Mixing, recording: When I’m Sixty-Four, Penny Lane

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

The Beatles continued work on ‘Penny Lane’ on this day. This was the second session for the song, and took place from 7pm to 3am.

Before recording began, however, a new mono mix – number eight – was made of ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’, replacing the previous night’s attempts.

The new mix was instigated by Paul McCartney, who wanted the song faster than the original recording speed. The new mix raised the key from C to C sharp, although the stereo mix created on 17 April 1967 was slightly faster still.

Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever single artwork - Italy

Two copies of the 22 December mono mix of ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ were then made, to be sent to Capitol Records in the United States.

The first task needed for ‘Penny Lane’ was the creation of a reduction mix to free up space on the four-track tape. This new mix was named take seven, and saw all the recordings created thus far moved onto track one. This new mix became known as take seven.

Onto track four McCartney and John Lennon recorded lead vocals. These were recorded with the tape running slow at 47.5 cycles per second, rather than the normal 50, so they sounded faster upon playback.

By this time it was the early hours of 31 December, so further planned overdubs for ‘Penny Lane’ were postponed until the new year. Two mono mixes were created, however, to enable acetate reference discs to be cut.

Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for Penny Lane

Last updated: 26 June 2023
Recording, mixing, editing: When I'm Sixty-Four, Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane
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