Turn Me On Dead Man: The John Barrett Tapes

The Beatles




VT-178 / 179



   Special Features

Comes with a 32 page booklet and slipcase-style box.

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Box front

Booklet front

Box back

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Front Cover

Back Cover



The Booklet:

The booklet included with this title features the following information:

- Liner notes by the folks at Vigotone (reproduced below)
- Track notes (reproduced below)


VIGO 178 - 27 Tracks - Total Time: 60:00

1. From Me To You (stereo mix of mono 45)   (1:56)
2. From Me To You (1982 stereo remix)   (1:59)
3. Thank You Girl (stereo mix of mono 45)   (2:08)
4. Thank You Girl (unechoed stereo version)   (2:02)
5. One After 909 (take 2 - 1982 mono mix)   (2:48)
6. She Loves You (1966 stereo remix 1)   (2:22)
7. She Loves You (1966 stereo remix 2)   (2:25)
8. This Boy (1966 stereo remix 15)   (2:24)
9. I'm A Loser (1982 stereo remix)   (2:23)
10. Mr. Moonlight (alternate version - 1982 stereo mix)   (2:32)
11. What You're Doing (unreleased take 11)   (2:03)
12. That Means A Lot (take 1 - stereo)   (2:47)
13. That Means A Lot (stereo edit piece)   (0:26)
14. That Means A Lot (mono - low reverb mix)   (2:30)
15. That Means A Lot (take 20 - stereo)   (1:12)
16. That Means A Lot (take 21 - stereo)   (2:13)
17. That Means A Lot (take 23 - stereo)   (0:23)
18. That Means A Lot (take 24 - stereo)   (1:46)
19. That Means A Lot (test - stereo)   (0:55)
20. Help! (take 8 - basic tracks - 1982 stereo mix)   (2:17)
21. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (take 1 w/slate)   (2:10)
22. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (take 2 - stereo - quality upgrade)   (2:27)
23. 12 Bar Original (take 1 - stereo - quality upgrade)   (0:32)
24. 12 Bar Original (take 2 - stereo - quality upgrade)   (6:48)
25. Paperback Writer (1982 stereo remix)   (2:17)
26. Rain (1982 stereo remix)    (2:52)
27. Tomorrow Never Knows (mono mix 11)   (3:01)


VIGO 179 - 19 Tracks - Total Time: 57:11

1. Strawberry Fields Forever (take 7 - mono mix complete)    (3:11)
2. Strawberry Fields Forever (take 26 - mono mix with new vocal)   (3:06)
3. Penny Lane (complete oboe version - mono mix)   (3:08)
4. Penny Lane (mono mix 10)    (2:59)
5. Penny Lane (1982 stereo remix)    (2:59)
6. A Day In The Life (1982 stereo remix)    (5:07)
7. Hello Goodbye (1982 stereo remix)   (3:21)
8. Lady Madonna (1982 stereo remix - without sax overdub)   (2:17)
9. Hey Jude (rehearsal - 1982 stereo remix)   (2:40)
10. What's The New Mary Jane (1968 stereo mix)   (6:05)
11. Step Inside Love (unedited 1982 stereo mix)   (1:31)
12. Los Paranoias (unedited 1982 stereo mix)   (3:56)
13. The Way You Look Tonight (1982 stereo mix - unreleased song)   (1:11)
14. Can You Take Me Back? (1982 stereo mix - long version)   (1:16)
15. Shake, Rattle And Roll (1982 stereo mix) (2:03)
16. Medley: Kansas City / Miss Ann / Lawdy Miss Clawdy (1982 stereo mix)  (3:54)
17. Blue Suede Shoes (1982 stereo mix)   (2:16)
18. Not Fade Away (1982 stereo mix - unreleased song)   (3:52)
19. Because (1982 stereo remix)    (2:16)


Box Back Text:

Turn Me On Dead Man: The John Barrett Tapes is a revelatory experience for Beatles fans, comprising tracks taken directly from the late Abbey Road engineer's cassette dubs of material he found during the vaults searches in 1982. Included are previously unavailable tracks and mixes as well as items featuring significant upgrades in sound quality from earlier appearances on other collections. The package also includes a booklet with informative liner-notes and rare photos.


