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Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 23, 1966

The Beatles decided to take a break today. After all, it's the weekend.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 22, 1966

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

A 2:30-11:30 pm session at Abbey Road which resulted in more overdubs onto "Taxman", a cowbell and the "Mister Wilson, Mister Heath" parts, and also a sitar and vocal over-dub onto "Tomorrow Never Knows", still titled "Mark I" at this time.

Also, Brian Epstein Automobiles Limited changes name to Brydor Cars Limited.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 21, 1966

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

George's wonderfully sardonic "Taxman" was virtually completed during a 2:30 pm-12:50 am session, in which the Beatles recorded 11 takes of the rhythm track and then set about overdubbing onto the last of these.

By the end, the song lacked only the final session's spoken count-in, the "Mister Wilson, Mister Health" regrain which extended the fame of Britain's two most prominent politicians right around the world, a cowbell and the distinctive guitar solo outro. (This solo was in fact a copy of the middle-eight piece, edited onto the end of the the song during the final mono and stero mix on June, 21st).

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 20, 1966

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

Two new songs were begun in this 2:30pm to 2:30 am session, although both would be re-made for record release. The lion's share of the 12 hours was devoted to John's "And Your Bird Can Sing", taping two takes and then, considering it complete, producing mono mixes of the "best", take two. However, a re-make was recorded on April 26th.

Four rehearsal rhythm track takes of George's "Taxman" were taped towards the end of the session but recording started fresh the next day.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 19, 1966

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

"Doctor Robert" was completed with vocal overdubs onto take seven and, at the end of the 2:30-12:00 pm session, rough mono mixes.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 18, 1966

There was no recording session scheduled for April, 18, 1966, so John Lennon and George Harrison went to the Marquee Club in London, where they saw The Lovin' Spoonful perform.

Between 1964 and 1988 the Marquee Club was situated at 90 Wardour Street in Soho, London. On this night Harrison met Eric Clapton; the pair would become close friends in subsequent years. They had met once before, during Another Beatles Christmas Show at Hammersmith Odeon in 1964-65.

Afterwards Lennon and Harrison visited a London nightclub in the company of Brian Jones, Spencer Davis, Stevie Winwood and Tom McGuinness.

 

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: April 17, 1966

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

An afternoon evening session, the Beatles recording in seven takes the basic track of John's new composition "Doctor Robert", written about a certain New York doctor who, allegedly, administered hallucinogenic drugs to friends from his Manhattan practice.

(Speaking of Dr. Robert, I think everyone should go on BeatlesRadio.com and take a look. Thanks to our own "Dr. Robert", you can see and hear what a wonderful job he does!)

 

 

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.