A second reduction mix combined the two vocal tracks and created space for further overdubs. Backing vocals, by Lennon and Paul McCartney, were the first to be added, and included the song’s title being sung in German at one point. Also taped was a guitar solo, played by McCartney.
Lennon had decided to adorn the song with an array of animal sounds. He wished for it to begin with a rooster’s crow, and to end with a range of different creatures. The order of these was carefully considered.
John said to me during one of the breaks that he wanted to have the sound of animals escaping and that each successive animal should be capable of frightening or devouring its predecessor! So those are not just random effects, there was actually a lot of thought put into all that.
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn
The effects begin with birds twittering, followed by a miaowing cat, dogs barking, horses neighing, sheep bleating, tigers roaring, an elephant trumpeting, a fox being chased by a hunt – with some sheep and cows added – a pig grunting and a hen clucking.
The effects were taken from the Abbey Road tape library. Volume 57: Fox-hunt was used for the chase, and all others were taken from the curiously-titled Volume 35: Animals and Bees. The sequences were assembled on this and the following day.
This particular session ended at 4.45am. Before it did, however, another Sgt Pepper song – ‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!’ – received further overdubs. These all went on to the vacant third track of the four-track tape.
During the waltz in the middle, a tambourine was added, Paul McCartney played a guitar, Lennon added an organ part, and George Martin added a second organ part of descending notes. These were taped with the machine running at half speed, making them sound much higher and faster upon playback.
Also on this day...
- 2018: Four Paul McCartney albums to get CD/vinyl reissues
- 2012: Paul McCartney live: Sportpaleis, Antwerp, Belgium
- 2010: Paul McCartney live: Jobing.com Arena, Glendale, Arizona
- 1966: George Harrison and Ringo Starr meet Roy Orbison
- 1965: The Beatles’ final Thank Your Lucky Stars appearance
- 1964: Madame Tussauds unveils wax figures of The Beatles
- 1963: Live: ABC Cinema, Exeter
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.