Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick
Following the day of rehearsals on 28 February 1967, The Beatles began recording ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ during this session.
First of all, however, a final overdub was added to ‘A Day In The Life’. This was an extra piano part which was never used; the mono and stereo mixes had already been made, and its purpose remains unclear. The brief overdub appeared during the “He blew his mind out in a car” verse.
‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ was recorded in seven takes. Track one had George Harrison’s acoustic guitar and occasional piano from George Martin; track two had Paul McCartney on a Lowrey organ, including the distinctive introduction; track three had Ringo Starr’s drums; and the final track had John Lennon playing maracas and singing a guide vocal.
George Martin’s piano had been abandoned by the time The Beatles came to record take seven, the best attempt. Track four was erased and replaced with a tamboura drone towards the end of the session.
A reduction mix – known as take eight – was made to free up more space for further overdubs. This was done with the tape machine running at 49 cycles per second rather than the usual 50, making it sound slightly faster upon playback. The session finished at 2.15am on the morning of 2 March 1967.
A composite of takes 6, 7 and vocal overdubs recorded during the next session was released in 1996 on the Anthology 2 album.
Also on this day...
- 2015: Ringo Starr live: Planetario Galileo Galilei, Buenos Aires, Argentina
- 1999: Recording: Fabulous, I Got Stung, Coquette by Paul McCartney
- 1969: Paul McCartney produces Mary Hopkin’s Goodbye
- 1969: Ringo Starr begins filming The Magic Christian
- 1968: Ringo Starr leaves India
- 1966: The Beatles At Shea Stadium is premièred on BBC 1
- 1965: Filming: Help!, the Bahamas
- 1964: Recording: I’m Happy Just To Dance With You, Long Tall Sally, I Call Your Name
- 1963: Live: Odeon Cinema, Southport
- 1962: Live: Storyville Jazz Club, Liverpool
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1961: Live: Aintree Institute, Liverpool
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
Great to know they were doing something this great, on the day that would become my birthday, a mere four years later.
Piano was not scraped, it’s on the final mix, and even on the Rock Band multitracks (it plays on the chorus and it does that crashing chord before every bridge)