Beatles 50th Blog posts of '2017' 'March'

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 3, 1967

Recording, mixing: Within You Without You

The last song to be completed for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album was Within You Without You.

Eight violins and three cellos were recorded onto track three, after which Harrison - the only member of The Beatles in attendance - overdubbed his lead vocals, as well as some extra sitar, onto track four. The recording took place in Studio One, and ended at 3am the following morning.

The violinists were Erich Gruenberg, Alan Loveday, Julien Gaillard, Paul Scherman, Ralph Elman, David Wolfsthal, Jack Rothstein and Jack Greene, and the cellists were Reginald Kilbey, Allen Ford and Peter Beavan. Each was paid the standard Musicians' Union rate of £9, apart from Gruenberg, the leader of the ensemble, who was paid £11.

The strings were conducted by George Martin, who had prepared a score based on Harrison's ideas. The parts were recorded numerous times, each wiping the previous attempt, before all were satisfied with the results.

When Within You Without You was first recorded on March 15, 1967, the song was referred to as having three parts, although it was recorded as one. The numbering of the parts continued through to this session and the next, with part one mixed separately from two and three.

Mono mixing of Within You Without You began during this session, but the results remained unused. Part one was mixed three times; parts two and three were mixed twice.

The mixing session took place in the control room of Studio Two, from 3-6.30am in the morning of April 4, 1967.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 2, 1967

The Beatles are in-between recording

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 1, 1967

Recording, mixing: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

Studio One, EMI Studios, Abbey Road

The final song to be begun for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album was a reprise of the title track. It was recorded in a single session on this day.

The session took place at EMI's enormous Studio One at Abbey Road, between 7pm and 6am the following morning. Nine takes were recorded; an unused attempt, take five, was included on 1996's Anthology 2.

Each member of The Beatles playing their conventional instruments, as a group, for perhaps the only occasion on the album. Paul McCartney sang a guide vocal part, and George Martin joined them on organ.

McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison overdubbed vocals onto track three of take nine, and maracas and tambourine were added to track four.

Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) was the only Sgt Pepper song not to be given a reduction mix; the four tracks were filled with the initial instruments, the overdubs were added, then it was ready to be mixed for the album.

Nine mono mixes of take nine were made during this session, the last of which was used on the album. Artificial double tracking was applied to the vocals, and some of the crowd noises prepared on March 6, 1967 were added.


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 31, 1967

Studio Two, EMI Studios, in London

"With A Little Help From My Friend" and "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!" were mixed into mono during this 7:00 pm - 3:00 am session, the latter only after overdubbing of another organ part and a glockenspiel.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 30, 1967

Studio Two, EMI Studios, in London

Before the 11:00 pm to 7:30 am session. the Beatles went to Chelsea Manor studios in Flood Street, Chelsea, to pose for the splendid Michael Cooper shots which would adorn Peter Blakes sleeve design, and also the inside gatefold display, of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. A trend-setting photo session indeed.

On reaching EMI, the group settled straight back into "With A Little Help From My Friends", completing the recording by overdubbing guitars, bass, tambourine and backing vocals.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 29, 1967

Recording: Good Morning Good Morning, Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!

With A Little Help From My Friends

The sound effects for Good Morning Good Morning, assembled on the previous day, were added to the song during this session.

The effects were dubbed onto the vocal track of the tape. After this the song was complete, and it was mixed in mono and stereo on April 6, 1967.

Another set of sound effects, for Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!, had been created on February 20th. During this session they were added to track three. The song was completed with additional organ and glockenspiel on March 31st.

The Beatles began a new song on this evening. With A Little Help From My Friends was written for Ringo Starr to sing, and was known during this session only as Bad Finger Boogie.

From the beginning it was intended that the song would segue from the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band title track, and recording began with the "Billy Shears" line.

The Beatles began by recording the rhythm track in 10 takes, the last of which was the best. It had Paul McCartney on piano on track one, George Harrison's rhythm guitar on two, Starr's drums and cowbell played by John Lennon on three, and George Martin playing organ on track four.

A reduction mix, numbered take 11, made free some space on the tape for further overdubs. Starr then added his lead vocals to tracks three and four, with backing vocals by Lennon, McCartney and Harrison. This session ended at 5.45am, and recording for the song was completed on the following day.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 28, 1967

Recording: Good Morning Good Morning, Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!

John Lennon recorded a second lead vocal for Good Morning Good Morning on this evening, following a first attempt on February 16, 1967. Lennon harmonized with himself during parts of the song.

A second reduction mix combined the two vocal tracks and created space for further overdubs. Backing vocals, by Lennon and Paul McCartney, were the first to be added, and included the song's title being sung in German at one point. Also taped was a guitar solo, played by McCartney.

Lennon had decided to adorn the song with an array of animal sounds. He wished for it to begin with a rooster's crow, and to end with a range of different creatures. The order of these was carefully considered.

John said to me during one of the breaks that he wanted to have the sound of animals escaping and that each successive animal should be capable of frightening or devouring its predecessor! So those are not just random effects, there was actually a lot of thought put into all that.
Geoff Emerick
The effects begin with birds twittering, followed by a miaowing cat, dogs barking, horses neighing, sheep bleating, tigers roaring, an elephant trumpeting, a fox being chased by a hunt - with some sheep and cows added - a pig grunting and a hen clucking.

The effects were taken from the Abbey Road tape library. Volume 57: Fox-hunt was used for the chase, and all others were taken from the curiously-titled Volume 35: Animals and Bees. The sequences were assembled on this and the following day.

This particular session ended at 4.45am. Before it did, however, another Sgt Pepper song - Being For the Benefit Of Mr. Kite! - received further overdubs. These all went on to the vacant third track of the four-track tape.

For the first half of the song, John Lennon played organ while George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans played harmonicas, and George Martin played a Mellotron.

During the waltz in the middle, a tambourine was added, Paul McCartney played a guitar, Lennon added an organ part, and George Martin added a second organ part of descending notes. These were taped with the machine running at half speed, making them sound much higher and faster upon playback.

Work on Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite! continued on March 29th and March 31st 1967.

Source: The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 27, 1967

The Beatles are taking a small break from recording today

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 26, 1967

The Beatles in-between recording at EMI Studios in London

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: March 25, 1967

Top 10 Song Chart for March 25, 1967

1. Penny Lane - The Beatles

2. Happy Together - The Turtles

3. Dedicated To The One I Love - The Mamas and the Papas

4. I've Been Lonely Too Long - The Young Rascals

5. There's A Kind Of Hush - Herman's Hermits

6. Love Is Here And Now You're Gone - Diana Ross & The Supremes

7. Ruby Tuesday - The Rolling Stones

8. Kind Of A Drag - The Buckinghams

9. California Nights - Lesley Gore

10. Bernadette - The Four Tops