Recording: Michelle

Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

One of the highlights of the Rubber Soul album, Paul McCartney's Michelle, was recorded on this day at Abbey Road.

There were two scheduled sessions, from 2.30-7pm and 7-11.30pm, although the day was effectively one continuous session. During the afternoon the group rehearsed and arranged the rhythm track, which was recorded in a single take onto several tracks of the multi-track tape.

The backing track contained McCartney's Epiphone Texan acoustic guitar, George Harrison playing John Lennon's Framus 12-string acoustic guitar, and Ringo Starr's drumming. Each of the guitars on the rhythm track was capoed at the fifth fret. The recording was then given a reduction mix to free up extra tracks for overdubs.

In the evening Lennon filled track two with his Ramírez acoustic guitar, on which he played the descending notes in the song's introduction and transitions, plus a bass guitar part by McCartney, and a distorted guitar solo played by Harrison on his Epiphone Casino guitar.

On track three were Lennon, McCartney and Harrison's harmony vocals, and onto the final track McCartney recorded his lead vocals.

Also on this day...

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One response on “Recording: Michelle

  1. Off Track

    Surprised to read that Lennon played the acoustic intro. I always thought it was Paul, and tbh, to me it sounds much more like Paul’s style. On the other hand John was into a lot of complex acoustic play at the time, eg, Norwegian Wood, which he played beautifully as he sang on that take.

    Wonderful measured tour de force by all three guitarists. Great perfprmance.
    [nb. I ought to mention That I read somewhere, maybe Macdonald ‘Revolution in the Head’ that actually it was Paul who played all the instruments, so there you go !! 🙂

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