• 🏠 Home
  • »
  • Studio
  • »
  • Recording, mixing, editing: Blue Jay Way, Shirley’s Wild Accordion

Recording, mixing, editing: Blue Jay Way, Shirley’s Wild Accordion

Studio Three, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: John Lennon
Engineer: Ken Scott

This was the first recording session for which John Lennon was officially listed as a producer. It saw work on two songs, George Harrison’s ‘Blue Jay Way’, and some incidental music for the Magical Mystery Tour film known as ‘Shirley’s Wild Accordion’.

The first task was the creation of mono mixes of ‘Blue Jay Way’. Eight mixes were created, numbered 2-9, following which an edit of the sixth and ninth attempts was made.

‘Shirley’s Wild Accordion’ was a Lennon-McCartney composition, although it wasn’t officially a Beatles recording. It featured Shirley Evans on accordion, accompanied by her musical partner and then husband Reg Wale on percussion. Paul McCartney also played maracas and yelled “Go on, Shirl!”, while Ringo Starr played drums.

The track was recorded under the working title of ‘Accordion (Wild)’, and was cut from the final edit of the film. It was recorded in eight basic takes, with Evans playing from a score written by Mike Leander from ideas by Lennon and McCartney.

Two reduction mixes were then made, numbered nine and 10, followed by overdubs. The recording was completed with five additional takes, numbered takes 11-15.

Three mono mixes of ‘Shirley’s Wild Accordion’ were then made, numbered 1-3, from takes 10, 7 and 14 respectively. The second was subtitled ‘Waltz’, and the third was known as ‘Freaky Rock’. The session ended at 2am on the morning of 13 October 1967.

A mix of ‘Shirley’s Wild Accordion’ was included in the bonus material of the 2012 reissue of the Magical Mystery Tour film. It omitted the drums and maracas, but kept various other percussive sounds.

Last updated: 18 May 2020
Mixing: It's All Too Much
Memorial service for Brian Epstein
Also on this day...

Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.

Leave a Reply