on 1 August, 1969. Overdub
s added 4 and 5 August, 1969. All at Abbey Road
Studios, London, England.
: lead vocal
vocal, electric guitar, harpsichord
: lead vocal/harmony vocal, bass
: lead vocal/harmony vocal, moog synthesiser
"Because" was, strangely, inspired after John Lennon asked Yoko Ono to play the opening chords to Beethoveen's "Moonlight Sonata" backward. He was so intrigued and inspired he wrote the song then and there.
The song is unique in two ways.
1) It contains a
nine-part vocal harmony (three voices with all three overdubbing twice, thanks for the correction Stealth Munchkin).
2) It was the third and last song of The Beatles to use a three-part harmony
, at all. (The first two were This Boy and Yes It Is.)
Opening with the harsichord and then the clean electric guitar, the 9-part vocals encircle the left, middle, and right channels of the recording, spread out evenly. This creates the feeling of a concert hall (an understatement, it is truly divine, listen to the Anthology 3 vocals-only version to really see). The moog synth plays a small part in the "ahhhs," merely replaying the melody from the beginning. All throughout, the inverse of "Moonlight Sonata" plays on.
The song is beautiful.
had this to say:
"Because isn't 9 part harmony - it's triple-tracked 3 part harmony. Also it's not the 'first of very few' songs to do that. If you mean the first Beatles song to do it, they never did it again, and if you mean the first song full stop you're very wrong - there were many bands that had done this before..."
Consider the next snippets really the work of Stealth Munchkin, thanks to him for all the help and the subsequent ass-kicking that was both well-deserved and well-stated. :) )
1) As I repaired above, there were plenty of songs the Fab Four did where they used three-part harmony in parts, thus the addendum of "throughout."
2) From the "ranting" edit of the writeup that i took off, I stated that The Beatles innovated making music in the studio that couldn't --feasibly, anyway-- be reproduced live. Well, that's just not true. These people had done this well before: Phil Spector (who actually engineered some of The Beatles' work), Frank Zappa, Brian Wilson (see below), and above all Les Paul, whom i have learned patented overdubbing, thanks Stealth Munchkin. Also: Paul Buff used a 5-track studio back in 1962, going way against my claim that 4-tracks were the only thing pre-'69 (though they were the norm, Buff was just the man).
3) Most importantly: (And, wow, I don't know how i could overlook this) Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys had a 6-part harmony in California Girls(that's 6 completely different lines at the same time, 6-tone chords people), with all six overdubbed twice, bringing the total to 18 voices. That predates Abbey Road by several years. Damn, just damn.
I truly hope i didn't misinform anyone of The Beatles and especially their masterpeice (though for real masterpeices, pick up Pet Sounds).