Recording, mixing: Can’t Buy Me Love, Long Tall Sally, I Call Your Name, You Can’t Do That, Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand, Sie Liebt Dich

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

The existence of this session came to light in 1991, after studio documentation was discovered by EMI. It took place from 10am to 1pm, and involved an intriguing overdub onto Can't Buy Me Love.

The documentation revealed that a drummer recorded the overdub, and was paid a standard Musicians' Union fee of £5 15s. Although the person's identity wasn't listed, the then-tape operator Geoff Emerick later revealed it to be studio engineer Norman Smith.

It had the same level of excitement as previous Beatles singles and was quickly slated to be an A-side, but first there was a technical problem to be overcome, discovered when the tape was brought back and played at our studios. Perhaps because it had been spooled incorrectly, the tape had a ripple in it, resulting in the intermittent loss of treble on Ringo's hi-hat cymbal. There was tremendous time pressure to get the track mixed and delivered to the pressing plant, and due to touring commitments the Beatles themselves were unavailable, so George and Norman took it upon themselves to make a little adjustment.

As I eagerly headed into the engineer's seat for the first time, Norman headed down into the studio to overdub a hastily set-up hi-hat onto a few bars of the song while I recorded him, simultaneously doing a two-track to two-track dub. Thanks to Norman's considerable skills as a drummer, the repair was made quickly and seamlessly.

Geoff Emerick
Here, There and Everywhere

The extra hi-hat work appeared only on the song's stereo mix, which was made on this day. George Martin also oversaw stereo mixes of Long Tall Sally, I Call Your Name and You Can't Do That, and mono mixes of Long Tall Sally, Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand and Sie Liebt Dich.

Also on this day...

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One response on “Recording, mixing: Can’t Buy Me Love, Long Tall Sally, I Call Your Name, You Can’t Do That, Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand, Sie Liebt Dich

  1. Danny Caccavo

    I’m guessing the overdub was not due to tape damage, but due to an interaction between the bass guitar and the drums being routed through the same compressor. Because some of the bass guitar notes were significantly louder than others, the result was that the level of the drums kept being pushed down on certain notes. You can clearly hear this on the stereo mix every time Paul plays a G. Therefore it is likely the hihat was overdubbed on the entire song. Why wasn’t this noticed while it was being recorded? Two reasons – 1) Probable – All 4 tracks were being monitored at once – the other tracks (particularly the vocals) contained a significant amount of leakage from the drums, unaffected by the bass/drum interaction – masking the problem on the bass/drum track. 2) Possible – They started out recording the song in the key of D – which meant Paul played far fewer the “G” notes (so there was less interaction with the bass/drum compressor).

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