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Beatles 50th Blog

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.

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.