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Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 9, 1967

John Lennon poses in a still from the film How I Won the War on the cover of the first issue of Rolling Stone. Lennon would go on to grace the cover two more times within the first ten issues on his way to becoming one of the most featured people on the cover of Rolling Stone.

Read the John Lennon issue of Rolling Stone from November 9, 1967. (Wish we had it) If anyone does, please let us know!

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 8, 1967

The Beatles enjoying a break between recording.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 7, 1967

Recording, mixing, editing: Blue Jay Way, Flying, Magical Mystery Tour

Studios One and Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Ken Scott, Geoff Emerick

This busy day saw two separate sessions booked at different studios at Abbey Road, mainly for mixing of songs from the Magical Mystery Tour soundtrack.

The first session took place in the control room of Studio Two, between 2.30pm and 5.45pm. Blue Jay Way was the first song to be tackled, and was mixed in stereo in two atttempts. These were known as remix mono 1 and 2.

This was followed by a single stereo mix of Flying, and edits of both songs. The balance engineer for this first session was Ken Scott.

Scott was not involved in the second session, which was held in Studio One from 9pm to 4.30am; the engineer was Geoff Emerick. It began with nine mono mixes of Blue Jay Way, numbered 20-28, followed by three more stereo mixes, numbered 10-12. The best of these - mono mix 27 and stereo mix 12 - were then edited, and became the master versions.

The third song to be mixed was Magical Mystery Tour. Two stereo mixes were made, and two overdubs were simultaneously added. During the editing of the film, John Lennon had added a spoken introduction: "Roll up, roll up for the Magical Mystery Tour! Step right this way! Hurry, hurry, hurry!" It was decided that this should be added to the record release too.

The fourth stereo mix made during the November 6, 1967 session was copied onto a new take, and Paul McCartney simultaneously recreated Lennon's spiel, although he left out the "Hurry, hurry, hurry!" section.

A tape loop of traffic noise, assembled back on April 25th, was also added. Two stereo mixes, numbered 5 and 6, were then made of Magical Mystery Tour, followed by three, numbered 8-10, in mono.

The session ended with copies of I Am The Walrus, Your Mother Should Know, Flying, Magical Mystery Tour, Blue Jay Way, The Fool On The Hill and Strawberry Fields Forever being made for Capitol Records' representative Voyle Gilmore, who took them back to the United States for release.

 

 

 

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 6, 1967

Mixing, editing: Hello, Goodbye, I Am The Walrus, Your Mother Should Know, Magical Mystery Tour

Studio Three (control room), EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick

Stereo mixes of four Magical Mystery Tour songs were made in customarily swift fashion during this session, which lasted from 2.30-6pm.

The first task was the creation of two mixes of Hello, Goodbye, the second of which was used as the master version.

The song's b-side, I Am The Walrus, was the next to be tackled, and was mixed in seven attempts. As the King Lear radio feed had been incorporated directly into the mono mix rather than the multitrack tape, this necessitated some studio trickery. The first half of the stereo master was made of stereo mix six, and from the 2'03" onwards it switched to a fake stereo version of mono mix 22, made on 29 September 1967.

Fake stereo involved slashing the treble from one channel and the bass from another, and was the best that could be achieved in the circumstances. The edit was made towards the end of the session.

Your Mother Should Know was the third song to be mixed, and took two attempts. It was followed by four of the Magical Mystery Tour title track. These were judged to be unsatisfactory, however, and further recording took place on November 7th.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 5, 1967

The Beatles are in-between recordings today.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 4, 1967

The Beatles are in-between recordings today.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 3, 1967

"Sunny Heights", South Rd. St. George's Hill

Weybridge, Surrey

The filming of Magical Mystery Tour was completed this day with inserts for George's "Blue Jay Way" sequence (otherwise shot at West Malling) done at Ringo's country house in Weybridge, 19 miles south-west of London.

Principally, the Beatles filmed in Ringo's spacious back garden, each of them pretending to play a lovely white cello. (When the West Malling filming was done, Sept. 19 through Sept. 24th, the recording did not feature cello, the instrument was overdubbed at EMI on October 6th - hence the need for additional shooting now).

When it was John's turn, the others rushed into the picture fooling around with a football. George was also filmed running down some garden steps, and the cello - without a player - was filmed in front of plopping and fizzing fireworks (easily obtained this time of year with Guy Fawkes night only 48 hours away). A number of children were also filmed playing around in the garden. Moving inside the house, a topless Mal Evans was filmed with George's West Malling "Blue Jay Way" sequence projected onto his chest, and then various Beatles were filmed watching "Blue Jay Way" on a screen. John doing so while bobbing to and fro on a rockinghorse (the possession of Ringo's two year old son Zak).

BBC Television bought Magical Mystery Tour for two screenings, the first in black and white on BBC1 (Tuesday, December 26th 1967, Boxing Day) the second on the color channel BBC2, not yet available to all Britons. Additionally, Top Of The Pops twice broadcast short MMT extracts to accompany music performances "The Fool On the Hill" on Thursday, December 28 and then mute footage to accompany the playing of "Hello, Goodbye" on Thursday, January 11th.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicles

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 2, 1967

Recording, mixing: Hello, Goodbye

Studio Three, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Ken Scott

Hello, Goodbye received its final overdub on this day: a second bass guitar part played by Paul McCartney.

The song was then mixed in mono in six attempts, the last of which was considered the best and became the master version.

The stereo mix of Hello, Goodbye was made on 6 November 1967.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: November 1, 1967

The Beatles are taking a break today.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 31, 1967

Filming: Magical Mystery Tour

Paul McCartney, Mal Evans and cameraman Aubrey Dewar were woken at 3.30am by a taxi driver, who had been hired to take them to locations in Nice where they could film a sequence for The Fool On The Hill for Magical Mystery Tour.
We just asked the local taxi driver, 'Where is a good place to see the sunrise from?' Nice was fairly easily accessible. It had good mountain scenery and I figured we might get a good clear sunrise down there. It was the right time of the year. We all piled in the taxi and drove up into the mountains behind Nice. It took us about an hour and sunrise was in about half an hour. We unpacked the stuff from the boot, loaded up his camera, set up the tripod where we knew the sun would rise, and waited in the freezing cold. I had a big long black coat on and we just waited until the the sun arose. And I just danced around and he filmed it.

I just ad-libbed the whole thing. I went, 'Right, get over there: Let me dance. Let me jump from this rock to this rock. Get a lot of the sun rising. Get a perfect shot and let me stand in front of it.' I just had a little Philips cassette to mime to and roughly get the feeling of the song. There was no clapper because there was no sound. Just my cassette. I said, 'We'll lay in the sound of "Fool on the Hill" afterwards.' I'm miming sometimes, but of course it should be in synch, that's what clappers are for. I didn't know these small technicalities, and also I wasn't that interested in being that precise.

We stayed until the sun went down. As the day went on, the light got worse. It got to be harsh daylight, so we got less material in the daytime. We basically used all the dawn stuff. And that was it. It was very spontaneous, as was the whole of Magical Mystery Tour. Later, when we came to try to edit it all, it was very difficult because I hadn't sung it to synch.

We shouldn't have really had just one cameraman, it was anti-union. That was another reason to go to France. The unions wouldn't have allowed it in Britain, nor probably in France, but they didn't know we were doing it. It was just the four of us; there was none of this grips, best boy, gaffer, none of that. In fact, our biggest danger was that the film didn't conform with one union rule.