Song Of The Day: The Beatles – “Paperback Writer” (1966)



This song reached # 1 in the UK on this day in 1966. It was the 10th consecutive number one single for the Beatles. This amazing track had a fuller, punchier sound than anything else recorded by anyone in early 1966, and for that credit goes to the MacGyver-like resourcefulness of the Abbey Road engineers. John Lennon had been asking how the Beatles could get the full booming bass sound he heard on Wilson Pickett records. Figuring he needed to mic McCartney’s bass differently, chief engineer Geoff Emerick had an idea. Since microphones are in essence amplifiers wired in reverse, what if he wired an amp backwards and used it as a mic? So for the recording session McCartney had two amps face to face, one outputting the bass, the other recording it. It was a crazy idea, but it worked. What beautiful round bass tones they got which, when combined with McCartney’s dirty wet chordings on his Epiphone Casino and Ringo’s great drumming, sonically defined the entire song. And this baby still packs a punch today.

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