'Goodbye' is a song written by Paul McCartney in the Apple Records era for Mary Hopkin to record. I assume it was written around the time of The White Album and the fact that it wasn't added to that or any Beatles album thereafter is crazy. Hopkin's version is a little over produced for my taste and has a definite element of cheese to it. I've always preferred McCartney's demo version so that's what I modelled my cover after.
I love McCartney's acoustic finger picking tunes. His "pluck-flick" style on 'Goodbye', 'Blackbird', 'Mother Nature's Son', 'Heart Of The Country', 'Calico Skies', 'Hey Diddle' and countless others always feels like someone just tossed him a guitar and he started fuckin' around with it. I like how it's a little bit messy but, at the same time, rhythmic and full of melody. This video of him recording 'Blackbird' is how I imagine he recorded every one of these "pluck-flick" tunes:
McCartney's acoustic guitar songs from about '68 -'73 are phenomenal. There's a fun confidence to them and, atleast in the last year or so, I've been really into the idea of catching performances in the studio like he does with this style of song. I like the idea of sacrificing some cleanliness on a recording, getting a really lively and natural take of a vocal and guitar, and then building around that. It's not always feasible to do but I think you can tell the difference in the vocals when you do. Singing without playing your instrument can be a pretty odd thing to do. I find that vocal takes I've done while playing piano or guitar have had a bit more character to them.
For this recording I tried something I hadn't done in a long time; tracked without using a click. I've been trying to be as 'pro' as possible the last few years when it comes to recording but I've been feeling less and less convinced about click tracks. I still plan on using them when I have to in the future (mostly because of the nature in which Mike and I have to record things) but there's a certain groove that's present on iPhone demo's that's undeniable. For this song I did a couple of tracks of acoustic guitar, one D.I. bass track with my Epiphone Viola Bass, a couple of vocal takes that I layered onto one another, and a couple of harmony vocals. The vocal tracks were tricky to get right because they were so high. The demo McCartney did is basically a blueprint for Mary Hopkin so he's singing in her register. After struggling through the vocals I got Mike to send me a track of him playing just the kick drum and I added that in along with a tambourine track and a 'shaker' track (I used a mason jar full of popcorn kernels). I videotaped the vocal and guitar takes with my iPhone and used them in the final video.
I hope you like it!