Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill

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Bungalow Bill..?

A gem (unheralded or otherwise)
17
25%
Good
20
29%
Average
10
15%
Poor/minor
21
31%
 
Total votes: 68

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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby Geezee » 30 Apr 2010, 13:55

BlueMeanie wrote:
comrade moleskin wrote:well, it's either a metaphor for America's adventures in Vietnam, or it's recounting the story of someone who was at Rishikesh with the fabs, who really went out hunting with his mother. If it's the latter I don't think he got skewered. If the former, well I had no idea it could be read that way, I thought it was another of the Beatles' children's songs.


That's all I ever thought it was. You can read too much into things sometimes.


Reminds of a very good South Park episode:

Stan: More and more of us are against this book every day! The author is cruel and offensive! And for these reasons, we demand this book be banned from all school, stores, and libraries! This book is nothing but smut and vulgarity purely for the sake of smut and vulgarity!
Assemblyman 1: That's just because you're too young to understand the underlying themes.
Cartman: There are no underlying themes! We know that for a fact!
Assemblyman 2: You just fail to understand what the author meant.
Kyle: The author meant to be as gross as possible because it was funny!
Assemblyman 3: (chuckles) No, no no, that's such a simplistic view.
Stan: Goddamnit there is no deeper meaning in this book! Read it again!
Assemblywoman 1: Oh, so you're suggesting that the author just arbitrarily made fun of Sarah Jessica Parker for no reason??
Kyle: Yes!
Assemblywoman 1: But what would be the point?
Cartman: There is no point! It's just because Sarah Jessica Parker is fuckin' ugly!
Assemblywoman 2: No writer would take the time to make fun of Sarah Jessica Parker just because they think she's ugly.
Stan, Kyle, Cartman: Yes they would!
Assemblywoman 2: It is because Miss Jessica Parker is a metaphor in the book for oppression felt by the lowe class.
Stan: What?? Dude, that is not in the book at all!
Assemblyman 2: Boys, this book is an important look at how liberals are hurting this country.
Stan: What?
Assemblywoman 2: Wait, Scrotie McBoogerballs is the most conservative-hating liberal in literature!
Assemblyman 2: What book did you read?!
Stan: There's nothing about liberals or conservatives!
Assemblyman 4: Ohohh yeah, then why did Sarah Jessica Parker's buttcheese end up in Scrotie's milkshake?

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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby sloopjohnc » 30 Apr 2010, 14:23

M! wrote:
sloopjohnc wrote: If another band did it, it would be a masterpiece, but this is the Beatles we're talking about.


I guess for Beatles agnostics, or even for those who view them in a more objective way, it must be these kind of hyperbolic statements that drive them to distraction.
Whilst I accept that many do really like this track, do you really believe the above statement? Really?


To a degree, yes. "Masterpiece" is probably too strong a word, but I am one of the congregation so it is hard for me to be objective.
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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby Mr Maps » 30 Apr 2010, 14:28

sloopjohnc wrote: If another band did it, it would be a masterpiece, but this is the Beatles we're talking about.


BlueMeanie wrote:It's OK, but definitely one of the - 'I bet you wouldn't like it so much if it wasn't The Beatles' - songs.



Hmmmm...
nathan wrote:I realize there is a time and a place for unsexy music, but I personally have no time for it.


Django wrote: It's video clips of earnest post-rock I want, and I have little time for anything else.

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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby sloopjohnc » 30 Apr 2010, 14:52

Mr Maps wrote:
sloopjohnc wrote: If another band did it, it would be a masterpiece, but this is the Beatles we're talking about.


BlueMeanie wrote:It's OK, but definitely one of the - 'I bet you wouldn't like it so much if it wasn't The Beatles' - songs.



Hmmmm...


Guilty as charged.
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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby Mr Maps » 30 Apr 2010, 14:56

sloopjohnc wrote:Guilty as charged.


I'm not accusing anyone of anything.
I just think it's interesting that some people hold them to a higher standard while others give them a pass.
nathan wrote:I realize there is a time and a place for unsexy music, but I personally have no time for it.


Django wrote: It's video clips of earnest post-rock I want, and I have little time for anything else.

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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby Quaco » 30 Apr 2010, 15:07

Or alternately, that some people give other bands more credit for creating good music than others do ...

I can see both sides. "Bungalow Bill" is nothing compared to classic stuff by great bands (including The Beatles), but really, if The Black Crowes or Blur or Oasis (to name but three) came up with something this good, I'd be shocked. It has a kind of immediacy and melodicism (even though it doesn't come across as super-melodic) that would really stand out in their catalogue. And imagine if a local band did something like this -- everybody in the room would come up to them afterward and tell them they really liked that one.
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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby Snarfyguy » 30 Apr 2010, 15:13

atomic loonybin wrote:1 - it's not even a proper flamenco guitar, it's a mellotron playing that.

