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Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 8, 1969

Photographer, Iain McMillan, balanced on a step-ladder in the middle of Abbey Road, takes photographs of John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison (lined up in that order) walking across the zebra crossing (pedestrian cross-walk) just outside Abbey Road studios. The Beatles cross several times, McMillan taking six shots while a policeman holds up traffic for them. After this, Paul chooses out of the six pictures taken the best one for the LP. Before a scheduled recording session, Paul takes John to his house at Cavendish Avenue, George and Mal go to the London Zoo at Regent’s Park, and Ringo goes shopping.

The Beatles in the recording studio (Studios Two and Three, EMI Studios, London). Recording drums and bass overdubs for The End. Then Ringo Starr adds drums, while John Lennon records an overdub of synthesizer and white-noise onto I Want You (She’s So Heavy). In another studio, Paul McCartney records lead guitar and tambourine overdubs onto Oh! Darling.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 7, 1969

Two sessions were held in the control room of Studio Two from 2.30-6pm, 10 stereo mixes of Come Together were made, with John Lennon's vocals treated with artificial double-tracking during the choruses.

John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison assembled in Studio Three from 2:30 to 5:30 for the recording of the guitar solos on The End.

According to Geoff Emerick, the idea for the guitar solos was very spontaneous and everybody said, 'Yes! Definitely' – well, except for George, who was a little apprehensive at first. But he saw how excited John and Paul were so he went along with it. Truthfully, I think they rather liked the idea of playing together, not really trying to outdo one another per se, but engaging in some real musical bonding. Yoko was about to go into the studio with John – this was commonplace by now – and he actually told her, 'No, not now. Let me just do this. It'll just take a minute.' That surprised me a bit. Maybe he felt like he was returning to his roots with the boys – who knows?  The order was Paul first, then George, then John, and they went back and forth. They ran down their ideas a few times and before you knew it, they were ready to go. Their amps were lined up together and we recorded their parts on one track. You could really see the joy in their faces as they played; it was like they were teenagers again. One take was all we needed. The musical telepathy between them was mind-boggling.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 6, 1969

-The Beatles in the recording studio (Studios Three and Two, EMI Studios, London). George Harrison records an acoustic guitar overdub for Here Comes the Sun, and Paul McCartney records Moog synthesizer onto Maxwell's Silver Hammer. With all of the basic tracks for Abbey Road recorded, and only overdubs left, there will be only a few more instances where all four Beatles are in the studio together.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 5, 1969

The Beatles in the recording studio (Studios Three and Two, EMI Studios, London). George has his new Moog synthesizer brought into the studio for group to use in finishing up Abbey Road. Moog overdubs are recorded onto Because. Then vocals are overdubbed onto The End. Paul had brought along tape loops to use in creating the transition sounds linking You Never Give Me Your Money and Sun King.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 4, 1969

The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London), recording vocal overdubs for Because. Also, George Harrison asks George Martin to arrange an orchestral score for Something. The Beatles Anthology 3 has the vocal overdub track, without any instrumentation, for Because (Disc two, Track 20).

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 3, 1969

The Beatles - Inbetween recording sessions

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 2, 1969

Badfinger records Come and Get It at Abbey Road Studios. Paul McCartney produces the session.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 1, 1969

The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London), recording John Lennon’s song Because, in 23 takes (take 16 being selected as ‘best’), along with the first of three sets of vocals overdubs.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: July 31, 1969

The Beatles in the recording studio (Studio Two, EMI Studios, London). Additional overdubs bring You Never Give Me Your Money to completion. Then, drums, tympani, and vocals are overdubbed onto Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: July 30, 1969

The Beatles in the recording studio (Studios Two and Three, EMI Studios, London). Recording overdubs for Come Together, Polythene Pam / She Came In Through the Bathroom Window, You Never Give Me Your Money, and Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight. Then The Beatles begin to assemble the "medley" that will make up side two of the album. Paul McCartney tells tape operator, John Kurlander, to discard Her Majesty, but Kurlander can't bring himself to do so, tacking it onto the end of the medley tape, about 20 seconds after The End. The next day, when acetate discs are cut from the tape, Her Majesty is included. Hearing it like this, Paul likes it and decides to keep it, including the lengthy silence preceding it.