Within You Without You [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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05-05-2007, 10:43 PM
Haven't thought much about this song in decades, when I was a kid it was the one I never wanted to sit through. Over time it seemed more interesting, but my listens of Sgt. Pepper have declined, for the most part, over the past couple of decades especially. Now, two very decent versions within the past few months, a re-working and what I guess I'd call a re-structuring.

First, the version on the Love album, where the drum part from Tomorrow Never Knows is mashed with the Harrison tune, which is probably my favorite moment on that whole record. Outstanding. Overall I liked Love, but some moments sure worked better than others. None more so than that so far as I could see. Some of it is quite weak, not that this justifies some of the knee-jerk musical Luddite-ism that spurred some to put down the project for what it represents, rather than what the end product actually is.

Then there's the Patti Smith covers album, which I'm not thrilled with, but she took a stab at this as well. I wasn't sure what to expect of the rec in general after I recently saw the clip of her singing 'You Light Up My Life' on that children's show or whatever the heck it was. Horses is the only must-listen that I hear in her catalog, and I've missed the past several records, though I am reconsidering checking some of them out. This rec? Hit or miss. Not sure why some of these songs were chosen--White Rabbit? Everybody Wants to Rule The World? Surely there were and are more interesting, less predictable choices that could've made the cut, but what's the difference. The gimmick of a covers album has long since worn thin, even if the Matthew Sweet/Susanna Hoffs rec was decent, and the Meet The Smithereens! is actually quite good.

Anyway, her take on Within You Without You stood out, on a decent effort but one that might've worked out better under different circumstances. But what do I know. I just find it interesting that after all this time, that this song has been breathed new life, a song that, whether deserved or not, was probably the least favorite of many people for many years.

05-07-2007, 10:06 AM
I always liked "Within You Without You" and "Love You To", but I suppose I'm coming at it from a different perspective.

Resident Loser
05-07-2007, 10:56 AM
...contains ideas foreign to western ears and minds...

On one hand there are the lyrics which quite firmly put you into true pespective with the world, quite the antithesis of the typical western (or at least American) mindset...

Then there's the music...quite at odds with the Beatles, the rest of the album and most, again western, music...Much more like classical Indian...odd time measures and phrasing, micro-tonal pitch changes of individual notes (as opposed to simple vibrato) and sympathetic drone strings (as opposed to the continuo in western classical)...Then there's the couterpoint provided by the percussion instruments.

And then, of course, there is the multiplicity of meanings of the word "without" in the title and lyric...Most understand it to mean simply a state of "not having" or something similar. It can also mean the state of "not being" or someone else's not being there and it also means from the outside or "from without"...Essentially things happen inside you...things happen outside of you, quite often in spite of you...things happen regardless of your presence...things happen if another person connected to you is absent...In the grand scheme of things you're really only very small and...

jimHJJ(...well, you get my drift...)

05-07-2007, 11:15 AM
The thing is that this is an album that for me, like many others, it was one of the first rock albums I was really exposed to, and at a young age, you don't necessarily want to sit through that tune & devote any attention towards interpreting it when you've just got this record that everybody said is the best rock album ever.

The re-workings are welcome; but the Love mashup has become one of my favorite Beatles songs, and that's saying something.

RL, I never got back to you on that other thread, but I have something in mind I'll try to send you a PM on. You know, about that 'current crop' and all that.

Resident Loser
05-08-2007, 05:08 AM
...it's the POV thing...

In '67 I was in a working band and our bassist was part "Beatlemaniac" who was also into odd things musical...he built his own theremin and owned things like an Autoharp...Due to his diverse interests he was familiar with the sitar, etc., Ravi Shankar and the connection with George Harrison prior to Pepper's release, and had gleaned some rudimentary knowledge of Indian classical music along the way...but then, he also waxed euphoric over the "songs" of the humpbacked whales and was a big fan of Ray Charles, John Mayall and the original Blood Sweat And Tears album (sans David Clayton Thomas); as noted, diverse.

He was really into the album on any number of levels, but for him, Pepper seemed more of a turning point than a definitive "rock" album, and as the album cover indicates, pretty much killing off of the earlier incarnation of matching suits and pop music, going further off into the genre of "Beatles music" where you could never be sure of what direction it might take.


05-08-2007, 06:40 AM
Like MGH, Sgt Pepper was one of the first rock albums I was subjected to and this track never connected with me the way the rest of the record did. It's important to understand that my mom was obsessed with Indian music at the time, playing it constantly. My brotyher and I called it her "Tibetan Ding-Dong Music", it drove us nuts. WYaWY was too similar to this stuff for us.

I much prefer the Indian influence in some of their other songs like "She Said, She Said" where it's less obvious, more hybridized. SSSS only sounds half Hindu, not 90% Hindu.

I recently heard Love and wow, was I underwhelmed. I don't like the mashup quality of it and the whole thing feels disjointed and Muzak-y. No way, gimme the original songs 100% of the time.