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Nortune - All You Need Is... The Beatles

Nortune - All You Need Is.. The Beatles is now available on CD direct from Nortunes.  

.What a fun project. It started when I got my Taylor 812ce guitar. That was the day after me and two of my special buddies (Greg and Perry) saw Doyle Dykes in Athens. He inspired me to want to share my gift. 

My wonderful wife Kim (she knows I love her and understands the dog comment) also contributed by feeding my passion. She bought me the Beatles Anthology DVD set and I watched it while riding my exercise bike. She also went with me to New York where I did a "Beatles Pilgrimage". I saw "Strawberry Fields" (the #1 Beatles impersonators) at the Saturday Beatles Brunch at B.B. King's Blues Bar at Times Square. I also went to the Dakota and then went across the street to the John Lennon "Strawberry Fields" memorial in Central Park. The "Imagine" tile mosaic means so much to me now. Although it can be debated whether I should have put "Imagine" on the CD, my musical view of the Beatles includes everything (individual or not) from the "four lads from Liverpool". Their message of love and peace goes back to my old hippie days (I wasn't really a hippie since I was so engrossed in playing the guitar, but everyone thinks I was).

When it comes to love, you can learn a lot from a dog. Mine loves me to no end and was the number one audience while I worked up all these songs. She Loves Me (bad notes and all), "yeah, yeah, yeah...".

All You Need Is...  The BeatlesCD

Click here for song list and more detail liner notes. 

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Song List 

All arrangements by Nortune in Standard, Dropped D and Open G, Gm, D, & Dm. 

Recorded and produced at Nortunes Studio, Nov/Dec, 2006. 

All songs written by Lennon-McCartney except "Here Comes The Sun" - Harrison and "Imagine" - Lennon

All songs were recorded direct to my mastering software (Wavelab version 4.0). The signal process begins with the Taylor 812ce with its own internal pickup system going into a Line6 POD XT Live with stereo output direct to Yamaha AX-44 / DSP Factory combination computer sound card (whew).  At the same time a Shure SM-85 condenser mic into a RANE FMI 14 to the AX-44 provided the acoustical ambience.   Most of the tweaking was done up front.

1. All You Need/She Loves You
This one is in open G (A pattern) tuning which matches the original recording key.  This song pretty much sets up the concept of the entire CD. At the end of the Beatles version of "All You Need Is Love", Paul and John start singing "She Loves You, yeah, yeah, yeah..".  I interpreted that as a poignant moment of reflection for them. Forty years later it sets up a reflection of the entire CD.

2. Please Please Me 
This one is played in Open D (E Pattern) tuning capo 2 which matches the original recording key. This was there first number one hit. I saw on the Anthology DVD that as soon as George Martin heard it he said, "You've got your Number One."  There so many cool things about this song. You can play it fast or slow and it is beautiful. The vocal harmony is what intrigue me enough to add it to my collection.   A high tonic is held while the melody starts at the high tonic and moves down the diatonic scale.

3. All My Loving
This song is in standard tuning capo 2 which matches the original recording key. It is also the first arrangement that I did. It is very musically intriguing including secondary dominants as well as a very nice minor walk down. Except for the clear rockabilly guitar break, this song can also be played slower as a very beautiful pop standard.  In my more mature arrangements the last verse has been changed to include the harmony similar to the way the Beatles added their harmony on their last verse. When I get a round tuit, I'l rerecord this one.

4. This Boy
This one is in open G (A pattern) tuning.  This is another very beautiful song using one of the greatest chord progression of early rock.  In fact this "four chord" chord progression is the second most popular basic chord progression of pop music since the folk days.  

5. You Can't Do That
This one is in open G (A pattern) tuning.
I'm sure this is probably the least favorite of all the songs I included. I like it for several reasons including that fact that this is just a basic rock "12 bar three chord progression".  It was the foundation of all of rock and what the Beatles thrived on in there early days as they learned their craft. 

