Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick
The Beatles recorded two more takes of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, numbered 5 and 6, during this 2.30-8pm session.
The group began with lengthy rehearsals and discussions before recording take 5. The performance was a false start, but take 6 was successfully performed through to the song’s close.
The Beatles used the same arrangement as the previous day’s session, with a rhythm track featuring Paul McCartney on Mellotron, John Lennon and George Harrison on electric guitars, and Ringo Starr on drums.
Take 6 was a strong performance with an extended coda. Lennon added slowed down vocals and McCartney recorded a bass guitar part, and a reduction mix was made to free up two tracks on the tape. This mix became known as take 7.
John Lennon double-tracked his vocals during the choruses, and an overdub using the Mellotron’s guitar and piano settings was the last item to be recorded on this version. Three rough mono mixes, numbered 1-3, were then made and four acetate discs were pressed for The Beatles’ reference.
The group later remade the song, but the first minute of take 7 was eventually incorporated into the final release. The full version from this day was included on the 2017 super deluxe box set and double-CD editions of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Also on this day...
- 2016: George Harrison’s What Is Life gets new video
- 2012: Paul McCartney live: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Canada
- 2001: George Harrison dies
- 1968: UK album release: Two Virgins by John Lennon and Yoko Ono
- 1967: Editing: Christmas Time (Is Here Again)
- 1965: Radio: Saturday Club
- 1964: John Lennon appears on Not Only… But Also
- 1963: Live: ABC Cinema, Huddersfield
- 1963: UK single release: I Want To Hold Your Hand
- 1962: Live: Majestic Ballroom, Birkenhead
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1960: Paul McCartney and Pete Best are arrested in Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.