Eh? Image

I don't understand. Mellotrons have a flamenco guitar setting that sounds like a real flamenco guitar as opposed to how they emulate strings by sounding nothing much like a stringed instrument?
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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby Quaco » 30 Apr 2010, 15:21

Snarfyguy wrote:
atomic loonybin wrote:1 - it's not even a proper flamenco guitar, it's a mellotron playing that.

Eh? Image

I don't understand. Mellotrons have a flamenco guitar setting that sounds like a real flamenco guitar as opposed to how they emulate strings by sounding nothing much like a stringed instrument?

In addition to many instruments that you play note by note (strings, horns, etc.), the Mellotron also has some rhythms and effects tapes. The beginning of "Bungalow Bill" is a Spanish guitar effects tape, not someone playing a bunch of fast guitar samples, but a single note being played.

Remember, the Mellotron was more or less made for home use -- as in, the family sitting around singing while Mother played the Mellotron. Thus, it had two keyboards: rhythms and effects in the left hand and lead instruments in the right hand. Musicians then realized it was a cool-sounding (not always totally realistic, as you say) and used them on their records.

Leads: the famous strings (so many), the flute sound ("Strawberry Fields"), the choir (Genesis "Dancing with the Moonlit Night", Bowie "Big Brother")...
Rhythms: Samba (Lennon home recordings "Chi-Chi's" etc.), Ragtime ("Drilling a Home" from Wonderwall Music)...
Effects: Harmonized flute thing (beginning of "Phenomenal Cat"), Spanish guitar ("Bungalow Bill")...
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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby Quaco » 30 Apr 2010, 15:23

Check out 2:01...

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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby Snarfyguy » 30 Apr 2010, 15:33

Quaco wrote:The beginning of "Bungalow Bill" is a Spanish guitar effects tape, not someone playing a bunch of fast guitar samples, but a single note being played.

Very interesting post, thanks. I don't mean to be dense, but I don't quite get what you're saying in the quoted bit above. Is it that the Mellotron has a setting you can apply that sounds like a certain instrument and then when you play the keyboard you hear the notes you play but as though it were that certain instrument? Like the way modern electronic keyboards have settings for piano, organ and so forth?
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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby Goat Boy » 30 Apr 2010, 15:44



1.25secs
Griff wrote:The notion that Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong vocal proponent of antisemitism, would stand in front of an antisemitic mural and commend it is utterly preposterous.


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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby Moleskin » 30 Apr 2010, 15:45

Snarfyguy wrote:
Quaco wrote:The beginning of "Bungalow Bill" is a Spanish guitar effects tape, not someone playing a bunch of fast guitar samples, but a single note being played.

Very interesting post, thanks. I don't mean to be dense, but I don't quite get what you're saying in the quoted bit above. Is it that the Mellotron has a setting you can apply that sounds like a certain instrument and then when you play the keyboard you hear the notes you play but as though it were that certain instrument? Like the way modern electronic keyboards have settings for piano, organ and so forth?


If I may step in? The mellotron used tapes to emulate sounds. Most of those tapes were of 4 or 8 secs duration. The flamenco guitar at the beginning of 'Bungalow Bill' is recorded on one of those tapes in the standard mellotron. The same section is also played somewhere in the King Crimson Epitaph box set, prompting laughter.

In this particular instance, the tape amounts to a 4-sec sample of someone playing flamenco guitar. I'm not quite sure what use you mught have made of it if you owned a mellotron, though. Apart from to smilingly say 'it wasn't a Beatle who played that fancy guitar on Bungalow Bill, you know' when you have guests over for dinner.
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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby Quaco » 30 Apr 2010, 15:47

Snarfyguy wrote:
Quaco wrote:The beginning of "Bungalow Bill" is a Spanish guitar effects tape, not someone playing a bunch of fast guitar samples, but a single note being played.

Very interesting post, thanks. I don't mean to be dense, but I don't quite get what you're saying in the quoted bit above. Is it that the Mellotron has a setting you can apply that sounds like a certain instrument and then when you play the keyboard you hear the notes you play but as though it were that certain instrument? Like the way modern electronic keyboards have settings for piano, organ and so forth?

Sorry, I don't get what you're asking!

In case you don't understand the principle of the instrument:

The Mellotron plays actual lengths of tape of whatever instrument tape-set you have loaded. The tape-sets are racks of tapes with each note recordeded on an instrument, and they line up to the corresponding keys. So when you play an A, you get the tape recording of a string section playing A.

