Saturday, April 11, 2009

You'll Be Mine

Today I am hosting a Day of Sloth at my apartment. I haven't had a Day of Sloth in a while-- they are something that I used to celebrate more back in the day, when I was in grad school, writing all the time and working the rest of the time, and relaxing in as epic a fashion as I could muster when I did relax. Our Days of Sloth pretty much involve getting together and eating crap, drinking beer, playing video games or aimless rounds of Jenga, and watching the kind of movies that you can comfortably drift in and out of sleep while watching, preferably in pajama pants. You probably have days like this too. But if you are a weirdo like me and my friends clearly are, you schedule Days of Sloth weeks in advance, actually putting them on your calendar in anticipation of the slothfulness.

So you'll forgive me if I don't feel like writing too much today. I am worked up for some major sloth. So I was inspired to listen to an early recording of the Beatles messing around in Paul's living room, now available to us all on Anthology 1.

I know very little about this song-- I know that it's a parody of the sound of The Ink Spots, a hugely influential vocal group of the '30s and '40s, without whom, apparently, we would have no R&B or rock & roll at all. It's not based on an actual Ink Spots song, though, just the Beatles making something up and messing around in rehearsal. I don't know if they came up with this little ditty on the spot as they were recording or not-- but of course the Beatles were clever enough that it wouldn't surprise me if they did. Though the track is hard to hear, what you can hear is pretty hilarious, especially John taking over the spoken-word solo in his most bassariffic voice. The main vocal is Paul, with John doing the backup singing in falsetto. It's just the two of them, plus George and Stu Sutcliffe, John's friend the genius artist and mediocre bass player. This is, in fact, one of the very few recordings in existence that features Stu playing. (They were between drummers at the moment, as they frequently were in 1960 when this was recorded.)

Personally, I think this sort of farting around sound is exactly in the spirit of a gray rainy Day of Sloth. It's funny and lazy and not terribly well-thought-out, which is just what a feel like today. A better song to follow tomorrow when the slothfulness wears off, but for now, just relax and listen to these teenage geniuses crack themselves up.

"You'll Be Mine," released in the U.K. and the U.S. disc 1 track 7 of Anthology 1, November 21, 1995.

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