A: Although billed as a concert from the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, the songs included on “Under a Blood Red Sky” were actually recorded between May-August 1983 at three different venues: Boston, Denver and St. Goarshausen, Germany. The accompanying film, however, is entirely from the Red Rocks concert.
The specific incident you cite — the intentional editing of about 27 seconds from the middle of “The Electric Co.” — has to do with an unintentional copyright infringement. On the original vinyl album, as the band falls quiet, Bono sings to the crowd to the tune of Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” from the musical, “A Little Night Music.”
When the vinyl album was released, the band did not get formal permission to use the tune or pay the appropriate licensing and royalty fees. Sondheim asserted his rights and the band had to pay a $50,000 fine for using the tune without permission. The band also agreed to excise the clip from all future versions of the album.
Q: Although I have heard the song many times, I think I noticed a mistake at the end of the Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.” Is the line “Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face” supposed to be “Molly stays at home and does her pretty face”?
A: “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” was recorded in July 1968 and, depending on who you ask, is one of the Beatles’ most-loved and least-loved songs. Although many music writers assume that the song would have been a huge hit if it had been released as a single, today, many people adamantly dislike the song.
In a BBC poll in late 2004, the song was voted the worst song ever (maybe it was the goofed-up lyrics that you mention). As you stated, when Paul McCartney sang the last lines of the song, he mistakenly reversed the names Molly and Desmond. He sang the correct lyrics halfway through the song: “Happy ever after in the market place, Desmond lets the children lend a hand, Molly stays at home and does her pretty face, And in the evening she still sings it with the band.”
At the end of the song, it is Desmond who “does his pretty face.” The mistake becomes more noticeable when McCartney sings the next line correctly: “And in the evening she’s a singer with the band.” When the mistake was discovered, the Beatles liked the way it sounded and left it in.