Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 20, 1965 (Wednesday)

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

The song which shared with "Day Tripper" the A-Side of the first single, "We Can Work It Out", was begun and virtually completed (but for a little overdubbing on October 29th) during two Abbey Road sessions this day, 2:30-6:30 and 7:00-11:45 pm. Once again, it displayed Lennon-McCartney's absolute mastery of the two-minute pop song and is another example of typically 1965 Beatles fare, excellent musicship allied with a new lyrical direction.

The basic track was captured in just two takes, onto which innumerable overdubs were applied, including the song's distinctive harmonium part played by John.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 19, 1965 (Tuesday)

The Beatles had recorded messages for their fan club in 1963 and 1964, however, it took them two attempts to complete the 1965 recording, the first of which was made on this day.

The recording took place at Marquee Studio in London. Situated at 10 Richmond Mews, the studio was affiliated to the Marquee Club; the building had originally been a warehouse, but was eventually converted to apartments.

The Beatles' press officer Tony Barrow led the recording, as he had done in previous years. The group worked from his script, though with various ad-libbed exchanges thrown in. Towards the end of the session they gathered around a piano to sing various improvised lines.

The session was not a success, with The Beatles evidently struggling to find humour in Barrow's script. George Harrison was not present, so the other Beatles attempted to impersonate him while reciting his lines.

John Lennon was openly disdainful of the prepared material, but none of the group was able, despite Paul McCartney's best efforts, to come together and produce anything suitably amusing. Ringo Starr was largely silent, aside from the closing singalong.

At least 26 minutes of material was recorded, although none was judged suitable for release. However, Barrow gave part of the transcript to The Beatles Book Monthly, which reproduced it in their December 1965 issue. He also included a short section of the recording in Sound Of The Stars, a promotional flexi-disc for Disc And Music Echo he produced in spring 1966.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 18, 1965 (Monday)

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

"If I Needed Someone" was the first priorty of this afternoon session, from 2:30 to 5:45, George's lead vocal, John and Paul's backing vocal and Ringo's tambourine being overdubbed onto the previous night's take one rhythm track.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent taping another marvellous new John Lennon song, the autobiographical "In My Life". The "best" was take three, completed but for a gap left in the middle-eight section which was plugged with an imaginative overdub on October 22nd.



Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 17, 1965 (Sunday)

Top #5 songs in the USA

  • The Beatles - Yesterday
  • The McCoys - Hang on Sloopy
  • Barry McGuire - Eye of Destruction
  • The Toys - A Lover's Concerto
  • Roy Head - Treat her Right

Top #5 songs in the UK

  • Ken Dodd - Tears
  • Andy Williams - Almost There
  • Manfred Mann - If You Gotta Go Go Now
  • Barry McGuire - Eve of Destruction
  • The Walker Brothers - Make It Easy On Yourself
The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 16, 1965 (Saturday)

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

Interveiwed in 1966, John and Paul admitted that "Day Tripper" was a "Forced" composition, written under the pressure of having to come up with a single. Well, other composers would have been proud to have come up with a song like this. It formed one of the two A-sides of the Beatles next single, issued on the same day as Rubber Soul, Friday, December 3rd, yet independently of that album.

The group worked from 2:30 to 7:00 pm rehearsing and recording the rhythm track, with only the final take, the third, making it through to the end. They began the 7:00-12:00 pm session overdubbing the vocals onto this, John and Paul sharing lead and backing roles. Once again, the Beatles started and completed a classy, influential recording within a matter of hours.

With the clock heading towards midnight, the group then recorded one take of a basic rhythm track for George's new composition "If I Needed Someone", leaving vocals and additional instruments to be overdubbed the next day.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 15, 1965 (Friday)
The #1 song in the US on October 15, 1965
The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 14, 1965 (Thursday)
The #1 song in the US on October 14, 1965
The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 13, 1965 (Wednesday)

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

This session was to prove a landmark in the Beatle's recording career, extending past midnight for the first time. The May 10 1965 session had also run into the following morning, but that was only for the mixing. There would soon come a time when a session not running into the next day would prove the exception.

The song which took the Beatles past midnight, to 12:15 am to be exact, was "Drive My Car", eventually chosen to open Rubber Soul. Work began at 7:00 pm and in the following 315 minutes the group taped four takes, the last of which was marked "best" and seen through to completion.


Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 12, 1965 (Tuesday)

The Beatles had released two albums in 1963 and 1964, and now in 1965 they did the same again. The problem was, they had little material to work with and time was passing by. John and Paul had to force themselves to come with more than a dozen new songs and then, with George and Ringo, zip through a crash series of recording sessions in order to have the LP in the stores by early December. These did not even begin until today, October 12th.

Rubber Soul was a major truning point in the Beatles career, in terms of musical composition and recording technique. Rubber Soul has proven a durable and very necessary platform between the class pop music of HELP! and the experimental ideas of Revolver.

John later admitted that in having to write and record quickly he would sometimes rely on other records for his ideas. Certainly he did so for "Run For Your Life", the first song taped in these new sessions, lifting two lines from "Baby Let's Play House" (Elvis Presley, 1955). The recording was begun and completed in five takes, 2:30 to 7:00 pm.

Rather than break for dinner, the Beatles immediately began to tape another new John Lennon song, and one of which he was, justifiably, more than a little proud. At this stage it was called "This Bird Has Flown", when it was re-made nine days after this first attempt. The term re-make can often imply that the initial recording has imperfections - not so for "This Bird Has Flown", however, for while it may not have been an exact realization of what John wanted, it was still a suberb recording, quite different but arguably as dazzling as the version which ended up on the L.P. Just one take of this, with a number of overdubs, was recorded between 7:00 and 11:30 pm, with George's sitar contribution marking the first appearance of this Indian instrument on a pop record.


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 11, 1965 (Monday)

The #1 song in the US on October 11, 1965