The Beatles are in-between recording
Studio One, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
The final song to be begun for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album was a reprise of the title track. It was recorded in a single session on this day.
The session took place at EMI's enormous Studio One at Abbey Road, between 7pm and 6am the following morning. Nine takes were recorded; an unused attempt, take five, was included on 1996's Anthology 2.
Each member of The Beatles playing their conventional instruments, as a group, for perhaps the only occasion on the album. Paul McCartney sang a guide vocal part, and George Martin joined them on organ.
McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison overdubbed vocals onto track three of take nine, and maracas and tambourine were added to track four.
Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) was the only Sgt Pepper song not to be given a reduction mix; the four tracks were filled with the initial instruments, the overdubs were added, then it was ready to be mixed for the album.
Nine mono mixes of take nine were made during this session, the last of which was used on the album. Artificial double tracking was applied to the vocals, and some of the crowd noises prepared on March 6, 1967 were added.
Studio Two, EMI Studios, in London
"With A Little Help From My Friend" and "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!" were mixed into mono during this 7:00 pm - 3:00 am session, the latter only after overdubbing of another organ part and a glockenspiel.
Studio Two, EMI Studios, in London
Before the 11:00 pm to 7:30 am session. the Beatles went to Chelsea Manor studios in Flood Street, Chelsea, to pose for the splendid Michael Cooper shots which would adorn Peter Blakes sleeve design, and also the inside gatefold display, of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. A trend-setting photo session indeed.
On reaching EMI, the group settled straight back into "With A Little Help From My Friends", completing the recording by overdubbing guitars, bass, tambourine and backing vocals.
The sound effects for Good Morning Good Morning, assembled on the previous day, were added to the song during this session.
Another set of sound effects, for Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!, had been created on February 20th. During this session they were added to track three. The song was completed with additional organ and glockenspiel on March 31st.
The Beatles began a new song on this evening. With A Little Help From My Friends was written for Ringo Starr to sing, and was known during this session only as Bad Finger Boogie.
From the beginning it was intended that the song would segue from the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band title track, and recording began with the "Billy Shears" line.
The Beatles began by recording the rhythm track in 10 takes, the last of which was the best. It had Paul McCartney on piano on track one, George Harrison's rhythm guitar on two, Starr's drums and cowbell played by John Lennon on three, and George Martin playing organ on track four.
A reduction mix, numbered take 11, made free some space on the tape for further overdubs. Starr then added his lead vocals to tracks three and four, with backing vocals by Lennon, McCartney and Harrison. This session ended at 5.45am, and recording for the song was completed on the following day.
John Lennon recorded a second lead vocal for Good Morning Good Morning on this evening, following a first attempt on February 16, 1967. Lennon harmonized with himself during parts of the song.
Lennon had decided to adorn the song with an array of animal sounds. He wished for it to begin with a rooster's crow, and to end with a range of different creatures. The order of these was carefully considered.
John said to me during one of the breaks that he wanted to have the sound of animals escaping and that each successive animal should be capable of frightening or devouring its predecessor! So those are not just random effects, there was actually a lot of thought put into all that.
The effects were taken from the Abbey Road tape library. Volume 57: Fox-hunt was used for the chase, and all others were taken from the curiously-titled Volume 35: Animals and Bees. The sequences were assembled on this and the following day.
This particular session ended at 4.45am. Before it did, however, another Sgt Pepper song - Being For the Benefit Of Mr. Kite! - received further overdubs. These all went on to the vacant third track of the four-track tape.
For the first half of the song, John Lennon played organ while George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans played harmonicas, and George Martin played a Mellotron.
During the waltz in the middle, a tambourine was added, Paul McCartney played a guitar, Lennon added an organ part, and George Martin added a second organ part of descending notes. These were taped with the machine running at half speed, making them sound much higher and faster upon playback.
Work on Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite! continued on March 29th and March 31st 1967.
Source: The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn
The Beatles are taking a small break from recording today
The Beatles in-between recording at EMI Studios in London
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3. Dedicated To The One I Love - The Mamas and the Papas
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5. There's A Kind Of Hush - Herman's Hermits
6. Love Is Here And Now You're Gone - Diana Ross & The Supremes
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8. Kind Of A Drag - The Buckinghams
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