Mistakes in recorded songs you'e heard a million times

Ok, I’m sure this topic has been covered before, but nothing like it is popping up on “Your topic is similar to…” so here goes.

I finally left my house and braved going out to get a haircut this morning. While there, Journey’s “Wheel in the Sky” played in the background. I’m not a huge Journey fan, but it’s a song I’ve heard a million times on FM radio. Every time I’ve heard the song I swear in the first line “Winter is here again, oh lord” it sounds like Steve Perry is slurring the ‘is’ like he’s drunk or something: “Winter ish here…”. I’m surprised that take made it to the record.

I’m sure there are a ton of other examples. I know there’s a Beatles song where, if you turn it up you can hear one of them (probably John) say ‘fuck’. It’s not noticeable at all until it’s pointed out, then you can’t NOT hear it. I don’t remember the specific song though.

Electric Light Orchestra’s song “Rockaria!” features an opera singer (Mary Thomas) singing several operatic runs. The song starts with her beginning to sing, stopping, saying “oops,” and then beginning again – during a take, she’d started to sing too early, but Jeff Lynne liked it, and kept the mistake in the final mix.

You can here it here, at the very beginning of the track:

Paul played a really bad chord on the piano in, “Let It Be,” and I don’t know why no one fixed it at the time (or since); Aughhhhh!

There’s a mistake in your title; well played!

In the Mamas and the Papas, “I Saw Her Again Last Night,” someone (Denny?) comes in too early on one verse, saying “I saw her” and falling silent until the voices are supposed to come in. They liked the sound and kept it on the record.

One of the most obvious to me has always been in The Mamas & The Papas’ “I Saw Her Again,” when Denny Doherty comes in a measure too early on the third chorus, stops, and then starts again at the right time.

There’s a similar false start after the instrumental break in The Kingsmen’s version of “Louie, Louie.”

Well, there’s always the stereo mix of “Please Please Me,” wherein John sings the wrong line in the final verse of the song. Given that the stereo mix was of Takes 16, 17 & 18, the flub was a deliberate choice by George Martin.

Which doesn’t sound at all like something Sir George would do…

I still remember being excited to hear Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks album. After THEM and “Brown Eyed Girl” all over the airwaves, Van had concocted an introspective album. And Slim Slo Slider was the quietest track I’d heard from him. I was totally enraptured by just his voice and an upright bass… in the zone… until I heard him turn a page.

(Lyrics, I’d assume.)

In Nirvana’s “Polly” there’s one verse where Kurt Cobain sings “Polly said…” and then stops. Was this intentional or did he come in too early and catch himself?

Why yes, of course that was totally intentional… :smirk:

I don’t know if it’s a glitch or done on purpose or just a crack in Eric’s voice, but in Layla there’s a spot where it sounds like, well, his voice cracked or they cut two things together (right in the middle of a word). I can hear it every time I listen to it and it always bugs me.
I tell myself his voice simply cracked and they otherwise liked that take too much to redo it.

No exactly what the OP is asking, but as a kid I had a copy of a best of Bob Dylan compilation I’d recorded to tape from an LP, but I’d managed to record an obvious skip. I listened to that tape a lot on my walkman, so to this day I expect Rainy Day Women ♯12 & 35 to have skip around the 30 second mark.

Just take my word for it: On the soundtrack of, “Carrie,” (1976), one of the songs has a nice, short flute solo – WHERE YOU CAN HEAR EACH AND EVERY INHALE! Plus, the first note squeaks.

Famously the FBI were desperate to find a reason to ban Louie Louie by the Kingsmen, dissecting (or trying to) the lyric for obscenity, drug references etc.

The FBI started a 31-month investigation into the matter and concluded they were “unable to interpret any of the wording in the record.”

- The curious thing about that being that the drummer, having messed up a fill, audibly shouts Fuck! - which made it into the final recording and presumably was plenty enough to have the record banned.

It’s at 0.56 of this:

According to the wiki, there are also other mistakes.


Hmm….I was going to post the line from Killer Queen where Freddie sings, “MeSticulous and precise”, but I see in looking at the lyric sites that it’s “Fastidious and precise”. I’ll have to try and hear that next time.

Heh. I’ve always heard that as “mysterious”. The more you know.

Not a Jethro Tull fan, I take it.

Referring to the emphasized words: This is what Google reports for the lyrics and it sounds somewhat like what I hear. Really sounds like he started singing different lyrics and then corrected himself.

He repeats it in the unplugged version, but it may have originally been a mistake he liked (in the studio recording) and kept.

In St. Vitus Dance by Black Sabbath, you can hear Tony dragging on the strings between chord changes. Listen between 0:22 and 0:26. (It’s other places as well.) I doubt it was intentional.

In Captain Beefheart’s The Dust Blows Forward 'n the Dust Blows Back one of the lines is

'N uh lipstick Kleenex hug on uh pointed forked twig

He screws up the beginning of this line and sings,

'N uh lip… 'N uh lipstick Kleenex hug on uh pointed forked twig