal-Mart in Summersville, WV to check out their CD selection.

I was really disappointed by the lack of choices – so I decided on getting something by The Beatles – and you can’t go wrong with the Fab Four. Since the US version of “Rubber Soul” was my favorite Beatles’ release, I picked up the CD release – which by the way is identical to the UK release and not the US release. The differences between the two albums represent six songs. While the UK version had 14 cuts and the US version had 12 cuts, you would think the difference would be two songs; however, that is not the case.

Four of the UK songs were taken from “Rubber Soul” and added to “Yesterday and Today” and two songs from the UK version of “Help” were added to the US version of “Rubber Soul” – confused? Good, then we are on the same page. This was not something that was inherent only to Capitol Records in the US; however, they seemed to be the major violator of rearranging the original versions of albums. Perhaps, they should have been known as “Capital” records as such decisions (as with any successful business) was to generate capital. Actually, I prefer the US mix of songs - but that just may be from familiarity. 

It was not unusual to squeeze and extra album or two from a band by eliminating two cuts from a 14 cut album. Secondly, album cuts were often eliminated to add single releases to boost LP sales. In the UK, singles were often eliminated from albums. The American philosophy was to add the single to increase sales and the British philosophy was to sell both albums and singles (as well as EPs or extra plays). While some singles were not on albums, they could be found on EPs. EPs never caught on in the US.

George Harrison with his 1963 fireglow finish Rickenbacker 360/12C

"If I Needed Someone" was one of the cuts that Capitol eliminated from the US version of “Rubber Soul” and placed it on “Yesterday and Today.” It features George Harrison on vocals and an electric 12-string Rickenbacker guitar. At couple points in the song, the 12-string is double tracked. As with all of the cuts on “Rubber Soul,” great harmonies abound. It is one of my favorite George Harrison tunes.

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