Studios One and Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: Chris Thomas
Engineer: Ken Scott
The session began in Studio Two at Abbey Road, but switched when producer Chris Thomas discovered a harpsichord in Studio One and suggested that The Beatles take advantage of it.
All four Beatles were there for the session and we were working in [studio] number two. I wandered into number one and found a harpsichord, not knowing that it had been set up overnight for a classical recording. So we discussed wheeling the thing into number two but Ken Scott said ‘No, we can’t, it’s there for another session!’. So we moved our session into number one instead.
George Harrison agreed that my harpsichord idea was a good one and suggested that I play it. This I did, but while George and I were tinkling away on this harpsichord he started playing another new song to me, which later turned out to be ‘Something’. I said ‘That’s great! Why don’t we do that one instead?’ and he replied ‘Do you like it, do you really think it’s good?’. When I said yes he said ‘Oh, maybe I’ll give it to Jackie Lomax then, he can do it as a single!’
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn
The Beatles recorded 11 takes of ‘Piggies’, with Thomas on harpsichord, Harrison on acoustic guitar, Paul McCartney playing bass guitar and Ringo Starr on tambourine. John Lennon was present at the session but didn’t play.
The session ended at 5.30am on the morning of 20 September 1968. Overdubs of lead vocals and pig noises were added later that evening, and ‘Piggies’ was completed on 10 October when a string octet was recorded.
Also on this day...
- 2010: English Heritage plaque to be unveiled at Lennon’s former London home
- 1969: Paul McCartney is interviewed for the BBC’s Scene And Heard
- 1969: The Beatles lose control of Northern Songs
- 1967: Filming: Magical Mystery Tour
- 1966: George and Pattie Harrison hold a press conference in India
- 1966: John Lennon films How I Won The War in Spain
- 1964: Day off in Alton, Missouri
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1960: Live: Indra Club, