“Because” is a Beatles’ song on their 1969 “Abbey Road” album.
Recorded: 1st, 4th, 5th August, 1969
Studio: EMI, London
Track Duration: 2:45
Record Label: Apple
Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Geoff Emerick, Phil McDonald
John Lennon: triple-tracked harmony vocals (middle register), guitar
Paul McCartney: triple-tracked harmony vocals (high register), bass
George Harrison: triple-tracked harmony vocals (low register), Moog synthesiser
George Martin: Baldwin electric harpsichord
Written by John Lennon but with credit going to the songwriting partnership of Lennon-McCartney, “Because” is a track which comes immediately before the extended medley on side two of The Beatles’ 1969 album, “Abbey Road”.
The prominent three-part vocal harmony includes John Lennon and Paul McCartney together with George Harrison.
In fact, they dubbed their vocals twice over to give the effect of nine voice to complete the choral effect.
“John wrote this tune. The backing is a bit like Beethoven. And three-part harmony right throughout. Paul usually writes the sweeter tunes, and John writes the, sort of, more the rave-up things, or the freakier things. But John’s getting to where he doesn’t want to. He just wants to write twelve-bars. But you can’t deny it, I think this is possibly my favourite one on the album.
The lyrics are so simple. The harmony was pretty difficult to sing. We had to really learn it. But I think that’s one of the tunes that will impress most people. It’s really good.”
The Beatles made good use of the Moog synthesiser on the Abbey Road album with three tracks employing it. “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” features the instrument as well as “Here Comes The Sun“. In fact, these three songs are the only ones in the Beatles’ catalogue to do so. However, the opening intro is a distinctive electric harpsichord piece by George Martin. John Lennon’s guitar also mimics the harpsichord intro.
Lennon says that the track is musical similar to the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Indeed, he was listening to Yoko Ono playing this piece of music one day in 1969.
“Yoko was playing Moonlight Sonata on the piano. She was classically trained. I said, ‘Can you play those chords backward?’ and wrote Because around them. The lyrics speak for themselves; they’re clear. No bullshit. No imagery, no obscure references.”
All We Are Saying, David Sheff
“I wouldn’t mind betting Yoko was in on the writing of that, it’s rather her kind of writing; wind, sky and earth are recurring, it’s straight out of Grapefruit and John was heavily influenced by her at the time.”
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
The Beatles began recording “Because” on the 1st August 1969 in Studio Two of the EMI Studios, London, during the 2.30pm-10.30pm session. There were 32 takes with take 16 being the one most suitable for the master rhythm track. Once they decided upon the best take, they then recorded their harmonious three-part vocal. Likewise, they added more vocals on the 4th August.
On the 5th August, they added George Harrison’s Moog synthesiser piece in order to complete the song. You can find this track before the long medley on side 2 of the”Abbey Road” album. Of course the extended medley starts at track 3 with “You Never Give Me Your Money“.
Meanwhile, on The Beatles mashup mix album, “Love” from 2006, “Because” begins with 9 seconds of bird sounds. Those bird sounds appear throughout the song and since there are no instruments, they compliment the song. Then, the track ends with a reversed final chord from “A Day in the Life“.
Although Ringo Starr doesn’t appear on this song, he did play the regular beat on hi-hat in the studio so the band members and George Martin could keep better timing.