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Recording, mixing, editing: I Am The Walrus, Your Mother Should Know

Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Ken Scott

An inventive session, which saw the addition of a BBC radio feed to ‘I Am The Walrus’, and the completion of ‘Your Mother Should Know’.

Seventeen new mono mixes of ‘I Am The Walrus’ were made on this day. These were numbered 6-22, and just two – mixes 10 and 22 – were complete.

Mix 22 had a live feed from the BBC Third Programme’s radio performance of William Shakespeare’s King Lear. The production had been recorded on 24 August 1967, featuring Mark Dignam and Gloucester, Philip Guard as Edgar, and John Bryning as Oswald in Act IV Scene VI.

We did about half a dozen mixes and I just used whatever was coming through at that time. I never knew it was King Lear until, years later, somebody told me – because I could hardly make out what he was saying. It was interesting to mix the whole thing with a live radio coming through it. So that’s the secret of that one.
John Lennon

The Beatles filming I Am The Walrus for Magical Mystery Tour, September 1967

An edit of mixes 10 and 22 was then made to create what became known as remix mono 23. The edit can be heard at 2’02” of mono pressings. It also had a four-beat introduction, removing two extraneous beats, although an extra bar before the line “Yellow matter custard” was still in place at this stage.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney then turned their attentions to ‘Your Mother Should Know’. They ignored the remake from 16 September, and went back to the original version made on on 22 and 23 August.

Three reduction mixes of take nine were made, numbered 50-52, which combined the vocals onto one track and the piano and drums on another. McCartney added bass guitar onto a third track of take 52, and then shook a tambourine while Lennon overdubbed an organ onto track four.

A first rough mono mix, numbered 20, was made before the session ended at 5am. This was done with the tape machine running at 60½ cycles per second rather than the usual 50, making it sound much slower upon playback. Further mixing was done on 30 September, 2 October and 6 November 1967.

Last updated: 22 June 2023
Television: The Frost Programme
Mixing: Your Mother Should Know
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