Liner Notes:

Prior to the early 1980's, it was pure hearsay amongst Beatles aficionados as to what was inside the EMI vaults pertaining to the group's residency at Abbey Road and other studios from 1962 until 1970. Also, very little was known about actual recording dates of their album and singles. Most of the information that was available to fans came from contemporary reports in UK music magazines such as New Musical Express or Melody Maker, or fan mags like Beatles Monthly. This info, some correct, some not, was then regurgitated in many of the earlier Beatles books, such as Roy Carr and Tony Tyler's An Illustrated Record or Harry Castleman and Wally Podrazik's All Together Now.

All of this uncertainty was to change beginning in 1981. That year, an engineer at Abbey Road named John Barrett found he had cancer, and was looking for a way to occupy his time while undergoing treatment. Ken Townsend, the manager of the studios at the time, thought that finally going through the vaults and seeing exactly was and was not there with regards to the Beatles' many recording sessions would be an excellent task for the ailing engineer.

Barrett ripped into his task with gusto, spending weeks listening through every tape and making up a detailed "catalog" of sorts, with multi-colored tabs and dividers for easy access to the various sections, and color codings for the multitudes of mixes and takes which were included. The first fruits of this research was used on the insert for the box of EMI's The Beatles Singles Collection issued in December of 1982, which featured for the first time the recording dates for the tracks enclosed. Also, an informative article in Record Collector by Nick Piercey in October 1983 included EMI mouthpiece Mike Heatley using Barrett's guide when answering Piercey's queries about various Beatles recording issues.

Throughout 1982, Barrett was also compiling audio material for a Beatles multi-media show that would take place in the famed Abbey Road Studio 2 while it was being refurbished in the summer of 1983. While this cataloging and assemblage for The Beatles At Abbey Road (as the show was to be imaginatively titled) was occurring, Barrett was running cassette dubs of some of the more interesting material for his own use. Some of the material was mixed as he was running his tapes, while some tracks where the original mixes done at the time of the recording sessions. Barrett knew what he was doing; he dubbed off legendary tracks such as "Leave My Kitten Alone", which had never been issued, as well as the more interesting alternate takes in the vaults like "Norwegian Wood" take one. Also, many of the tracks he dubbed where stereo mixes of titles that at the time hadn't seen the light of day in stereo, or had seen limited release, such as "This Boy".

Meanwhile, the late Roger Scott, a well-known UK disc jockey, was enlisted to do the narration for the Abbey Road show, and was given copies of these dubs as well. Scott actually used some of the tracks from these dubs in 1984 (the same year Barrett died, in February) for a 12-hour radio show on the Beatles entitled "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". This material subsequently appeared (taken directly from the radio show discs) on the NEMS release "Not For Sale" in early 1985. Copies of some of the tapes made it into other hands one the Continent, who subsequently issued various series such as Ultra Rare Trax on Swingin' Pig, and Yellow Dog's Unsurpassed Masters, based on the Barrett dubs, mixed with other sources.

However, much of the material dubbed off by Barrett went unissued...until now. Taken from the original cassette dubs, here are a bunch o' Beatles tracks you've never heard in this forum. They are all either different mixes, or significant upgrades from previous appearances, or in some cases, completely unissued.

While John Barrett's name may not be as legendary in the Beatles' world as other researchers such as Mark Lewisohn, his initial work was the cornerstone for all that is now finally known about the Beatles' recording sessions. In tribute, we hope you enjoy these tapes... hopefully John Barrett would be happy to know that his efforts were not in vain !

Trevor Osmond Williams

June 1999


VIGO 178 - 27 Tracks - Total Time: 60:00

1. From Me To You (stereo) (Recorded March 5, 1963)
This track is the released take of the Beatles' third single, yet is featured here in the closest form yet to a stereo mix of the mono single version with the harmonica in place over the intro. It features the tail-end of Paul's "1-2-3" count-off, but does not include the introductory "Da-Da-Da"'s.

2. From Me To You (stereo) (Recorded March 5, 1963)
A Barrett remix of the previously available stereo version, which is sans the harmonica introduction, but features the "Da-Da-Da"'s!

3. Thank You Girl (stereo) (Recorded March 5 & 13, 1963)
The B-side of "From Me To You" is included in a stereo mix which is similar to the mono single version, which featured fewer harmonica overdubs in comparison to the next version. There is also a bit of studio noise at the beginning.

