Recording, mixing: Strawberry Fields Forever

Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick

Following a six-day hiatus, The Beatles resumed working on ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ in a session which began at 2.30pm and ended at midnight.

George Martin had prepared a score and booked session musicians to play the brass and string parts. The trumpeters were Tony Fisher, Greg Bowen, Derek Watkins and Stanley Roderick, and the cellists were Joy Hall, Derek Simpson and Norman Jones.

Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever single artwork - Italy

Martin conducted the musicians as they recorded their parts onto tracks three and four of the four-track tape. A reduction mix, numbered take 26, was then made to free up space for more overdubs. After this The Beatles’ drums and percussion parts filled track one, and electric guitar, Mellotron, cellos and trumpets were on track two.

John Lennon recorded his lead vocals onto track three. He double tracked them onto track four during the choruses, with George Harrison also adding two descending svarmandal arpeggios.

Five mono mixes, numbered RM5-9, were made towards the end of the session, and the following day four acetate discs of RM9 were cut for each of The Beatles to take home.

John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for Strawberry Fields Forever

Last updated: 4 October 2023
Recording, mixing: Strawberry Fields Forever
UK single release: The Beatles' Fourth Christmas Record – Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas
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