Recording, mixing: I Am The Walrus

2.30pm, Wednesday 27 September 1967 (46 years ago)

Studios One and Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Ken Scott

Two separate sessions took place on this day, involving overdubs for the Magical Mystery Tour song I Am The Walrus.

The Beatles had recorded the backing track for I Am The Walrus on 5 and 6 September 1967. On this day, in a three-hour session beginning at 2.30pm, George Martin’s orchestral score was recorded.

The session musicians were recorded simultaneously with a reduction mix, in Abbey Road’s Studio Two. It took seven attempts – numbered 18-24 – to complete, with take 20 being the best. The final four takes, however, were edit pieces not lasting the length of the song.

The musicians were: violinists Sidney Sax, Jack Rothstein, Ralph Elman, Andrew McGee, Jack Greene, Louis Stevens, John Jezzard and Jack Richards; cellists Lionel Ross, Eldon Fox, Bram Martin and Terry Weil; clarinetist Gordon Lewin; and horn players Neil Sanders, Tony Tunstall and Morris Miller.

The day’s second session took place in Studio One from 7pm to 3.30am. This was for the choral overdubs, and began with a reduction mix of take 20, which became take 25.

I had this whole choir saying ‘Everybody’s got one, everybody’s got one.’ But when you get thirty people, male and female, on top of thirty cellos and on top of the Beatles’ rock ‘n’ roll rhythm section, you can’t hear what they’re saying.
John Lennon, 1980
All We Are Saying, David Sheff

The Mike Sammes Singers were the session vocalists on the track, and recorded their parts in one take simultaneously with the reduction mix. The singers were: Peggie Allen, Wendy Horan, Pat Whitmore, Jill Utting, June Day, Sylvia King, Irene King, G Mallen, Fred Lucas, Mike Redway, John O’Neill, F Dachtler, Allan Grant, D Griffiths, J Smith and J Fraser.

John worked with George Martin on the orchestration and did some very exciting things with the Mike Sammes Singers… Most of the time they got asked to do Sing Something Simple and all the old songs, but John got them doing all sorts of swoops and phonetic noises. It was a fascinating session. That was John’s baby, great one, a really good one.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

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