4. Thank You Girl (stereo) (Recorded March 5 & 13, 1963)
A long-awaited mix, an "unechoed" stereo version with harmonica over the middle-eight as well as the intro and outro. This previously appeared on Capitol's The Beatles Second Album, swamped in reverb placed there by the oh-so-wise Capitol Tower engineers in March of 1964.

5. One After 909 (mono) (Recorded March 5, 1963)
Take 2 of a series of five takes (hear them all in stereo on Vigotone's March 5, 1963 disc). George was obviously having problems with the solo here; listen to John's comment as the song fades out. The problem was solved with take 5 which was an edit piece which picks up the song from just before the solo to the end. A Barrett edit of take 4 and his edit piece can be heard on Another Sessions... Plus.

6. She Loves You
7. She Loves You (rechanneled stereo) (Recorded July 1, 1963, mixed November 8, 1966)
In late 1966, when it was apparent that there was not to be a new Beatles studio album in time for Christmas, a greatest hits was hastily assembled for the UK market only. Actually, A Collection Of Beatles Oldies (But Goldies) was welcomed by the fans at the time as a way of picking up several tracks which had never appeared on UK albums, of which "She Loves You" was one. The problem came when putting the stereo version of the album together, as the session tapes of "She Loves You", were long gone. Thus, on November 8, Geoff Emerick spent time trying to fashion a stereo version from the mono mixdown tape. The first mix you'll hear (with his voice featured on the beginning slate, as it is on the second mix as well) was the one used for the LP, with the bass frequencies emphasized in the left channel and the highs in the right.   However, the second one has Emerick shifting the track from channel to channel when various sections of the song were being performed, not dissimilar to the trick United Artists engineers utilized on the US stereo A Hard Day's Night LP. (NOTE: in Mark Lewisohn's The Beatles Recording Sessions, he states that remix two was not the one used for the Oldies LP).

8. This Boy (stereo) (Recorded October 17, 1963, mixed November 10, 1966)
While the Oldies album was being prepared, it was discovered that there was one Beatles track which had not appeared on any UK LP to date: "Bad Boy", the Larry Williams potboiler which had surfaced on the US Beatles VI LP in June of 1965.  The track was called up for remixing but instead of receiving the tape for "Bad Boy", the tape for "This Boy" had been sent instead!   Engineer Peter Brown duly mixed the tracks into stereo for the first time, and it is his voice heard on the opening slate for "RS15".  It was then discovered that this was the incorrect track required but "Bad Boy" was never remixed in the end, as the original 1965 mix was found to be sufficient.  This mix of "This Boy" went unissued until 1976 when it appeared on a Capitol of Canada 45 with "All My Loving" on the flip side, but this is its first appearance with the slate.

