Released: 1 June 1967 (UK), 2 June 1967 (US)
John Lennon: vocals, rhythm guitar
Paul McCartney: backing vocals, lead guitar, bass
George Harrison: backing vocals, lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums, tambourine
Barrie Cameron, David Glyde, Alan Holmes: saxophone
John Lee, unknown: trombone
Tom (surname unknown): French horn
Born of John Lennon’s post-touring retreat into suburban daydreaming, Good Morning Good Morning was inspired by a Kellogg’s commercial he heard while working with the television playing in the background.
Good Morning is mine. It’s a throwaway, a piece of garbage, I always thought. The ‘Good morning, good morning’ was from a Kellogg’s cereal commercial. I always had the TV on very low in the background when I Was writing and it came over and then I wrote the song.
All We Are Saying, David Sheff
The Kellogg’s jingle went:
Good morning, good morning
The best to you each morning.
Sunshine breakfast, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
Crisp and full of fun.
With time signatures varying almost from bar-to-bar, Good Morning Good Morning’s unruly meter was a result of Lennon’s tendency to write words first before fitting the music around them.
John was feeling trapped in suburbia and was going through some problems with Cynthia. It was about his boring life at the time – there’s a reference in the lyrics to ‘nothing to do’ and ‘meet the wife’; there was an afternoon TV soap called Meet The Wife that John watched, he was that bored, but I think he was also starting to get alarm bells.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
The sound effects at the end of the song were taken from the Abbey Road sound effects tapes: Volume 35: Animals and Bees and Volume 57: Fox-hunt, and were used in a particular order at Lennon’s insistence.
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.
Starting with a cock crowing, Good Morning Good Morning later features a cat, dogs barking, horses, sheep, lions, elephants, a fox being chased by dogs with hunters’ horns being blown, then a cow and finally a hen.
The song was also adorned with brass, courtesy of session musicians from Sounds Inc, an instrumental group who had first met The Beatles at the Star-Club in Hamburg in April 1962.
In the studio
The Beatles began recording Good Morning Good Morning on 8 February 1967. They recorded eight takes, the final of which was considered best.
On 16 February vocals and bass guitar were added. The somewhat chaotic recording as it stood at this stage can be heard on the Anthology 2 collection, with a different vocal but minus the various overdubs that were later added.
The song was then left until 13 March, when the brass overdubs were recorded.
They spent a long time doing the overdub, about three hours or maybe longer, but John Lennon thought it sounded too straight. So we ended up flanging, limiting and compressing it, anything to make it sound unlike brass playing. It was typical John Lennon – he just wanted it to sound weird.
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn
On 28 March Lennon recorded new lead vocals, and Paul McCartney performed the song’s guitar solo. Lennon and McCartney then taped backing vocals. The animal sound effects were also assembled, although they weren’t added until the next day.