Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sing Along With Macca

A friend writes:

I was never a big fan of the song "She's Leaving Home." Like the proverbial dumb blonde, it's pretty enough, but far too silly to take seriously (which sadly applies to many of Paul McCartney's later songs--and, it may be argued, his earlier ones--as well).

Suffice it to say, I've always considered it to be Sgt. Pepper's weakest link.

But now, I've been forced to reconsider that opinion. Although I still dislike the song intensely, this instrumental version has opened my ears to the absolute gorgeousness of the track. Interestingly, the genius behind this magnificent arrangement is not George Martin, but Mike Leander, the only arranger other than Martin to work with the group (Phil Spector doesn't count IMHO since he was basically hired as a clean-up crew, not an arranger).

Also, I guess I knew it at one time, but I had forgotten that SLH is one of the few tracks in the Beatle canon on which no Beatle plays an instrument.

download the track here.


I actually think SLH is a better song than he does, but that's pretty darned beautiful any way you slice it. Incidentally, if memory serves Mike Leander also arranged for the Stones, most famously the string quartet on "As Tears Go By."

12 comments:

Noam Sane said...

too silly to take seriously (which sadly applies to many of Paul McCartney's later songs--and, it may be argued, his earlier ones--as well

Please. Calling a pop song silly is like saying that the sun is hot.

I'm not a fan of his later work (though there are a couple of diamonds on every album), but geez louise. The guy practically defined post-Elvis pop songwriting.

Enjoyed hearing that track stripped of the vocal, though. Wow.

Ramona Quimby said...

Thanks for the lovely Beatles track, Steve. Can never get enough.

I'm surprised that this wasn't arranged by the amazing George Martin. Interesting bit of Beatles trivia, that.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I always loved this song...great arrangement and I really enjoy this version. Beatles fan that I am never heard of this arranger. Still love the song.

David said...

I was always partial to the Bryan Ferry version of the song on All This and World War II, which answered definitively what it would sound like if Count Chocula covered the Beatles.

steve simels said...

if Count Chocula covered the Beatles.


Hah!
:-)

danny1959 said...

I love Ferry's version! Doesn't George Martin still resent that McCartney finished the arrangement without him?

MBowen said...

What would be the other Beatles songs with no Beatles playing an instrument?

TMink said...

Question: When did Paul write Silly Love Songs?

Answer: Ever since 1963.

Hee hee.

Trey

steves said...

MBowen said...
What would be the other Beatles songs with no Beatles playing an instrument?


Goodnight.

steves said...

Oops.

And the Inner Light.

geor3ge said...

And Eleanor Rigby.

MBowen said...

Thanks. For whatever reason I was coming up blank on that question. You'd have thought I'd at least have been able to remember "Eleanor Rigby"...that's what I get for posting pre-coffee.