6. And I Love Her 
This one is in open G (A pattern) tuning. 
Okay. I took a little poetic license with this one. I can actually do it more like the original in standard tuning which includes the "half step" modulation. In open "G", I do change the key of the break but am able to play it with enough ease to want to play it regularly. This is one of the few songs I do in an open tuning that is not really in the key of the tuning.  I wasn't actually going to include this one but I saw a street performer do this one in the catacombs of Grand Central Station one late night during my New York Beatles pilgrimage. It was so strange of an experience that it will impact me for a lifetime and definitely called for a tribute to go back and figure out a way to put it on the CD.   I was actually on the way back from Greenwich Village which Lennon had said was his "psychological birth place" even though he wasn't.  Its been a fixture in the history of folk/pop/rock music since the fifties. So anyway, I'm getting of the subway train and all of a sudden I hear what sounded like a lush recording of a guitar instrumentalist. I weave my away around the tunnels until I find the source of the sound coming from a man playing a guitar through a battery operated speaker.  He was quite good in fact.  I'm thinking, "man this guy is blowing it out in a subway". What must the "real" guitar players in New York must be like. I listened while he played a couple of songs including "When You Get Lost Between The Moon and New York City".  His playing style was similar to mine except he looked far more classically trained (classical guitar that is).  So I go up to him and say, "Do you know any more Christopher Cross songs?" I was actually wondering what he could do with "Sailing" which is one of my favorites.  Well to my surprise, he could barely speak English.  He hadn't really heard of Christopher Cross, he was just in New York doing songs about the city.  After trying to apologize for not only his English but also not knowing who Christopher Cross was, out of the blue he then asked me in broken English would I like to hear the "Beatles".  He then tore into "And I love Her". He played it in standard tuning in the key of "Em" but without the modulation. It was incredible.  Beatles song fact: This one was on "Hard Day's Night". Several of the cool phrases that seem incredibly creative were actually word twists created by Ringo in his natural speech.  "Hard Day's Night" was one of them.    

7. Ticket To Ride
This one is in open G (A pattern) tuning capo 2.
This was one of my personal all time favorites.  Years ago I had even messed around with this one on the piano. The ending goes into a country gallop because that's what it does on the original recording. This has one of the greatest Beatles motifs. Its simple but unusual.  To play all the parts on this one requires me to move quite a bit all over the fret board. Beatles song fact: This was originally released on the "Help" album. There's many strange specualtions for this one that you can find on the internet but to me its just a great song. 

8. Yesterday
This song is in standard tuning.
To say this is a "standard" is an understatement.  Most tabs show this song in the key of "F" which is what the recording implies. All you have to do is see a video of McCartney doing it and you'll see it was done in standard tuning in the guitar key of "G" but tuned down a whole step.  This one could be arranged hundred ways and it would be good. I mixed a few of my favorite concepts and found something that carries the flavor of the original but spices it up to what it can be, Beatles song fact:  This was pure and simple McCartney. No other Beatle contributed in any way.  I think this is one of the examples of what McCartney would later write in "Let It Be" as, "I wake up to the sound of music...". He claims to have woke up one morning with this song in his head already.  It was so strange to him that he went looking to see if it could have been something he had previously heard.  I'm sure if it was the original composer would have immediately come out of the woodwork. All you need is one like this to retire to a life of luxury.

9. Norwegian Wood
This one is played in Open D (E Pattern) tuning capo 2.
This song in fact introduced George Harrison's love of the sitar.  I had fun with this one and early on found a trick to emulate the "out of tune" sound of the sitar.  Actually the music of eastern civilization has more microtonal pitches which attributes to what we perceive as desofinado (slightly out of tune);  I use a little chromatic trill for my effect and use the "sitar" effect on the Line 6. Beatles song fact:  The words to this one are really interesting and brings out the subtle humor that Lennon had.  In the end of the song he burns up the "Norwegian Wood" which was the furniture at the girl's apartment who wouldn't let him sleep with her.  You also can't emphasize enough the beginning of Harrison's fixation with the east with its philosophies and sounds.

10. In My Life
This one is in open G (A pattern) tuning.
This is a song I had to rerecord.  For whatever crazy reason, I played the motif without the syncopation. I'm sure I had practiced it correctly but it startled me when I went back and was listening to one of my first "rendors".  I usually make a basic CD and then listen to it for a while to see if I hear things that I just can't absolutely live with. Unfortunately, I don't have the resources to get everything perfect to my standards but I look for a point when I can control my flinches. The rework turned out pretty good.  The intensity of the harmony vocal is one of the many things that attracted me to this song. Another is the very complex chord progression using what I call the "IVm (four minor)".  This one ain't that easy to play but isn't too stressful. Beatle song fact: This is one of the most loved Lennon attributed songs and was on "Rubber Soul". 