9. I'm A Loser (stereo) (Recorded August 14, 1964)
An alternate stereo mix of the Beatles For Sale LP track prepared by Barrett in 1982 for the Abbey Road presentation.
10. Mr. Moonlight (stereo) (Recorded August 14, 1964)
This take was indeed issued on Anthology 1 in 1995 but in a compressed, extremely narrow stereo mix.  This is a superior mix by Barrett which is more faithful to the stereo mixing style of 1964.
11. What You're Doing (stereo) (Recorded September 30, 1964)
A truly exciting never before issued item, the 11th take of this Beatles For Sale track which was temporarily marked "best" until the Beatles remade the song on October 26. It's a bit rough around the edges but features a slate, studio chat, full vocals from Paul & John, and includes a "false ending" which was not utilized in the final version.
12. That Means A Lot (Take 1) (stereo) (Recorded February 20, 1965, mixed February 23, 1965)
13. That Means A Lot (Edit piece) (stereo) (Recorded February 20, 1965)
14. That Means A Lot (Low reverb mix) (mono) (Recorded and mixed February 20, 1965)
15. That Means A Lot (Take 20) (stereo) (Recorded March 30, 1965)
16. That Means A Lot (Take 21) (stereo) (Recorded March 30, 1965)
17. That Means A Lot (Take 23) (stereo) (Recorded March 30, 1965)
18. That Means A Lot (Take 24) (stereo) (Recorded March 30, 1965)
19. That Means A Lot (test) (stereo) (Recorded March 30, 1965)
With this series of takes, we track the journey of an unreleased Beatles song. This was not one of the Lennon/McCartney team's finer moments, and was eventually recorded by expatriate P.J. Proby on April 7, 1965 for an unsuccessful 45 release. However, The Beatles gave it a go over two separate recording sessions for Help! and the results are featured here, complete with slates and studio chatter. All the above tracks are either previously unavailable mixes (in the case of the first three), previously unreleased (Take 20 & 21) or in more superior quality than available before (the last three).
20. Help! (stereo) (instrumental) (Recorded April 13, 1965)
This take 8 "basic tracks" version was used in the Abbey Road show after being mixed to stereo by Barrett.
21. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (stereo) (Recorded October 12, 1965)
Take 1, as presented several times before on other releases, though it is included here with a slate and some studio chat previously unheard prior to this release. This was one of the two mixes produced by Barrett; the other one is found on Another Sessions.
22. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (stereo) (Recorded October 12, 1965)
Take 2, in markedly better quality than any previous issue.
23. 12 Bar Original
24. 12 Bar Original (stereo) (Recorded November 4, 1965)
An instrumental "Green Onions" cop, which was recorded as a desperation move when it seemed the Rubber Soul LP was going to be a bit short on tunes. Thankfully, John came up with "Girl", Paul offered "I'm Looking Through You", and "Wait" was dug up from the archives from its non-appearance on Help!. "12-Bar Original" was then released to the vaults, thus keeping it from being the song on Rubber Soul that everyone would skip over on repeated listenings! Here are takes 1 (a breakdown) and 2, in an upgrade from previous appearances in stereo with slate.
25. Paperback Writer (stereo) Recorded April 13-14, 1966)
26. Rain (stereo) Recorded April 14-16, 1966)
Both of these tracks, the A-sides and B-sides respectively of the Beatles' brilliant pre-Revolver 45, are remixes Barrett made specifically for the Abbey Road presentation with differences in placements of instruments and vocals immediately noticeable to those folks who take interest in such things!
27. Tomorrow Never Knows (mono) (Recorded April 6-7, 1966, mixed June 6, 1966)
As a special bonus, we have taken the liberty of straying from the Barrett tapes for one track. Featured here is the extremely rare mono mix (RM11) of "Tomorrow Never Knows" which was included on a select few first pressing of the monaural UK Revolver LP (matrix #XEX 606-1 only). This came about as a result of George Martin making a second call on July 14, 1966 (as the album was already in the cutting stages) to Geoff Emerick to replace this mix with RM8, which had been produced earlier, on April 27. However, it wasn't changed before some pressings had already been manufactured with RM11, thus insuring that very few people would ever get to hear this considerably different (in both content and length) mix. Now you can see for yourself if old George made the right decision.


