Studio One, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick
The final song to be begun for the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album was a reprise of the title track. It was recorded in a single session on this day.
The session took place at EMI’s enormous Studio One at Abbey Road, between 7pm and 6am the following morning. Nine takes were recorded; an unused attempt, take five, was included on 1996’s Anthology 2.
Each member of The Beatles played their conventional instruments, as a group, for perhaps the only occasion on the album. Paul McCartney sang a guide vocal part, and George Martin joined them on organ.
McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison overdubbed vocals onto track three of take nine, and maracas and tambourine were added to track four.
‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)’ was the only Sgt Pepper song not to be given a reduction mix; the four tracks were filled with the initial instruments, the overdubs were added, then it was ready to be mixed for the album.
Nine mono mixes of take nine were made during this session, the last of which was used on the album. Artificial double tracking was applied to the vocals, and some of the crowd noises prepared on 6 March 1967 were added.
Also on this day...
- 2015: Cynthia Lennon dies
- 1973: John Lennon and Yoko Ono write the Declaration of Nutopia
- 1970: Recording: Across The Universe, The Long And Winding Road, I Me Mine
- 1969: Television: John Lennon and Yoko Ono interviewed on Today
- 1966: John Lennon buys Timothy Leary’s The Psychedelic Experience
- 1965: Brian Epstein takes over the Saville Theatre, London
- 1965: Filming: Help!
- 1964: John Lennon is reunited with his father Alf
- 1964: Filming: A Hard Day’s Night
- 1963: Radio: Side By Side
- 1962: Live: Casbah Coffee Club, Liverpool
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
The crowd effects and applause were mixed in “live” during mono and stereo mixing.
It’s true that this may have been the only song during the sessions where all four recorded the basic track together on their usual instruments, but it’s not to say this was the only basic track from that era where all four played together in the same room.
Yes, Paul did fluctuate between guitar and keyboards for basic tracks, but that was no problem, because he was going to overdub his bass parts anyway.
Sorry I made a mistake – the alternate take of “Sgt. Pepper Reprise” actually has two guitars, organ and drums with no bass guitar, so Paul would’ve had to play the organ if John and George were on guitars and Ringo was on drums.