Recording: Good Morning Good Morning, Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!

7.00pm, Tuesday 28 March 1967 (47 years ago)

Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick

John Lennon recorded a second lead vocal for Good Morning Good Morning on this evening, following a first attempt on 16 February 1967. Lennon harmonized with himself during parts of the song.

A second reduction mix combined the two vocal tracks and created space for further overdubs. Backing vocals, by Lennon and Paul McCartney, were the first to be added, and included the song’s title being sung in German at one point. Also taped was a guitar solo, played by McCartney.

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.
Geoff Emerick
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

The effects begin with birds twittering, followed by a miaowing cat, dogs barking, horses neighing, sheep bleating, tigers roaring, an elephant trumpeting, a fox being chased by a hunt – with some sheep and cows added – a pig grunting and a hen clucking.

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 29 and 31 March 1967.

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