11. Eleanor Rigby
This one is in open Gm (Am pattern) tuning. 
One of my favorite quotes is from Dash Crofts when he was performing with Seals Crofts at Carolina coliseum way back in the late sixties and I was there. Shortly before they play "Summer Breeze" which was the song that made them famous he said, "Here's the reason for this madness."  For me "Eleanor Rigby" was the reason for the madness of me making the Beatles tribute CD.  I always loved the song but really hadn't been very successful playing it.  After all the recording is just vocal and string quartet.  I liked it though and explored the possibility of standard tuning and then got the thought that since it was in a minor key why not try one of my minor tunings. At first I thought "Dm" would work best so I messed with it some in that tuning.  It didn't really help so I decided to try "Gm". Boom!  It was perfect. The more I messed with it, it became evident that I had something special. It inspired me to not only want to do the CD but to include one of each of my favorite tunings. Beatle song fact:  This is a McCartney song from the "revolver" album but written at the time he and Lennon were still collaborating on everything. George Martin can totally be attributed for the string arrangement.  This song could be considered one of the greatest "classical" pieces of all time.   

12. Because
This song is in standard tuning capo 4.
Pop music doesn't contain this type of chord progressions anymore.  Its rare that something like this could have been on a pop album at all. But with the Beatles all was possible. The three part harmony was dubbed several times. There is basically no lead vocal as all three parts exist on equal basis.  The current version is one of my older. I have a new arrangement in the works. Beatles song fact:  This "Abbey Road" entry is the one that Lennon was inspired by Yoko playing a classical piece and then asking her to "play it backwards".  Although they may have been the way it started, it moved into something of its own.  

13. Here Comes The Sun
This song is in standard tuning capo 4.
Very nicely written and sung by George Harrison, this songs has a lot of nice motifs and parts.  I used capo four with standard tuning to make it sort of flow with "Because".  The middle break is something nice for guitar players to use in practice the various "CAGED" chord patterns. It is quite a workout for each. Beatles song fact:  This was one of two entries on "Abbey Road" for Harrison who actually was a great song writer but unfortunately living in the shadow of two geniuses.


14. Come Together
This one is played in Open Dm (Em Pattern) tuning
This song completes my desire to have at least one song in each of my main tunings.  It also ended up being one of my favorites.  I had to work harder on this song to get the natural timing of the melody and the bass going at the same time, complete with slide and other simulations.  Once I got it though, it works quite well.  I'm not sure if all the parts could be done in a standard tuning. I like the Dm so much, I not gonna mess with trying.  Beatles songfact:  This was a Lennon song off "Abbey Road".

15. Let It Be
This song is in standard tuning.
This was always one of my favorites. I play it in the key of "C" using standard tuning but it also works well in the key of "G".  It's another one of McCartney's great "standards" which really means you could play it with a kazoo and it would be good.  My original demo version was recorded prior to my New York trip and I used distortion on the guitar break. When I heard it I knew it wasn't what I wanted.  On the reworked I used the Leslie Rotary sound with a stronger plain acoustic mix.  This allowed me to vary the parts of guitar, voice and organ without any domination by one. Of course it sounds good with just the guitar and I plan to do one of those versions soon.  This was a McCartney song off "Let It Be".

16. Imagine 
This song is in Dropped D tuning
As I mentioned on the CD liner notes as well as above: Although it can be debated whether I should have put "Imagine" on the CD, my musical view of the Beatles includes everything (individual or not) from the "four lads from Liverpool". This ended up being one of my favorites. The tuning gives the song a lush sound.  It is very easy to play this song with extra "feeling".  I worked up this arrangement when I was on a golf trip to Myrtle Beach in October of 2006.  I always liked the song for the very nice but simple chromatic motif between the phrases.  The chord progressions are also nice with the verse using major sevenths and the chorus using secondary dominants.  Lennon wrote this one using a piano but it adapted well to the guitar. Beatles songfact: Although not given a writer's credit, Yoko Ono came up with the Imagine concept that inspired the song's lyric.   


Purchase All You Need Is... The Beatles CD

The CD is currently available directly from Nortunes:

CD's may be purchased at the studio or in person for $15.00 each (students of guitar $12.50).

CD's may be purchased by mail for an additional $2.00 shipping and handling shipped upon receipt.

Make check payable to Norton Wade.

Nortunes Studio
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