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anatomy of a sketch


Very often, the working sketch delivers more of interest than the finished article; certainly, it reveals more on the mechanics of the creative process and the thinking from concept to final delivery. It is the same in music. In many cases, the very polish of post-production may detract from the rudimentary vitality of the demo or live performance. The definitive \’end product\’ may disappoint precisely because it tries too hard.

The choice of producer is often key; as is the faith an artist places on his own editorial capability. Phil Spector is an obvious candidate in support of this argument. Lennon vetoed the democratic process and ran off with the master tapes for the album which was to be released as \”Let it Be\”. His trust in Spector was implicit and impulsive in equal measure, in spite or because of the artistic integrity allowed George Martin for the better part of a decade. Moreover, it was Lennon\’s intent to close McCartney down and usurp the authority of partnership.

Similarly, Leonard Cohen made the decision to \”collaborate\” with Spector on \”Death of a Ladies Man\” and repented at his leisure as he witnessed the legendary Sam Peckinpah of the recording studio hijack his project entirely.

Of course, the demand for more insight on the part of the \’consumer\’ presents a rich seam to be mined retrospectively by the Recording Industry; the opportunity to generate still more profit without investing in the standard – and escalating – costs of delivering \’product\’ from scratch.


And then again, I could wax on about this song\’s origins; but like somebody once said… let sleeping dogs lie.

THE BEATLES: GET BACK from \”Let It Be\” LP (Apple) 1970 (UK) THE BEATLES: GET BACK from \”Let It Be… Naked\” LP/CD (Apple) 1969/2003 (UK) PURCHASE PHIL SPECTOR\’S LET IT BE PURCHASE LET IT BE… NAKED (2003)

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