Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 24, 1967

The Beatles are taking a break from recording

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 23, 1967

The Beatles are in-between recording at EMI Studios

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 22, 1967

The Beatles are in-between recording (EMI Studios)

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 21, 1967

Recording, mixing: Only A Northern Song, Sgt Pepper run-out groove

he final touch was added to the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band during this session: the gibberish sounds which filled the run-out groove of the vinyl record.

First of all, however, 11 mono mixes of George Harrison's Only A Northern Song were made. Two four-track tapes had been filled: one with organ, bass guitar, trumpet, glockenspiel and drums, and another with organ, vocals and other assorted noises.

Two tape machines therefore needed to be synchronised, a process that had previously been used during the recording of A Day In The Life.

Once the mixes were complete, attention returned to Sgt Pepper. The Beatles stood at the studio microphone and babbled nonsense on each track of a two-track tape, which was subsequently cut up and re-edited with some parts reversed.

On 21 April everyone in the studio recorded the run-on spiral for the album, about two seconds’ worth of sound. It was a triple session - three three-hour sessions - which ended around 4am. The Beatles stood around two microphones muttering, singing snatches of songs and yelling for what seemed like hours, with the rest of us standing round them, joining in. Mal carried in cases of Coke and bottles of Scotch. Ringo was out of it. ‘I’m so stoned,’ he said, ‘I think I’m going to fall over!’ As he slowly toppled, Mal [Evans] caught him and popped him neatly in a chair without a murmur. In the control room no one seemed to notice. A loop was made from the tape of the muttering and was mixed, but not without some altercation between John and the tape operator.
Barry Miles
In The Sixties

The album was cut by Harry Moss, and required several attempts before the sound appeared precisely in the run-out groove. The intention was for the sound to loop and be played ad infinitum, preceded by a 15 kilocycle pitch intended for dogs.

I was told by chaps who'd been in the business a long time that cutting things into the run-out grooves was an old idea that they used to do on 78s. Cutting Sgt Pepper was not too difficult except that because we couldn't play the masters I had to wait for white label pressings before I could hear whether or not I'd cut the concentric groove successfully, These were the things which, at the time, I used to swear about! It was George Martin who first asked me to do it. I replied, 'It's gonna be bloody awkward, George, but I'll give it a go!'
Harry Moss
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

Neither the test tone nor the loop of gibberish - known as Edit for LP End on the tape box - was used on the first North American pressings of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was eventually issued as part of the Rarities compilation, with the title Sgt Pepper Inner Groove.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 20, 1967

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) was mixed into stereo in Studio Three between 5:00 and 6:15 PM, then the Beatles arrived at 7:00 for a session in Studio Two which ended at 2:15 AM, recording overdubs onto "Only A Northern Song".

First they returned to take three from February 13th, wiping some existing material and overdubbing bass, a trumpet, and a glockenspiel. Then they advanced to take 11 - itself a reduction mixdown of take three - and added vocals.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 19, 1967

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

Although an April 6th mono mix of "Good Morning Good Morning" had been inserted into the master reel, it did not fit snugly up to the "Sgt. Pepper" reprise. So the former was mixed again in this 7:00 pm to 12:30 am session, RM23 solving the problem by means of merging the final cluck of the sound effect hen at the end of "Good Morning Good Morning" into the similar first guitar note at the beginning of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)".

With Paul now back from the USA, the Beatles had a recording session booked for the next night, picking up "Only A Northern Song" for the first time since February 14th. To remind them of the work done so far, another rough mono mix was made.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 18, 1967

The Beatles are in-between recording at EMI Studios in London.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 17, 1967

Studio Two, EMI Studios in London

Stereo mixing of "Getting Better", "She's Leaving Home", "When I'm Sixty-Four" and "Lovely Rita", done from 7:00 to 10:30 pm. "She's Leaving Home" was mixed into stereo without reference to the speeded-up mono, for this ran 3 mins 26 secs while the stereo, noticeably slower, lasts 3 min 34 secs.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 16, 1967

The Beatles are in-between recording

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 15, 1967

Top 20 Song Chart for April 15, 1967

1. Happy Together - The Turtles

2. This is My Song - Petula Clark

3. Jimmy Mack - Martha and the Vandellas

4. Something Stupid - Frank and Nancy Sinatra

5. A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You - The Monkees

6. I think we're alone now - Tommy James and the Shondells

7. Dedicated to the one I Love - The Mamas & the Papas

8. The Happening - The Supremes

9. Sweet Soul Music - Arthur Conley

10. I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) - Aretha Franklin

11. Bernadette - The Four Tops

12. I've Been Lonely too Long - The Young Rascals

13. Western Union - The Five Americans

14. Don't You Care - The Buckinghams

15. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy) - Harpers Bizarre

16. With This Ring - The Platters

17. Penny Lane - The Beatles

18. Dry Your Eyes - Brenda & The Tabulations

19. Strawberry Fields Forever - The Beatles

20. I'm A Man - Spencer Davis Group