Image

In addition to solo instruments like strings, horns, flutes, voices, etc. where you get one note per key, they also had tape-sets which had preset rhythm tracks on them, so you could accompany yourself with samba, foxtrot, flamenco, etc. backings and four-bar fills. These are the less well-known aspect of the Mellotron, but still got used once in a while.

Here is more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mellotron
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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby hookfinger » 30 Apr 2010, 15:49

Didn't the mellotron used taped loops of the real instruments as their base?


oops - never mind. thanks.
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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby Snarfyguy » 30 Apr 2010, 15:51

Quaco wrote:Check out 2:01...


Ah I see. They just lifted it straight from the bank of "samples." So it is an actual guitar, recorded onto the Mellotron's magnetic tape and then "played."

It seems like a function with pretty limited applications.

I wonder who initially played it and what he thought about The Beatles using it.
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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby Quaco » 30 Apr 2010, 15:52

comrade moleskin wrote:In this particular instance, the tape amounts to a 4-sec sample of someone playing flamenco guitar. I'm not quite sure what use you mught have made of it if you owned a mellotron, though. Apart from to smilingly say 'it wasn't a Beatle who played that fancy guitar on Bungalow Bill, you know' when you have guests over for dinner.

The flute thingy The Kinks used as the intro for "Phenomenal Cat" was something you could use either as an intro or as a fill when played within the rhythm of a song. (Note its appearance in the music at the end of that Melltron movie trailer I posted above.) I think this flamenco bit was intended the same way, as either a dramatic intro before going into a living-room version of "Volare", or as a fill in the middle of it.
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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby Quaco » 30 Apr 2010, 16:00

Snarfyguy wrote:
Quaco wrote:Check out 2:01...


Ah I see. They just lifted it straight from the bank of "samples." So it is an actual guitar, recorded onto the Mellotron's magnetic tape and then "played."

It seems like a function with pretty limited applications.

Yeah, it's just an effect that they threw on there, on that one key. I'm sure other keys had a few more things like that. Most of that tape-set was probably flamenco rhythms in different pitches (to allow you to play chord progressions).

I wonder who initially played it and what he thought about The Beatles using it.

I think I have that information somewhere. Most of the players that were used for the Chamberlin (the Mellotron's predecessor, developed in the U.S.) and the Mellotron have been forgotten, but some of them are known.
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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby soundchaser » 30 Apr 2010, 16:39

Snarfyguy wrote:
atomic loonybin wrote:1 - it's not even a proper flamenco guitar, it's a mellotron playing that.

Eh? Image

I don't understand. Mellotrons have a flamenco guitar setting that sounds like a real flamenco guitar as opposed to how they emulate strings by sounding nothing much like a stringed instrument?


I believe it's one of the demonstration features of the mellotron, a tape to show the sort of sounds that could be achieved. Someone obviously pressed the key with that demo on and liked it enough to use at the beginning of Bungalow Bill. The Kinks used another mellotron demo track for the intro to Phenomenal Cat. Yes used exactly the same demo track for the intro to the song Lightning Strikes from The Ladder.
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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby Thesiger » 30 Apr 2010, 16:40

Quaco wrote:The flute thingy The Kinks used as the intro for "Phenomenal Cat" was something you could use either as an intro or as a fill when played within the rhythm of a song. (Note its appearance in the music at the end of that Melltron movie trailer I posted above.)


Posted on the Kinks You Tube link I also found this, "That flute/mellotron thing in the beginning was used note for note on Yes' song "Lightning Strikes" from the Ladder album from 1999. I'd never heard this song (Phenomenal Cat) before and it was driving me nuts as to where I'd heard it before (I already own the Yes album - bought "Village Green yesterday - great album)".

The same point made by the post above from The Rokster.
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Re: Beatles songs no 4: The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bil

Postby Snarfyguy » 30 Apr 2010, 17:01

Thesiger wrote:
Quaco wrote:The flute thingy The Kinks used as the intro for "Phenomenal Cat" was something you could use either as an intro or as a fill when played within the rhythm of a song. (Note its appearance in the music at the end of that Melltron movie trailer I posted above.)


Posted on the Kinks You Tube link I also found this, "That flute/mellotron thing in the beginning was used note for note on Yes' song "Lightning Strikes" from the Ladder album from 1999. I'd never heard this song (Phenomenal Cat) before and it was driving me nuts as to where I'd heard it before (I already own the Yes album - bought "Village Green yesterday - great album)".

The same point made by the post above from The Rokster.

I think Lennon also plays around with it on one of those home recorded bits that pop up on Beatles bootlegs. I was certainly surprised the first time I heard it!
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