Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith
The Beatles recorded three songs on this day, two of which ended up on the Help! album. The other was unreleased until 1996’s Anthology 2. Mono mixes were also made of six recently-recorded songs.
The day began at 10am in the control room of Studio Two. Working until 1pm, mono mixes were made of ‘Ticket To Ride’, ‘Another Girl’, ‘I Need You’ and ‘Yes It Is’, the last of which was to be The Beatles’ next single’s b-side.
After a break they began recording from 3.30-5.15. The Beatles recorded nine takes of John Lennon’s ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’, one of the highlights of the Help! soundtrack.
Only two of the nine takes were complete. Take five appeared on Anthology 2, but the Help! album version was take nine.
Track one contained John Lennon on 12-string acoustic guitar, George Harrison on a Spanish acoustic guitar, Paul McCartney on bass guitar, and Ringo Starr playing drums with brushes.
Track two was an overdub of Lennon’s vocals.
The third track had more 12-string acoustic guitar, this time played by Harrison, and maracas played by McCartney.
‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’ was the first Beatles song since ‘Love Me Do’ to feature an outside musician. Johnnie Scott, a flautist and musical arranger, first recorded a tenor flute as The Beatles taped their parts. He then overdubbed an alto flute part to complete the song.
They told me roughly what they wanted, ¾ time, and the best way of fulfilling their needs was to play both tenor flute and alto flute, the second as an overdub. As I recall, all four of them were there and Ringo was full of marital joys; he’d just come back from his honeymoon.
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn
According to George Martin’s session notes, the alto flute was overdubbed on track four. It is unclear which track the tenor flute was recorded on.
The Beatles recorded two more songs between 6pm and 10pm. The first was ‘If You’ve Got Trouble’, written by Lennon-McCartney for Ringo Starr to sing. Just one take was recorded, with overdubs of double-tracked vocals and guitar solo by George Harrison. However, the song was evidently deemed to be of insufficient quality for the soundtrack, and its first official release wasn’t until 1996.
The rhythm track of ‘If You’ve Got Trouble’ was recorded first, at 6pm, with drums, bass, and George Harrison’s Gretsch electric guitar. Starr overdubbed his first vocal track onto track three at 6.40pm.
Track two was an overdub of three guitars: Harrison’s Gretsch, Paul McCartney’s Epiphone Casino, and John Lennon’s Fender Stratocaster.
At 7.15pm Starr double tracked his lead vocals onto track four, Lennon and McCartney contributed backing vocals, and Harrison performed a solo on a Fender Stratocaster.
That the song wasn’t working as planned can be heard in Ringo’s desperate call before the guitar solo: “Ah, rock on – anybody!” ‘If You’ve Got Trouble’ was eventually replaced on the Help! album by ‘Act Naturally’, recorded four months later.
The last song of the night proved more enduring. ‘Tell Me What You See’ was recorded in four takes, with Lennon on electric guitar, McCartney on bass, Harrison playing a güiro and Starr on drums.
Overdubs of vocals, shared by Lennon and McCartney, were also added, along with tambourine by Lennon, claves played by Starr, and additional harmony vocals and a Hohner Pianet electric piano part by McCartney.
Also on this day...
- 2015: Ringo Starr live: Sunrise Theater, Fort Pierce, Florida
- 1974: UK single release: Jet by Paul McCartney and Wings
- 1972: Wings live: Salford University
- 1970: Recording, mixing: It Don’t Come Easy by Ringo Starr
- 1970: Recording, mixing: Have I Told You Lately That I Love You, Let The Rest Of The World Go By by Ringo Starr
- 1965: Northern Songs is floated on the stock exchange
- 1964: The Beatles meet Cassius Clay
- 1963: Live: Queen’s Hall, Widnes
- 1962: Live: Casbah Coffee Club, Liverpool
- 1961: Live: Aintree Institute, Liverpool
- 1933: Yoko Ono is born
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
This must’ve been the first time that George ever played a 12-string acoustic guitar and in light of his experience playing the Rickenbacker 12-string electric guitar and nylon-string acoustic guitar, he clearly had no problems getting used to the 12-string acoustic guitar. It was generous of John to let George borrow his Framus Hootenanny 12-string acoustic guitar, as he didn’t have his own then.
Frankly, IMO, it made a nice change for John to have a flute solo on “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” and not a harmonica solo, perhaps because he was just over harmonica at that time and wished to branch out to playing keyboards as a secondary instrument – he made the right choice in that regard.