Sunday, December 18, 2016

"I Feel Fine" (UK & US Mono Mixes)

The "I Feel Fine / She's A Woman" single was released on November 23, 1964 (US) and November 27, 1964 (UK). Naturally, the "A" side, which we concentrate on here, became a worldwide #1 hit single.

This time, for us Yankees, George Martin intentionally mixed a Beatles single a bit differently. Capitol Records had a habit (sometimes good sometimes not) of adding reverb to their releases as they assumed Americans preferred a "bigger sound" (many did). With Beatles releases, it was usually the stereo LP's which were slammed with the extra effect. Most notably, the stereo version of "The Beatles Second Album". Many fans actually prefer hearing those songs in this beefed up manner. I must admit, I love what they did to "Roll Over Beethoven" as the dry mix- in both mono and stereo- makes George Harrison's Gretsch electric sound like he's playing inside a tin can. A Gretsch should never be "pointy" and that is exactly what it sounds like on those dry mixes.

With this 45, Martin decided he would be the one to add the extra reverb. He sent the exclusive-western-hemisphere-only mono tapes to Capitol, and- of course- they added an extra layer as well (!!!!) 

Hey, why not, right? Ummmm......

IMHO, certain aspects of the US mix completely annihilate the doinky sounding UK version. On the other hand, said doinky UK mix has a few traits which outshine the over-the-top-sometimes-messy US version. For example, the doinky UK mix is clearer and "nice". It also features a slightly longer fade. The over-the-top-sometimes-messy US version makes the song explode out of the speakers. Also, I don't care what anyone says, the main riff and slamming drums after the guitar solo on that version is untouchably superior. To me, it's one of the greatest moments in music history. Whenever I hear it- just like the mono "Paperback Writer"- I get those wonderful chills. Groovy, man.

Once again, I am including the original Capitol picture sleeve (NOTE: The Beatles had but a mere two picture sleeves in the UK. BORING!). Also, included are the 1969-1971 red and orange target labels which I am on a quest to conquer for my collection.

Here ya go. Judge for yourself.

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