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Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 14, 1967

Studio One, Olympic Sound Studios, London

On May 18, 967 a contract was signed committing The Beatles to represent the BBC and Britain in a worldwide satellite broadcast on Sunday, June 25th. They were to be shown performing an especially-written song: All you Need Is Love.

 

Unable to book space at EMI Studios at short notice, the group assembled at Olympic Sound Studios in Barnes, London, on this day to record the rhythm track. They mostly used unfamiliar instruments: John Lennon played harpsichord; Paul McCartney used a double bass; George Harrison played a violin; and Ringo Starr was on drums.

The Beatles recorded 33 takes, but felt that take 10 was the best. A reduction mix was then made, with all instruments copied onto track one of a new four-track tape.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 13, 1967

The Beatles enjoying a day off.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 12, 1967

Lennon and McCartney sing on The Rolling Stones’ We Love You

John Lennon and Paul McCartney attended a Rolling Stones recording session at Decca on this day, where they contributed backing vocals to the song We Love You.

The song was written as a token of appreciation to the fans who stood by the Stones in the wake of their drugs busts, and was also an ironic commentary on the authorities.

Beat poet Allen Ginsberg had been in London for a pro-marijuana rally at Hyde Park, and met Mick Jagger at Paul McCartney's house. Jagger invited Ginsberg, Lennon and McCartney to the session that night, although Ginsberg did not perform. "They looked like little angels," he later wrote of the groups, "like Botticelli Graces singing together for the first time."

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 11, 1967

The Beatles are relaxing today.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 10, 1967

The Beatles are in-between recording today.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 9, 1967

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

"You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" was first collated into something resembling the final form during this 7:00 to 11:00 pm session, with the editing and mono mixing of its various parts into one whole. This mix was then copied across to one track of a four-track tape ready for vocal over-dubbing.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 8, 1967

Recording: You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)

Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road

The third recording session for You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) was one of the most interesting, involving a guest appearance from a Rolling Stone, and the recording of four separate parts of the song.

Paul McCartney had invited Brian Jones of the Stones to the session, although it was expected that he would bring his normal musical instrument.
It was Brian Jones of the Stones. He turned up very, very nervous with a sax, and we said 'Oh, we thought you'd bring a guitar!' and he'd brought a sax. I invited him to the session. Absolutely definitely Brian of the Stones. Unequivocably, as they say.
Paul McCartney
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles had decided to record numerous versions of You Know My Name (Look Up The Number), which would be edited together at a later date. Part one was to consist of take nine from May 17, 1967 which had been given overdubs on June 7th.

The only common instrument in the other four parts was McCartney's piano. Part two was recorded in 12 takes; part three in four; part four in six takes; and the final part in a single attempt.

Brian Jones performed on two parts: a ska section with piano, drums, guitar and saxophone, and a jazz rendition featuring piano, drums, guitar, saxophone, bass guitar and vibraphone.

Also recorded was a nightclub section in a rhumba style featuring piano, drums, maracas and congas; and the final part had bongos and piano playing alongside various comedic sound effects including bird whistles and quacking sounds. The session ended at 1am on the morning of 9 June 1967.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 7, 1967

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

More crazy "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) recordings, developing into more crazy untitled, unstructured instrumental jams, with numerous takes of an amateurish flute track (played, presumably, by a Beatle), electric guitar, drums, organ and tambourine. George Harrison took home a rough mono mix of take 24, comprising 20 minutes of just such sounds, at the end of this 7:00 pm to 2:00 am session.

A press release announces the beginning of the "Yellow Submarine" film project. It is reported that The Beatles will provide at least three new songs for the soundtrack.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 6, 1967

The Beatles in-between recording

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: June 5, 1967

The Beatles' album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band reaches #1 in the UK charts. It will hold the #1 position for 27 weeks.