Recording, mixing: Revolution 1, Revolution 9

Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick

The recording of ‘Revolution 1’ was completed on this day, and the song and ‘Revolution 9’ were both given their first stereo mixes.

Two separate sessions took place on this day, from 2.30-9pm and 10pm-3.30am. The first was for the final overdubs for Revolution 1.

Two trumpets and four trombones were the first to be added. The trumpeters were Derek Watkins and Freddy Clayton, and the trombonists were Don Lang, Rex Morris, J Power and Bill Povey. Their parts replaced a track previously containing tape loops.

A third reduction mix of the song was then made, which combined most of the instruments on one track, and the vocals and brass on separate ones. George Harrison then added a distorted lead guitar part onto the fourth track.

John Lennon’s lyrics for Revolution, 1968

The evening session began with a final overdub onto the master tape of ‘Revolution 9’. This is likely to have been the addition of the “Block that kick” football chant, reportedly sourced from an Elektra Records sound effects album, which was absent from a mono mix created on the previous night.

Mono and stereo mixes of ‘Revolution 1’ were then made, along with two stereo mixes of ‘Revolution 9’. An undocumented edit of ‘Revolution 1’ was also made: this created the ‘bam-bam-bam’ effect towards the end of the song, and was the product of an accident by an engineer.

With The Beatles, mistakes would happen and they became a vital part of the recordings. Making decisions – that’s why so many acts have a hit album and it takes them two years until their next album. We did an album every six months, on tape, cutting it with the razor blade. I miss that so much! I used to drive musicians mad because I would cavalierly go ahead and do it. They’d see me cutting and say, “What is he doing?!” Again, that’s part of making mistakes, but you can always put it back together again. There’s a classic passage in one of the ‘Revolution’s, an extra beat in there that was an editing accident. The engineer cut one beat too early, but John heard it and loved it and it was kept. That would never happen these days.
Ken Scott, engineer

The stereo mixes of Revolution 1 were replaced by newer versions on 25 June 1968.

Last updated: 26 June 2023
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