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Recording, mixing: A Day In The Life, Only A Northern Song

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

Although it never appeared on the album, the first song by George Harrison recorded for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was ‘Only A Northern Song’. It was eventually released in January 1969 on the soundtrack for the Yellow Submarine film.

George Harrison's lyrics for Only A Northern Song

Work on the recording began on this day, during a session which started at 7pm and finished at 3.30am on the following morning. At this point the song had the working title Not Known, although by the following day it had been named Only A Northern Song.

The session began, however, with the creation of four mono mixes of ‘A Day In The Life’. These were numbered 2-5 and were for reference purposes only. The song remained incomplete until the recording of the final piano chord on 22 February 1967.

Nine takes of Only A Northern Song were recorded. The rhythm track had Harrison on organ, John Lennon on tambourine, Paul McCartney playing bass guitar and Ringo Starr on drums.

Only four of the takes were complete, and the third was considered the best. This became the basis for further overdubs, beginning with vocals on the following day.

Last updated: 12 February 2019
US single release: Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever
Recording, mixing: Only A Northern Song
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  1. Dan L Saturday 13 February 2016
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