The song Bachelor Boy was recorded in 1962 beginning at Abbey Road Studios in London. The creator was Norrie Paramor while Malcolm Addey worked as the engineer for stereo and mono recordings (Richard and Junor 39). Recording was finished on November 16; although, the final mono and stereo solo or album mixes were finished a few days later on November 19. A mix, which was an alternate for the USA market, from the novel recording sessions, was done in 1963.
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The song required 11 recording takes to finish, 9 with the packed band and two extra vocals takes (John 58). Succeeding take numbers were allocated to new mixes of those recordings. The final album release was an amendment of vocals takes 10 and 11 with support as of Take 9 and the alternate blend take 12 (though it was a derivative of the original Take 9).
Even though, the arrangements are fundamentally the same in the entire versions, it is apparent that the Take 10 and 11 version and Take 12 version are similar support track on both editions and the lead singing is totally different. The guide vocals are extremely similar with only minor deviation till the third verse (starting 'As time goes by' ...) where the vocal merge occurs. A much clearer sample showing the variation is at the start of the fourth and final chorus. On the novel recording (becoming Take 12), Cliff hums the first line as 'yeah, I'll be a bachelor boy'. On the newer recording (for Take 10 and 11), he put it as "But until then I'll be a bachelor boy."
Not including the mono stereo deviation and remixes, there are four major takes of Bachelor Boy released over the years. According to Cliffennium, these include Take 12 (a remixed Take 9), an amendment of Takes 10, and 11, an unidentified early take with a fake beginning, and the take used for a movie known as Summer Holiday (1). All editions similarly arranged, but there are some minor variations in lyrics and release.
The Take 10 and 11 versions employ Take 11 up to the third rhyme, where the rest of the song is a tape link from Take 10. At this version, a quick cut back of Cliff starting singing before it is cut off can be heard. The most prominent difference in the rest of the song is the starting line of the fourth chorus. On Take 12, he yells "Yeah" and sings the respite of the line. On Take 10 and 11, he sings it straight as "But til then" dropping yeah. The mysterious early take with a fake start indicate Cliff testing with different poetic delivery, as he appears to flub a few lines and voices somewhat idly.
It is also totally lacking the backing vocals and Hank's lead guitar. There is likelihood that the film edition was recorded in Elstree Studios after the filming of Summer Holiday and is typically the same collection as the Take 10/11 edition. The track was re-recorded for the movie as the music blending at the time prohibited the application of studio-made song from being used in a movie (Meehan 1). The beat and tune are obvious waltz, with its usual 1-2-3 arrangement. Not like most pop songs of the period, it is also totally missing any instrumental or vocal link. There is surely nothing wrong with the song, but its arrangement is unusual for the period, given that it was such a tremendous success.
Lastly is a note concerning the lyrics. It seems that, on the original recordings, Cliff's choruses is "I will be your bachelor boy", but on the movie edition and all subsequent live edition he sings as "I'll be a bachelor boy". Given the background of the song, that a young man is singing to his father is logic that he listens to his father's guidance and says, "I'll be your bachelor boy.