Inside The Remixing Of 'Sgt. Pepper's'
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Well, here's a challenge. Take one of the most beloved albums of all time and make it better.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND")
THE BEATLES: (Singing) We're Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
INSKEEP: The Beatles set the high watermark for rock music expression back in 1967. And that album has just been remixed for a 50th anniversary release.
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Now, who exactly had the brass to mess with a landmark achievement like "Sgt. Pepper's"? It was Giles Martin, the son of Beatles producer Sir George Martin. He went back as far as the original rehearsals. And in the process, he uncovered a few stunning details that were lost to history.
INSKEEP: Like some details of the ending to "A Day In The Life" which is epic. There's a swirl of strings and a cacophony of sounds, then a beat of silence. And finally...
(SOUNDBITE OF THE BEATLES SONG, "A DAY IN THE LIFE")
INSKEEP: ...A single chord banged out simultaneously on three different pianos and a harmonium which ring into what feels like infinity. Even 50 years later, it can send chills down your spine.
MARTIN: I've got chills. So Giles Martin discovered The Beatles had a different vision for that initially. He recently talked to NPR Music's Bob Boilen for the All Songs Considered podcast.
(SOUNDBITE OF PODCAST, "ALL SONGS CONSIDERED")
GILES MARTIN: Originally, they tried to record a choir. Well, this is the session from this.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Doing it live. This is take eight. And it was the choir for the end.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Choir?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Eight beats.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Beats then, just like count eight as soon as you say om (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: Om.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: All right. Just stop on it.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: What's the note?
UNIDENTIFIED MEN: Om.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: One. Two. Three. Four.
UNIDENTIFIED MEN: Om.
MARTIN: And you can see why they didn't...
BOB BOILEN, BYLINE: That wouldn't have lasted 50 years.
MARTIN: Yeah. So, you know, I mean, and that's the fun thing is art is made out of performance and decisions, you know.
BOILEN: Yeah. Yeah. Right.
MARTIN: And there's a decision that was made for the good.
MARTIN: That's an excerpt of Giles Martin. He's the son of Beatles producer George Martin, and he was talking with Bob Boilen for the All Songs Considered podcast. They were talking about remixing "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" for the album's 50th anniversary which is tomorrow.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GETTING BETTER")
THE BEATLES: (Singing) I've got to admit it's getting better. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.