Sunday, March 4, 2012

Birthday


Birthday paulmccartney;filminspector.com




"Birthday" is a classic "White Album" Beatles song. Some consider "Birthday" to be a song that, if released by the Beatles a single, could have done quite well on the charts. Then again, there are authorities who quite vigorously would have disagreed with that assessment, as we shall see. Since 1968, Paul has returned to "Birthday" now regularly over the years, so it's not as though he disowns "Birthday."

Birthday paulmccartney;filminspector.com


Paul McCartney, as he often did, got to Abbey Road Studio before the others (he lived right around the corner on Cavendish) and wrote "Birthday" in the studio. The entire song, from start to finish - composing, recording, finishing - took place on 18 September 1968. John Lennon vouched for this while using this fact to draw a conclusion about "Birthday" itself:
"Birthday" was written in the studio. Just made up on the spot. I think Paul wanted to write a song like Happy Birthday Baby, the old Fifties hit. But it was sort of made up in the studio. It was a piece of garbage.
Of course, many will disagree that "Birthday" was trash, but that's one man's opinion at one point in time. Paul claims that he collaborated on the song with Lennon, a rarity at that time in their "partnership."
Birthday paulmccartney;filminspector.com

Paul has said about "Birthday":
We thought, 'Why not make something up?' So we got a riff going and arranged it around this riff. We said, 'We'll go to there for a few bars, then we'll do this for a few bars.' We added some lyrics, then we got the friends who were there to join in on the chorus. So that is 50-50 John and me, made up on the spot and recorded all on the same evening. I don't recall it being anybody's birthday in particular but it might have been, but the other reason for doing it is that, if you have a song that refers to Christmas or a birthday, it adds to the life of the song, if it's a good song, because people will pull it out on birthday shows, so I think there was a little bit of that at the back of our minds.
So, making the song about birthdays was simply an opportunistic addition that was independent of the creation of the tune. Paul's quotes are fascinating insights into the creative process.

Birthday paulmccartney;filminspector.com


Chris Thomas was working as the producer in the studio, covering for George Martin who was away, and recalled the "Birthday" session in Mark Lewisohns' "The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions":
So on the day Paul was the first one in, and he was playing the Birthday riff. Eventually the others arrived, by which time Paul had literally written the song, right there in the studio. We had the backing track down by about 8.30, popped around to watch the film as arranged and then came back and actually finished the whole song. It was all done in a day!
So the consensus seems to be that the song was Paul's inspiration and recorded within hours. This actually was how several Beatles songs were created, as one of them would go off, write the song, and they would record it the same day. George Harrison, for instance, wrote "It's Only A Northern Song" at one session under time pressure and the band recorded it virtually immediately.

Birthday paulmccartney;filminspector.com
Paul McCartney at Jane Asher's birthday party on 6 April 1967 in Denver, Colorado. Paul flew in to celebrate her 21st birthday while Asher was performing with the Bristol Old Vic's theater group.

"Birthday" is available on "Tripping the Live Fantastic" and "Tripping the Live Fantastic: Highlights!" in addition to the original and remastered versions of the White Album. Paul first added "Birthday" to the setlist in 1990, played it again on tour in 2003, and then made it an infrequent but recurrent addition beginning in 2008. McCartney and his band played it 38 times in concert during 2016 alone and also at his Grand Central Terminal performance in New York City in 2018, so "Birthday" obviously is a song that Paul feels audiences enjoy hearing.



They say it's your birthday
Well, it's my birthday too yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you

Yes, we're going to a party party
Yes, we're going to a party party
Yes, we're going to a party party

I would like you to dance
(Birthday)
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance
(Birthday)
I would like you to dance
(Birthday)
Dance!

I would like you to dance
(Birthday)
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance
(Birthday)
I would like you to dance
(Birthday)
Dance!

Birthday paulmccartney;filminspector.com


2018

No comments:

Post a Comment