Is Michelle all Paul?

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Tactful Cactus
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Is Michelle all Paul?

Postby Tactful Cactus » 14 Sep 2020, 18:32

I had a scan through Revolution in the Head yesterday and what jumped out at me was the amount of question marks around Michelle. MacDonald is unsure who is on the recording and posits that it was probably only Paul playing the instrumentation and providing vocals. In which case he claims it would be the first true McCartney solo song on a Beatles record.

I had a close listen again to the track. Instrumentally I can't tell, maybe those moments where the chords fly up and down the neck of the guitar are more akin to McCartneys freer playing style than Harrisons, but I don't know.

Vocally I always pictured John and Paul in the backing vocals but listening again, the backing vocals are very fine and very singular. As good as Lennon and McCartneys vocals blend I can't hear two voices in there. It sounds like one voice double tracked. Although it might even sound more like Lennons than McCartney. Opinions?

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Re: Is Michelle all Paul?

Postby Charlie O. » 14 Sep 2020, 18:43

Fine writer though he was, MacDonald occasionally had his head up his behind.

I don't have my Lewisohn Recording Sessions book handy, but if he'd said that was a Paul solo track I'd remember it. In any event it's worth considering that they were limited to four tracks and that Rubber Soul was done in a rush. I could imagine Paul taking the guitar solo, but otherwise it would have been much more efficient to just show the others the song and have everyone playing together. Also the backing vocals.
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Re: Is Michelle all Paul?

Postby toomanyhatz » 14 Sep 2020, 18:51

Also, it's long-known/recorded that the "I love you/I love you/I love you" part was written by John (influenced by Nina Simone, allegedly). I guess that doesn't prove that Paul didn't do it himself, but I can't think of another true co-write that he did that with. (Well, "Eleanor Rigby," I guess, but the final conclusion seems to be that John contributed, at most, a line or two of lyric.)
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Re: Is Michelle all Paul?

Postby Tactful Cactus » 14 Sep 2020, 20:48

Charlie O. wrote:It's worth considering that they were limited to four tracks


That is true. If I count it up we're looking at 8 individual Paul tracks, if he made it all himself. Not impossible with the famous bounce-downs, but it seems unlikely and unnecessary.

Does the backing vocals sounds like P&J to you?

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Re: Is Michelle all Paul?

Postby Diamond Dog » 14 Sep 2020, 21:06

I thought it was generally accepted now that The Beatles was, in fact, all Paul?
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Re: Is Michelle all Paul?

Postby Canis lupus » 14 Sep 2020, 21:32

Tactful Cactus wrote:.

Does the backing vocals sounds like P&J to you?


https://vimeo.com/435934999

... its all bit murky (no spoken backing lyrics).
But I do detect Lennon in the vox on the way back up
(when Macca sings "... mean to me" on lead ).

Remember they was so short of time, they had to dust down "Wait" (shelved months before).

Doubt if McCartney would've been allowed to indulge himself to that extent (peer pressure, Martin and Epstein), at that stage, even after Yesterday.

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Re: Is Michelle all Paul?

Postby Charlie O. » 15 Sep 2020, 01:19

toomanyhatz wrote:Also, it's long-known/recorded that the "I love you/I love you/I love you" part was written by John (influenced by Nina Simone, allegedly). I guess that doesn't prove that Paul didn't do it himself, but I can't think of another true co-write that he did that with. (Well, "Eleanor Rigby," I guess, but the final conclusion seems to be that John contributed, at most, a line or two of lyric.)

Also also, when they were trying to cobble together material for RS, it was John who recalled the tune from when Paul had first come up with it years before. It was apparently something he would play/sing at parties while trying to pass himself off as French to attract girls (didn't work, he now says).
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Re: Is Michelle all Paul?

Postby Charlie O. » 15 Sep 2020, 01:21

Canis lupus wrote:
Tactful Cactus wrote:.

Does the backing vocals sounds like P&J to you?


https://vimeo.com/435934999

... its all bit murky (no spoken backing lyrics).
But I do detect Lennon in the vox on the way back up
(when Macca sings "... mean to me" on lead ).

I too hear John in there, and probably George too (why not). It is hard to be absolutely certain.
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Re: Is Michelle all Paul?

Postby Darkness_Fish » 15 Sep 2020, 08:10

It's certainly banal enough to be a Paul solo track.
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Re: Is Michelle all Paul?

Postby Tactful Cactus » 15 Sep 2020, 12:58

Charlie O. wrote:It is hard to be absolutely certain.


That never stopped us before. I'm going to have a really close listen to the isolated track on cans tonight.

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Re: Is Michelle all Paul?

Postby Geezee » 15 Sep 2020, 13:08

Charlie O. wrote:
toomanyhatz wrote:Also, it's long-known/recorded that the "I love you/I love you/I love you" part was written by John (influenced by Nina Simone, allegedly). I guess that doesn't prove that Paul didn't do it himself, but I can't think of another true co-write that he did that with. (Well, "Eleanor Rigby," I guess, but the final conclusion seems to be that John contributed, at most, a line or two of lyric.)

Also also, when they were trying to cobble together material for RS, it was John who recalled the tune from when Paul had first come up with it years before. It was apparently something he would play/sing at parties while trying to pass himself off as French to attract girls (didn't work, he now says).


Never knew that - quite remarkable if true.
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