In November Capitol Records released Love, the soundtrack album for the Cirque de Soleil show in Las Vegas that uses remixed Beatles songs as its soundscape. It’s a fascinating album to listen to, presenting new ways of listening to old favorites. Some songs are heavily reworked, with backing vocals, instrumental parts, and the like taken from other places. Other songs are generally the same as we’re familar with. As an example, “Strawberry Fields” is an incredible piece, taking us through the evolution of the song from John’s demo to the finished version. Perhaps I wouldn’t recommend this album to the first-time Beatles listener, but it’s quite listenable.
Something occurred to me this morning, though, and I wanted to check.
“Hey Jude,” the Beatles 1968 anthemic single. It’s little known that at approximately the three minute mark, John Lennon says in the backing vocal, “Oh, fucking hell.” If you don’t believe me, go pull out your CD of Past Masters, Volume 2, and give it a listen. It’s there.
I wondered. Might it be there in the Love version of the song?
It’s not. The Love remix of “Hey Jude” drops a lot. The verse in question where John flubs his backing vocal, comes a full minute earlier into the song. And while Love‘s “Hey Jude” has backing vocals, they’re not as extensive as the 1968 backing vocal.
So, no “Oh, fucking hell” in Love‘s “Hey Jude.” Whether because George Martin didn’t want a backing vocal in the remixed “Hey Jude” or because he didn’t want the expletive, who can say?