Day 78: “Good Morning, Good Morning”

When was it recorded?   Feb. 8 & 16 and Mar. 13, 28-29, 1967

When was it first released, and on which album?   Jun. 1, 1967 on “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”

Who wrote it?   Lennon

Have I heard this song before?   Yes

What my research dug up:

(I already have “Good Morning!” from “Singin’ in the Rain” stuck in my head, so this should be interesting.)

John was inspired to write “Good Morning, Good Morning” by a cereal commercial. Simple as that. Specifically, it was a commercial for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. According to him, “I always had the TV on very low in the background when I was writing and it came over and then I wrote the song” (David Sheff, All We Are Saying). I couldn’t find the exact commercial, but here’s Kellogg’s jingle from 1959, which opens with the same “good morning, good morning” lyrics.

According to Paul, “John was feeling trapped in suburbia and was going through some problems with Cynthia. It was about his boring life at the time – there’s a reference in the lyrics to ‘nothing to do’ and ‘meet the wife’; there was an afternoon TV soap called ‘Meet The Wife’ that John watched, he was that bored, but I think he was also starting to get alarm bells” (Barry Miles, Many Years From Now)

Quoth Wikipedia, “The song has an unusual rhythmical feel and does not use the same time signature throughout. …The song has been transcribed as a mixture of 4/4, 3/4 and 5/4. Most of the song uses simple time, where the beats are divided into two, but the middle eight sections use compound time, where the beats are divided into triplets.” This happens because John wrote the lyrics first then concocted a melody to fit them. I admit, I admire that kind of ingenuity (as long as I’m not the one trying to transcribe the sheet music for it).

**Edit 4/13/14:  While looking for recordings of “Good Night,” I found this demo version of John performing “Good Morning, Good Morning.”  There’s no dating or other background information on the video, so take it with a grain of salt.  I thought it sounded legit though, so I’m adding it to the post.

Recording “Good Morning” breaks down as such:

  • Feb. 8 = 8 takes of rhythm track (the last was deemed the best)
  • Feb. 16 = Bass and vocal overdubs

The track as it sounded at this point in production appears on “Anthology 2.”

Hello, bass line! “Good Morning” then sat on the shelf for about a month before John asked George Martin to bring in British band Sounds Incorporated for additional backing.

Sounds Incorporated formed in 1961 and, quoth Wikipedia, “gained a local reputation in nearby South London for the fullness of their saxophone-led instrumental sound.” (I guess if that’s what you’re into…) The group backed a number of American artists visiting the UK, such as Little Richard and Jerry lee Lewis. Their singles and albums weren’t massively successful, but while touring in Hamburg and performing at the Star Club, Sounds Incorporated met the Beatles and a beautiful friendship began. Sounds Incorporated even opened for the Beatles on their 1964 world tour.

Back to “Good Morning” – on Mar. 28, more vocals and a guitar solo performed by Paul were added. Then John decided what this number really needed was animal sound effects.

“John said to me during one of the breaks that he wanted to have the sound of animals escaping and that each successive animal should be capable of frightening or devouring its predecessor! So those are not just random effects, there was actually a lot of thought put into all that.” — Geoff Emerick (chief sound engineer)

The last animal heard is a chicken, whose clucking “was so placed that it transforms into the guitar on the following track, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)’” (Wikipedia).  Huh.

Wikipedia also tells me the mono and stereo versions of “Good Morning” vary “due to a lengthier fadeout of animal noise.” There’s not a huge difference, but I’m posting both versions because of how different the mono and stereo panning strikes me on this track. I don’t usually find it that prominent but this was like a slap in the face.

Mono

Stereo

 

Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Morning,_Good_Morning

http://www.beatlesbible.com/songs/good-morning-good-morning/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sounds_Incorporated

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