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Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 16, 1966

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

Eleven uninterrupted hours, 2:30 pm-1:30 am, completing "Rain", overdubbing tambourine, bass and more vocals, then doing tape-to-tape reductions to add yet more overdubs. Four mono mixes, the third marked "best", were produced at the end of the session. (Rain was first mixed into stereo on December 2, 1969)

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 15, 1966

Paperback Writer was an attempt by McCartney to write a song based on a single chord - possibly influenced by Indian music, but most likely a result of their marijuana use; other songs from this period, notably The Word, If I Needed Someone and Tomorrow Never Knows, were similarly modelled.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 14, 1966

Studio Three, EMI Studios, London

"Paperback Writer" was completed between 2:30 and 7:30 pm, with numerous overdubs onto the previous night's take two, including Paul's lead and John and George's novel "Frere Jacques" backing vocal, evoking schoolboy memories of French lessons. The finished recording was mixed into mono.

At 8:30 pm, after a 30 minute pause, recording began of "Rain", to be the B-side of "Paperback Writer" when issued in June. Like many of the Revolver era recordings, "Rain"  was full of all of the latest technological advancements: limiters, compressors, jangle boxes, Leslie speakers, ADT, tapes played backwards, machines deliberately running faster or slower than usual, and vari-speed vocals.

By the end of the session, at 1:30 am, the Beatles had made five passes at completing a rhythm and vocal track. The song would be taken through to completion in the next session.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 13, 1966

Studio Three, EMI Studios, London

Two distinct sessions this day. From 2:30 to 6:30 pm, George's "Granny Smith" (Love You To) was completed with the reduction of take six into take seven and subsequent overdubs of a new Harrison lead vocal, Ringo's tambourine and an occasional harmony vocal from Paul (omitted during mixing). Deemed complete, three mono mixes and various edits were made before the 6:30 conclusion.

Independent of the album, Revolver, which would be issued in August, the Beatles released a new single on Friday, June 10, with two songs from these current sessions. Recording of the A-side, Paul's "Paperback Writer", began at 8:00 pm this evening, concluding, for the present, at 2:30 am. In this time, two takes of the rhythm track were made, only the second being complete. Marked "best" it served as the platform onto which April 14th overdubs were recorded.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 12, 1966

The Beatles in-between sessions at EMI Studios in London

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 11, 1966

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

After overdubbing guitars onto "Got To Get You Into My Life", the initial session of the day, 2:30 to 7:00 pm, saw George begin the recording of "Love You To", his first Indian-flavored composition. (It was untitled at first and then assumed the working title "Granny Smith", after the apple, only becoming "Love You To" near the album's release date).

The recording grew progressively more complex with each of the six takes, the first three being taped during the afternoon, the next three from 8:00 pm to 12:45 am. The sixth was marked "best" and included George's acoustic guitar and guide vocal, Paul's bass, and overdubs of sitar and tabla. Anil Bhagwat was credited on the Revolver sleeve as the tabla player, but there was no credit for the sitar player.  This may have been George himself, although newly discovered session documentation suggest that, like Bhagwat, someone from the Asian Music Circle in north London - founded by a friend of George's, Ayana Deva Angadi - was recruited for the part.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 10, 1966

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 9, 1966

Recording Revolver

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 8, 1966

Studio Three, EMI Studios, London

Working from 2:30 to 9:00 pm, the Beatles recorded three more takes of "Got To Get You Into My Life", perfecting the rhytm track. The eighth was deemed "best", later to be overdubbed with vocals, guitar and the song's distinctive brass passages.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 7, 1966

Studio Three, EMI Studios, London

While the afternoon from 2:30 to 7:15 was spent overlaying many of the aforementioned effects onto take three of "Tomorrow Never Knows", the evening session, from 8:15 to 1:30 am, saw the Beatles start work on Paul's superb Tamla Motown-inspired "Got To Get You Into My Life", recording five takes.

The song changed a great deal before it ended up on Revolver with recording taking place sporadically until June 17th.