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Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 6, 1966

Studio Three, EMI Studios, London

Tape copying and mono mixing of "And Your Bird Can Sing", "For No One", "I'm Only Sleeping" and "Tomorrow Never Knows", done from 7:00 to 12:00 pm, and one final vocal overdub by Paul onto "Eleanor Rigby", midnight to 1:30 am.

 

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 5, 1966

--On tape (Ed Sullivan Show) The Beatles perform "Rain" & "Paperback Writer" (segment begins with intro by the Beatles).

 

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 4, 1966

 

 

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 3, 1966

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

The final overdub onto what would be titled "I Want To Tell You" was of Paul's bass guitar. (Recording the bass separately onto a vacant track of the four-track tape allowed greater manipulation of its sound during mixing.) Four mono mixes of this song and five of "Yellow Submarine" concluded this 7:00 pm to 2:30 am session.

 

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

 

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 2, 1966

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

In securing an unprecedented three compositions on a 14 song Beatles album, George was having problems with his titles. What was in the end to become "Love You To", itself a title not mentioned in the lyric, had the working name "Granny Smith", after the brand of apple. Now, for the song "I Want To Tell You", the problem arose again. George Martin asked George Harrison for the title, the latter replied "I don't know" (because of which, it was actually called this for a brief time) and it was left to Geoff Emerick to dub the new son "Laxton's Superb", another type of British apple. Only later did it become "I Want To Tell You".

Apart from the production of a rough mono mix of "Yellow Submarine", all of this 7:00pm - 3:30 am session was spent recording "Laxton's Superb", taping the rhythm track in five takes, overdubbing onto the third of these and then making a reduction mixdown, called take four, to facilitate more overdubbing the next night.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 1, 1966

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

Having recorded the backing track on May 26, 1966, The Beatles and friends added sound effects and backing vocals for Yellow Submarine on this day.

Two tracks were remaining on the tape, and The Beatles raided the trap room at Abbey Road to find suitable instruments and effects. Onto the first the following sounds were added, in rough order of appearance:

  • John Lennon blowing bubbles into water using a straw
  • George Harrison swirling water in a metal bathtub
  • Two ships' bells being rung
  • A noisemaker being rattled
  • Low-level voices for a party atmosphere
  • An ocarina, played by The Rolling Stones' Brian Jones (heard during the third verse)
  • A propeller being wound and put into water
  • Coins being scattered
  • A foghorn
  • The final singalong

The fourth track contained similar effects, again in the order in which they appear:

  • Chains being rattled in the bathtub
  • Clinking glasses
  • More party chatter
  • A brass band
  • Lennon, recorded in the studio echo chamber, shouting naval phrases into a microphone connected to his Vox guitar amplifier
  • Whooshing sound effects
  • Lennon's "life of ease" vocals
  • A marching band drum played by Mal Evans

The brass band was made up of session musicians booked especially for the session, although their names remain unknown. The final chorus, meanwhile, was sung by anyone on hand in the studio, including Mal Evans, Neil Aspinall,  George Martin, Geoff Emerick, Pattie Harrison, Brian Jones, Marianne Faithfull and The Beatles' chauffeur Alf Bicknell.

Ringo Starr also recorded an unused introduction, a brief spoken word passage accompanied in part by the other Beatles:

...yellow submarine. And we will march till three the day to see them gathered there. From Land O'Groats to John O'Green, with Stepney do we tread. To see us yellow submarine. We love it.

The words were in reference to Land's End and John O'Groats, the southernmost and northernmost parts of the United Kingdom. Underneath the vocals was the sound of a box of coal being shaken, in an approximation of marching feet.

This spoken passage was left out of the Revolver mixes, but was included on the Real Love single in 1996. The new mix created for the single also brought many of the effects to the fore.

 

Source: The Beatles Bible

 

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 31, 1966

During a short break in the sessions for Revolver, Ringo Starr took part in a photoshoot for The Beatles Book magazine.

The session was conducted by Leslie Bryce, the staff photographer from the magazine. It took place at Sunny Heights, Starr's home in Weybridge.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 30, 1966

The Beatles' unprecedented sonic experimentation on their 1966 album Revolver make it one rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest albums. But ironically, one of the album’s greatest innovations happened on a B-side that came out before the final album.

Backward guitar and sitar solos appear throughout Revolver, which is credited as the first popularized use of “backmasking”, the intentional recording of a track in reverse. But songs like “Love You To” and “Tomorrow Never Knows” were not the first songs the band recorded backward.

The real birth of the Beatles’ backmasking came in the form of John Lennon's reversed vocals during the outro of “Rain”, the B-side to lead single “Paperback Writer” that came out in the U.S. on May 30, 1966.

It was not the first time anyone had tried recording backwards – it had been available since the early days of Edison’s phonograph and avant-garde composers experimented with it as early as the 1950s. But the Beatles are universally credited with bringing the technique to the mainstream.

And, like so many other musical miracles, it happened by accident.

 

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 29, 1966

The Beatles enjoying a small break.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: May 28, 1966

The Beatles spend time with Bob Dylan in his room at the Mayfair Hotel in London.