Recording: Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight, The End, Something, Here Comes The Sun

2.30pm, Friday 15 August 1969 (44 years ago)

Studios One and Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Geoff Emerick, Phil McDonald

The orchestral overdubs were added to five Abbey Road songs on this day: Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight, The End, Something and Here Comes The Sun.

The 30-piece orchestra was stationed in Studio One, but the sound recording was overseen in the control room of Studio Two. The balance engineers and tape operators were able to monitor proceedings via closed-circuit television, which on this day gave a visual link between the two studios for the first time.

The first overdub was for Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight, which was added to track eight of the tape. The recording was doubled via artificial double-tracking during a later mixing session.

The End was next. This was not the song’s final overdub, however, as Paul McCartney added an extra piano part towards the song’s end during a session three days later.

While George Martin was conducting the orchestra in Studio One, George Harrison was in Studio Two simultaneously recording a new guitar part. This was not, contrary to some reports, a re-recording of his guitar solo, which was taped on 5 May 1969 and present in the take 37 reduction mix made on 11 July 1969, which was circulated widely on bootlegs.

The final song was Harrison’s Here Comes The Sun, the score for which required just 17 musicians. It was completed on 19 August 1969 with a Moog overdub.

The orchestral players were as follows:

  • Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight and The End: 12 violins, four violas, four cellos, string bass, four horns, three trumpets, trombone, bass trombone.
  • Something: 12 violins, four violas, four cellos, string bass.
  • Here Comes The Sun: four violas, four cellos, string bass, two clarinets, two alto flutes, two flutes, two piccolos.

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