Unidentified Sound in "Penny Lane"

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bachlover, Apr 17, 2014.


  1. The "Bohemian Rhapsody" mystery sound thread made me think right away of something I've wondered about with "Penny Lane" ever since it came out. I've always heard what sounds like a needle scratching across a record right after "meanwhile back....." just before the final chorus. Anybody else hear this? I suspect that it's just something that's supposed to be in the mix that I'm hearing that way - no way that unwanted noise would get past George Martin never mind the lads in any of their songs before it was released; still there's something there that just jumps out at me that sounds like it shouldn't be there.
     
  2. i don't know if it's that,but they were notorious for that sort of thing.....i wonder if they had access to a mellotron at the time....they originally were more about sound effects than an actual instrument....
     
  3. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    They did have a Mellotron at that time. Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever were recorded at roughly the same time and issued as a double A-side single, and the Mellotron was used heavily on Strawberry Fields.
     
  4. i'm guessing that would be the sound then....at some point i read that many the sound effects were removed to facilitate an increase in the duration of the tape loops to create the sounds like king crimson and the moody blues were fond of....
     
  5. Maybe somebody bumped it then, it doesn't sound musical to me at all.
     
  6. iirc a lot of mellotron sounds were not designed to be musical.....i would be surprised if a lot of beatle songs did not use them.....especially sgt pepper,magical mystery,and white....
     
  7. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    The same sound happens twice, slightly less prominently, around 1:30 of the track, on the words "in MY ears and in MY eyes."
     
  8. The intro to Fields is a mellotron as is part of the extro for Lane ( just before the 8 blaring guitar chords before you hear Lennon say "I buried Paul."
     
  9. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    "Cranberry sauce."
     
  10. noise or no noise - what a bassline throughout that tune!
     
  11. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Whatever it is, you can hear it much more clearly on the version on Anthology 2.
     
  12. mcarp555

    mcarp555 Guest

    Jul 14, 2013
    Hearing the Anthology version, it sounds very much like a glissando sweeping down a keyboard of some kind. Piano? Organ? Mellotron? No way to tell.
     
  13. That makes a lot of sense as that would be a perfect place for one.
     
  14. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
  15. Thanks for the link Red, here's what they say about it.
    1:19-1:21
    Crescendoing microphone feedback, similar to the sound at the end of the song, but most likely an error here.
    1:27,1:30,2:32
    A bizarre sound on the 4th beat of each of these measures (under "my ears", "my eyes", "meanwhile back"). Sounds like the studio was collapsing around the recording! Whatever the sound is, it is irregular and not consistent within the choruses.
    [email protected] writes
    I have in my possession a 3:06 rough mix of this song, I believe dating from January 12, 1967:
    At [2:32] the sound mentioned above is very noticeable; it is actually somebody doing a glissando down the keys of a piano on which the strings have been muted. The dominant sound is that of the keys themselves, rather than the strings.

    That would certainly fit with the sound audible in the track, for all three occurrences.
     
  16. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    A half century later and we're still yaking about odd noises on Beatles songs.
     
    vasilio and Howlin' Hanson like this.
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