Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick
Having spent much of the day working on mono and stereo mixes for six Revolver songs, The Beatles began a night-time session in which they completed a new song from scratch.
The session for ‘She Said She Said’ began at 7pm and ended at 3.45am the following morning. It was the only Revolver song to be completed within a single session.
The Beatles spent much of the session rehearsing the song, with at least 25 attempts before the first proper recording attempt. They then taped the rhythm track in three takes. At one point Paul McCartney walked out of the studio following an argument.
I like the title ‘She Said She Said’, which I think was made up on the session. John brought it in pretty much finished, I think. I’m not sure but I think it was one of the only Beatle records I never played on. I think we’d had a barney or something and I said, ‘Oh, fuck you!’ and they said, ‘Well, we’ll do it.’ I think George played bass.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
The rhythm track had drums, guitar and bass. Onto this John Lennon added his lead vocals, and Lennon and George Harrison overdubbed backing vocals. With the four-track tape full, a reduction mix was made, two which Harrison added lead guitar and Lennon added an organ part.
Three mono mixes were then made, although these were discarded in favour of a final mix made on the following day.
Also on this day...
- 2015: Paul McCartney live: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- 2014: Ringo Starr live: Caesars Circus Maximus Theatre, Atlantic City, New Jersey
- 1968: Recording, mixing: Revolution 1, Revolution 9
- 1968: Paul McCartney flies from New York to Los Angeles
- 1967: Mixing: All You Need Is Love
- 1966: Mixing, editing: Love You To, I Want To Tell You, Here, There And Everywhere, For No One, Doctor Robert, Taxman
- 1965: Day off in Paris
- 1964: Travel: Sydney to Wellington
- 1963: Live: Odeon Cinema, Guildford
- 1963: John Lennon’s assault of Bob Wooler reaches the national press
- 1962: Live: Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, Wallasey
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
A particularly fascinating song, given the story around its origin, and the McCartney walk-out. Oh, to be a fly on the wall! It does suggest that McCartney’s perfectionism added so, so many hours to the band’s recording process.
Mark Lewisohn found that the basic track actually had two guitars, bass and drums, so this suggests that Paul was in fact playing bass. Robert Rodriguez did suggest that the EMI paperwork was incorrect, but given Mark’s discovery, it wouldn’t have been possible for George to play both lead guitar and bass at the same time on the basic track, as one or the other would’ve had to be overdubbed.
EMI wouldn’t have deliberately falsified or left the studio paperwork incomplete.
At what point did Paul walk out? Is it possible there are some tracks recorded with him and some without him?