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Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 22, 1965 (Monday)

The Beatles flew into the Bahamas to shoot their next film, Help! A Hard Day's Night had been shot in black and white, under dull skies and in drab London-area locations like Gatwick, Notting Hill Gate, Hammersmith and West Ealing. Help! (though it didn't have this title yet) was filmed in color on bright Bahamian beaches, glittering Austrian mountains and, even in the London area, at more affluent locations such as Asprey's and the beautiful country house at Cliveden.

There was another reason why Help! was part-filmed in the Bahamas, however. The Beatles' financial advisor, Dr. Walter Strach, had recently established there a tax shelter for the group. This obliged him to live on the island for a year and let to the suggestion that, to show goodwill, the Beatles should film in this British crown colony. So the Beatles set up residence in a house at the luxurious Balmoral Club, near Cable Beach. All of the shooting took place on the 21 mile long island of New Providence, amid great numbers of sightseers.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 21, 1965 (Sunday)

The Beatles get ready to shoot their 2nd film, Help!

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 20, 1965 (Saturday)

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

There being so few Beatles/EMI recordings remaining unreleased, it's somewhat bizarre that inside three days the group should tape two songs destined for such a fate, for with "If You've Got Trouble" scarcely yet a painful memory, another Lennon-McCartney song begun this day, "That Means A Lot", suffered the same ending. Written for the new film, the Beatles made two separate attempts at recording it - in two takes between 12:00 noon and 5:15 pm this day, and again on March 30th, before giving up and, instead, donating it to PJ Proby for his exclusive use. (Proby recorded his version at EMI on April 7, 1965, produced by Ron Richards).

Five more mono mixes were done on this day too - of "If You've Got Trouble", Tell Me What You See" and "You're Going To Lose That Girl" between 11:00 am and 12:00 noon, and of "That Means A Lot" and "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" between 5:15 and 6:00 pm, thereby completing a full mixed set of all 11 songs recorded by the Beatles during the week of February 15-20. Stereo mixes of all 11 new songs were made in studio one at EMI between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm on Tuesday, February 23rd, under the supervision of balance engineer Norman Smith.

The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 19, 1965 (Friday)

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

John's "You're Going To Lose That Girl" was recorded from start to finish in a single afternoon session, 3:30-6:20 pm, with two basic takes and overdubs. A later attempt to improve the song was abandoned and never used, and the Help! soundtrack album featured the February 19th recording.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 17, 1965 (Wednesday)

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

The recording of two more songs for the film soundtrack, Paul's "The Night Before" and George's "You Like Me Too Much", although the latter was later relegated to the non-soundtrack side of the HELP! album. "The Night Before" was taped and completed in two takes from 2:00 until 7:00 pm. "You Like Me Too Much" was done to a finish in eight takes from 7:00 until 11:00pm.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 18, 1965 (Thursday)

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

This full day's work at Abbey Road began quietly with a 10:00am - 1:00 pm mono mix session for "Ticket To Ride", "Another Girl", "I Need You", and "Yes It Is". Between 3:30 and 5:15 pm, the Beatles began and completed, in nine all-acoustic takes, John's Bob Dylan-influenced ballad "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away". From a recording point of view, this song is especially note-worthy in that it marked the first time the Beatles called in a session musician to augment their line-up. (Andy White, who drummed on "Love Me Do" and "PS, I Love You", was called in to replace Ringo for those early recordings, not complement his contribution.) The musician was musical arranger and flautist Johnnie Scott, and in return for his £6 session fee (but no sleeve credit) he contributed tenor flute and alto flute parts.

Ringo had secured a lead vocal on all Beatles albums to date excepting "A Hard Day's Night". But since he had yet to provide a self-composition for his outings a suitable "vehicle" was always provided. For Please Please Me it was the Shirelles' song "Boys". For With The Beatles John and Paul gave him "I Wanna Be Your Man'. On Beatles For Sale he had sung Carl Perkins' "Honey Don't, and he had sung another Perkins song, "Matchbox", on the EP Long Tall Sally. But what would be his contribution to this new LP? Written especially for the occasion by John and Paul, the answer was a rocker entitled "If You've Got Trouble". To this day, the song remains unreleased, locked in the EMI vault - and it's not difficult to see why. It wasn't one of the better Lennon-McCartney numbers by any stretch of the imagination, nor was it brilliantly performed in the one and only take (with overdubs) recorded in the early part of a 6:30-10:30 session this evening.

In the latter part of the same session, Paul's Tell Me What You See" was started and completed in four takes. As with George's "You Like Me Too Much", this was submitted, but not selected, for the new film, so it ended up on the non-soundtrack side of the associated album.

The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 16, 1965 (Tuesday)

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

This second of six consecutive days of EMI began with a 2:30-5:00 pm session that saw "I Need You" and then "Another Girl" completed wit the overdubbing of George's vocal, cowbell and tone-pedal guitar onto "I Need You" and guitar onto "Another Girl".

The Beatles spent the remainder of the session, from 5:00 until 10:00 pm, recording and perfecting in 14 takes "Yes Is Is", and exquisite three-part harmony ballad written by John and sung by John, Paul, and George in a style reminiscent of "This Boy". "Yes It Is" was not selected for the film soundtrack, nor was it included on the non-soundtrack side of what was to become the Help! album, Instead, it appeared merely as the B-side of the Beatles' next single, such as their songwriting wealth.

The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 15, 1965 (Monday)

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

Another year, another film, another set of recording sessions, and yet more furious industry. Work this day began at 2:30 pm with the recording of two takes of John's "Ticket To Ride", and the song was completed and ready for mixing by 5:45. Released as the A-side of the Beatles' next single on Friday, April 9th, as well as on the soundtrack album for the yet to be started film. "Ticket To Ride" was the result of much more work than the two-take figure would suggest, with - from this year - overdubs onto the multi-track tape not being given separate numbers as before. Here, the Beatles twice taped a rhythm track (the first was a false-start, the second was 'best') and then recorded any amount of overdubs - numbers were never specified on recording documents - onto vacant tracks of the tape, perfecting vocals and anything else that they felt needed more attention.

Between 7:00 and 10:30 pm the Beatles recorded Paul's "Another Girl" (one take, plus ten edit pieces) and George's "I Need You" (five takes), both of which were completed with overdubs the next day.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 14, 1965 (Sunday)

Valentine's Day, but no Beatle's performances.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: February 13, 1965 (Saturday)

No events occurred today