Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith
Following Jimmie Nicol’s hastily-arranged rehearsal ahead of The Beatles’ world tour, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison recorded three songs in Abbey Road’s Studio Two.
The session lasted from 5.30-9pm, and began with George Harrison recording a demo of ‘You Know What To Do’, which remained unreleased until Anthology 1 in 1995; documentation for the session was discovered in 1991, but the tapes only came to light in 1993.
Harrison first recorded a test version of the song lasting just 30 seconds. It was followed by just one full take, lasting 1’56”, which was issued on Anthology 1.
The second song was a version of ‘You’re My World’, which had been a hit for Cilla Black earlier in 1964. It was not a Lennon-McCartney composition, but had been produced by George Martin and recorded at EMI Studios, Abbey Road.
McCartney led Lennon and Harrison through a brief, off-the-cuff rendition of ‘You’re My World’ lasting for a little over 30 seconds. It has been reported that on this day they also recorded a demo of ‘It’s For You’, a song which was later given to Black, but this did not happen.
The third recording was a demo of John Lennon’s ‘No Reply’, which eventually surfaced on Beatles For Sale. Curiously, a drummer is on the tape, although Nicol had departed by this time. It is likely that McCartney filled the drum stool on this occasion, and that Harrison played bass guitar.
There has also been speculation that, had Starr not been taken ill, one of these songs would have been included on A Hard Day’s Night, which was, unusually, released with 13 tracks.
Towards the end of the session, the three Beatles taped a number of overdubs onto ‘Any Time At All’ and ‘Things We Said Today’, which were the last recordings made for A Hard Day’s Night.
Also on this day...
- 2022: Ringo Starr live: Hanover Theater, Worcester, Massachusetts
- 2018: New book to explore the creation of John Lennon’s Imagine album
- 1966: Recording, mixing: I Want To Tell You, Yellow Submarine
- 1965: John, George, Cynthia and Pattie attend Allen Ginsberg’s 39th birthday party
- 1964: Ringo Starr is taken ill before The Beatles’ world tour
- 1963: Live: Granada Cinema, Woolwich, London
- 1962: Rehearsal: Cavern Club, Liverpool
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
Firstly, I don’t see how it can be Norman Smith on drums because he announces the take.
The drumming on No Reply is truly terrible and by 1968 Paul was a far, far better drummer than this so I doubt he was this bad 4 years earlier. It’s also extremely unlikely it’s Jimmy Nicol – if they heard him drum like this I doubt they would have hired him for the tour!
I think it’s John on guitar, Paul on bass (the bass isn’t great either but I think that’s more because of the drumming) and George on drums.