Are the Esher Demos worth it?

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Quaco
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Quaco » 03 Dec 2018, 17:08

There are no photos of the guys doing the Esher demos, are there? I've long been curious about the recording setup, the room, and so on. The pics of Kinfauns (George's house) never show instruments or recording equipment, just cool, Fool-designed interiors.
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Sneelock » 04 Dec 2018, 16:39

I really like the "Sour Milk Sea" demo. I guess I noticed the lyrics on the Jackie Lomax version but they didn't get me all mellowed out like this version does. the Lomax version rocks but I guess I find I actually like the song.

that demo of "Revolution" is the most happy go lucky version of all!
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 04 Dec 2018, 16:44

Quaco wrote:There are no photos of the guys doing the Esher demos, are there? I've long been curious about the recording setup, the room, and so on. The pics of Kinfauns (George's house) never show instruments or recording equipment, just cool, Fool-designed interiors.


Can we start here?

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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Quaco » 04 Dec 2018, 17:19

Looks like it was taken in Barbados or something, but sure!
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 04 Dec 2018, 17:24

Quaco wrote:Looks like it was taken in Barbados or something, but sure!


I googled "Beatles Kinfaus" and "Beatles Esher" and basically found the same two photos from the back patio over and over.
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Walk In My Shadow » 04 Dec 2018, 17:26

Phenomenal Cat wrote:
Quaco wrote:There are no photos of the guys doing the Esher demos, are there? I've long been curious about the recording setup, the room, and so on. The pics of Kinfauns (George's house) never show instruments or recording equipment, just cool, Fool-designed interiors.


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Sure. Why not?
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Bent Fabric » 04 Dec 2018, 17:42

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:You get to be in the company of The Beatles, working their songs out. I’m as happy as a pig in shit.


Seriously - and once they get into Abbey Road and Trident and start experimenting with the ensemble recordings, it's massively fascinating (even riveting, to me) stuff.

Re: Esher - it is natural that no actual documentation would survive regarding the demos. No one was ever supposed to hear them, they were not publishing demos, they were probably meant to be packed away with "the clutter" once the record was done (if not sooner). No more or less precious than the average home demo of any era. A means to an end.

However - this does mean that (unlike things the band did onstage or in a recording studio), there is virtually zero information available about who did what and how and when - dates are approximate, and..more crucially, the collaborative nature of these is indeterminate...most are presumably no more than the sound of the author double tracking their own guitars and voices (in many cases you can hear people talking in the background...an experiment they couldn't have been all THAT attached to). The sound of them (not lo fi by design, but by circumstance) really does create this image of "the Fab Four" sitting around jamming on 30 songs in one day (an unlikely scenario, despite the odd unison chorus ala "Bungalow Bill" or some nondescript and haphazard percussive "accompaniment"). "Happiness is a Warm Gun" sounds like it was recorded elsewhere, in private...though I'm glad it was appended to the Esher material (it serves as something of a highlight, IMO).

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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby John aka Josh » 04 Dec 2018, 21:05

Phenomenal Cat wrote:
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Wow - can't see any black spot on the leaves. Wonder if they were sprayed with the then available chemicals or was he an early proponent of an organic approach.
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Quaco » 07 Dec 2018, 18:29

Obvious question perhaps, but why did they do demos for all the songs they had, instead of just going in as before? It's not as if they spent any less time in the studio by being prepared beforehand.
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Charlie O. » 07 Dec 2018, 18:32

Quaco wrote:Obvious question perhaps, but why did they do demos for all the songs they had, instead of just going in as before? It's not as if they spent any less time in the studio by being prepared beforehand.

Purely a guess: they probably weren't thinking "double LP" at this point, so maybe they just wanted to get the songs down for reference to help them decide what to leave out of the sessions when they did go to Abbey Rd.
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Quaco » 07 Dec 2018, 18:46

Charlie O. wrote:
Quaco wrote:Obvious question perhaps, but why did they do demos for all the songs they had, instead of just going in as before? It's not as if they spent any less time in the studio by being prepared beforehand.

Purely a guess: they probably weren't thinking "double LP" at this point, so maybe they just wanted to get the songs down for reference to help them decide what to leave out of the sessions when they did go to Abbey Rd.

That makes sense. Also maybe, the songs mostly being written on acoustic guitar and quite playable, rather than knowing they would be pieced together in the studio, they might have just wanted to play them all, all at once. Especially if they knew on some level that it would be hard to get the Beatles machine moving for some time yet. (I recall that though they had Studio Two prebooked, they often didn't show up during the first few weeks of scheduled sessions.)
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Bent Fabric » 07 Dec 2018, 19:00

I would definitely think an overwhelming sense of "Well, shit - how many damn songs DO we have here?" might have been a factor in creating an actual document (as opposed to previous records where there never really seemed to be anything resembling a surplus/abundance of material). One minute, you're combing the Larry Williams songbook for album filler, next thing you can't even count the potential songs for the next record.

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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby nathan » 07 Dec 2018, 20:11

I absolutely adored listening to them. They sound hungry, slightly reckless and near joyful. I can even hear a bit of the fab four in there. 4 dudes sitting around and banging out simple but dense pop songs. Probably the last time they truly sounded that way. They sound gleeful (even John!) at the new songs they were bringing to the table, and rightfully so.

I found it very infectious as an album-length listen and will happily revisit it in the years to come. I'm so glad it has been officially released. As much as I love the album proper, there is something very worthwhile about hearing these songs with their early spark still shining through. About as essential an outtakes release I have heard since this whole trend started a couple decades ago.

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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 07 Dec 2018, 20:25

Bent Fabric wrote:I would definitely think an overwhelming sense of "Well, shit - how many damn songs DO we have here?" might have been a factor in creating an actual document (as opposed to previous records where there never really seemed to be anything resembling a surplus/abundance of material). One minute, you're combing the Larry Williams songbook for album filler, next thing you can't even count the potential songs for the next record.


It does seem like they were taking stock and maybe just getting it all down so they could move on. We still don't have many McCartney songs (perhaps he was composing more on piano; "Hey Jude", "Martha My Dear", etc.). That the whole thing was already taking shape outside of the studio is what's really unique about this album, whereas by the "Let it Be" sessions, there was nothing left to prove.
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