VIGO 179 - 19 Tracks - Total Time: 57:11

1. Strawberry Fields Forever (mono) (Recorded and mixed November 29, 1966)
This is the complete mono mix (RM3) of take 7, which was cross-faded on Anthology 2 into a newly-created, drums-only mix of take 25. This original mono version was previously only available on an acetate included on Vigotone's It's Not Too Bad CD, but it has a count-in here (and is of course taken from tape!).
2. Strawberry Fields Forever (mono) (Recorded December 8-9 & 15, 1966, mixed December 15, 1966)
A rough mono mix (RM9 for those of you keeping score) which is new in that it features a rough John Lennon single-tracked vocal over the "orchestral version" (take 26) for the first time. All other mixes of this rendition which have appeared in the past have been in stereo with no complete vocal existing on top of the track.
3. Penny Lane (mono) (Recorded December 29, 1966, January 4-6 & 9-12, 1967,  mixed January 12, 1967)
Another exciting discovery, the complete "oboe" version of "Penny Lane" as originally mixed down to mono (RM8) after recording woodwind and brass overdubs for the track on the 12th of January. Paul took his mix home and realized it needed something else to make it complete, which ended up being a Bach trumpet solo which was recorded five days later. In 1995, a hybrid of the oboe and trumpet versions was mixed for Anthology 2 but the "oboe only" mix appears here for the first time, complete with some studio noise and a count-in at the beginning.
4. Penny Lane (mono) (Recorded December 29, 1966, January 4-6 & 9-12, 1967, mixed January 17, 1967)
Along came David Mason and his Bach Trumpet, and "Penny Lane" was mixed into mono and completed. Or was it ? This mix (RM10), featuring a seven-note ending trumpet figure over the ending, is very close to the RM11 which was shipped to Capitol in the US immediately after its completion, and was used for the initial pressings of the promotional 45's for the song. However, the mix was improved upon on January 25, and RM14 is the one that was used from that point on. RM10 is included here in all of its mono glory.
5. Penny Lane (stereo) (Recorded December 29, 1966, January 4-6 & 9-12, 1967)
A stereo remix also prepared for the Abbey Road presentation, reflecting the final "non-trumpet ending".
6. A Day In The Life (stereo) (Recorded January 19-20, February 3 & 10, 1967)
7. Hello Goodbye (stereo) (Recorded October 2, 19-20 & 25, November 1-2, 1967)
8. Lady Madonna (stereo) (Recorded February 3 & 6, 1968)
All three of the above are stereo remixes by Barrett, again for The Beatles At Abbey Road. "A Day In The Life" includes John's count-in and therefore a clean guitar intro instead of the cross-faded Sgt. Pepper LP version.   The other two have distinct differences, particularly "Lady Madonna"   which doesn't include any of the saxophone overdubs found on the issued mixes.
9. Hey Jude (stereo) (Recorded September 16, 1968)
This particular performance of the Fab Four's most popular single was the soundtrack for a staple of Beatles movie marathons over the last 25 years: the clip of the Beatles rehearsing "Hey Jude" for the National Music Council of Great Britain's documentary, Music!. As this clip was also used in the Abbey Road presentation, Barrett found the multi-tracks for the rehearsal and mixed them into stereo to accompany the film.
10. What's The New Mary Jane (stereo) (Recorded August 14, 1968, mixed October 14, 1968)
An infamous unreleased John Lennon composition meant for the "White Album" but dropped when it was decided that one unlistenable track ("Revolution #9") was enough for one album. "Mary Jane" exists in a variety of different mixes, both vintage and more recent. This happens to be one of a six-minute and five-second duration, and one of two mix produced at this October 14 mixing session. After all that effort, "Mary Jane" wouldn't be issued officially until 1996 and Anthology 3 in a radically remixed form, albeit a more listenable form as well!
11. Step Inside Love (stereo) (Recorded September 16, 1968)
12. Los Paranoias (stereo) (Recorded September 16, 1968)
13. The Way You Look Tonight (stereo) (Recorded September 16, 1968)
14. Can You Take Me Back? (stereo) (Recorded September 16, 1968)
These four "songs" were recorded during the session for The Beatles (The White Album) track "I Will", with only Paul, John and Ringo in attendance.  A whopping 67 takes were recorded during he eight-hour session, but to alleviate the tedium, Paul very informally broke into the above tunes. "Step Inside Love" and "Los Paranoias" were combined on Anthology 3 in 1996, but were edited in comparison to their appearance here. "Step Inside Love" is, of course, a tune Paul gave to Cilla Black and who had recorded it a few months earlier. "The Way You Look Tonight" has never previously surfaced and is basically the tune of "I Will" with impromptu lyrics.  "Can You Take Me Back" is a never-heard before long version of the link track used between "Cry Baby Cry" and "Revolution #9" on The Beatles.
15. Shake, Rattle And Roll
16. Medley: Kansas City / Miss Ann / Lawdy Miss Clawdy
17. Blue Suede Shoes (stereo) (Recorded January 26, 1969)
The sessions described as "hell" by John Lennon, the dreaded Get Back / Let It Be project did produce some enjoyable musical moments.  Most of them are collected on Vigotone's As Nature Intended and Get Back - The Glyn Johns Final Compilation, but this Barrett mixed medley of old rock'n'roll chestnuts is uncollected on either of those sets.
18. Not Fade Away (stereo) (Recorded January 29, 1969)
The first appearance of this Get Back / Let It Be track in stereo. A very loose rendition and another indication that Buddy Holly remained a fab favorite to the end. (Also check out "Mailman Bring Me No More Blues" on Sessions and Another Sessions...Plus).
19. Because (stereo) (Recorded August 1 & 4, 1969)
We end our trawl through the John Barrett tapes with one of the more effective ideas he utilized for The Beatles At Abbey Road: a vocals-only mix of "Because" from 1969's Abbey Road. Actually, it's vocals-only for half the song, with the synthesizer coming in a the "Love is old, love is new" section, but features a new mix throughout the track.


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