Recording: Around The Beatles

10.00am, Sunday 19 April 1964 (50 years ago)

IBC Studios, Portland Place, London
Producer: Jack Good
Engineer: Alan Florence
Tape operator: Peter Robinson

The television special Around The Beatles, which was filmed on 28 April 1964, included mimed musical performances. However, the music used wasn’t the EMI recordings; a new soundtrack was recorded on this and the previous day at the independent IBC (International Broadcasting Company) Studios, at 35 Portland Place in central London.

The session took place from 10am until 8.30pm. There was no producer, but IBC’s manager Alan Stagg was present, as were technical support staff.

The Beatles spent all day in the studio, recording their parts along with the show’s other acts. Backing tracks were taped in the morning, followed by vocals in the afternoon, and in the evening a number of girls were invited to listen to a playback and their screams were recorded.

The studio used a 3-track Ampex machine, with the backing music recorded on one track, vocals on another, and screams and applause on a third.

The Beatles taped the songs Twist And Shout, Roll Over Beethoven, I Wanna Be Your Man, Long Tall Sally, Boys and Can’t Buy Me Love, and a medley of their hits to date: Love Me Do/Please Please MeFrom Me To You/She Loves You/I Want To Hold Your Hand. They also recorded a version of the Isley Brothers’ 1959 song Shout, which featured lead vocals from each of The Beatles.

These versions of I Wanna Be Your Man, Long Tall Sally and Boys were released on 1995′s Anthology 1, along with an edited version of Shout. The version of Boys, incidentally, was never used in Around The Beatles.

6 Responses to “Recording: Around The Beatles”

  1. Peter Robinson

    Re: Around The Beatles. Sorry, several errors in your piece. The engineer was not Terry Johnson. I think that by then he had moved to Decca. Glyn Johns was not the tape op, it was me. Chief Engineer was Alan Florence. The Beatles did not arrive in the evening, they were there all day. Backing tracks were recorded in the morning, vocals added in the afternoon. In the evening about 30-50 girls were invited to a playback so that their screams could be taped. Recorded on a 3-track Ampex with backings on one track, vocals on another and screams on the 3rd. IBC’s manager, Alan Stagg was present and technical support staff but no other IBC engineers or office staff there as it was a Sunday. I was also lucky enough to be at the dress rehearsal for the video taping at Wembley. Hope this is of interest.

    Reply
    • Joe

      Peter – thanks so much for your contribution. I’ve amended the article to include the information you’ve given. How lucky you were to be there!

      Reply
    • roger semon

      I was at the recording of the show and spoke with the Beatles as they waited to go on stage for songs. The were in a small holding room with just a curtain between me and them. In fact, they all took a fruit gum from me! I also have an actual ticket for the show in Wembley and it’s dated Monday 27th Aptil not 28th as mentioned on this site.

      Reply
  2. Alan Florence

    Many thanks to Peter for his contribution, I had forgotten some of those points he mentioned regarding the weekend recording “Around the Beatles” which was a special event at the time for me as a young engineer. What nobody has ever mentioned is that after a 14 hour day on the Saturday at 22:00 that night Jack Good the producer/director of this show then recorded with me as engineer a new single with P.J.Proby, his first single here being “Hold Me” We completed that with the band which included Jimmy Page on guitar, at 01:00am, quite a special day but I just wish I had gotten the Beatles to sign an album for me at the time!!! Alan Florence.

    Reply
    • Joe

      Comments from Alan *and* Peter! Thanks both, for sharing your memories. Alan – what a great story. It must have been such a memorable day.

      Reply
  3. Howard Massey

    Hello Alan and Peter! Great to see you here. I’m currently researching and writing a book for the APRS entitled “The Great British Recording Studios,” focusing on the iconic facilities in and around London in the 60s and 70s. (More information at: http://www2.aprs.co.uk/gbrs) I’d love to include some of your stories in the book! Please drop me a line at gbrs@aprs.co.uk
    Cheers,
    Howard Massey

    Reply

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