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Friday, October 10, 2008

Beatles Stems

The Beatles recorded most, if not all of their songs, with only four separate tracks. I found some four track master recordings that have the individual tracks isolated for your listening pleasure. It's hypnotizing to listen to the stripped down parts of these extremely canonized tracks. Hearing the articulations in such detail humanizes the songs and is incredibly endearing. Also, the recording technology creates interesting pairs of instruments out of necessity, instruments whose relationships you might not otherwise notice in the context of the full arrangement of the song. Here's a few examples, I'll probably be posting more stems in the future. If anyone wants to use these for remixing or music production purposes let me know and I can give you the other parts of the songs.

Sergent Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band - Electric Guitar and Horns

The guitar tone on this recording is righteous. There is so much attitude. I always thought of a carnival when I listen to this song normally, but this makes me think of a giant dark rock and roll arena. The distortion on the guitar is like a piece of paper being ripped in half and crumpled.

The horns on the track create a striking dichotomy, one that I never paid attention to on the regular recording. The first melody, regal and bouncing, seems to come completely out of nowhere when you're listening to the shredding guitar track isolated. Also the ending horns add a nice drone element to the ending.

A Day in the Life - Acoustic Guitar, Auxiliary Percussion, Piano

You can faintly hear John Lennon's vocals in the background, giving you a bit of a cheat sheet as to how the track fits together. The piano is so subtle and dynamic on the verses, the shaker overpowers it nearly completely. Then when the guitar drops you're treated to an epic repeated melody and Beatles roadie Mal Evans (thanks to up to 21 or so. Things get pretty dissonant towards the end of the count before returning to a parlor sounding piano melody. At around the 3:00 mark you hear John laugh, much louder than the drowned out vocals from earlier. Then his vocals take center stage, "I'd Love to Turn You On," then another count, this time the voice gets delayed and cacophonous before coming to an abrupt stop.


  1. let's do a Beatles remix contest

  2. which tracks do you have stems? thx.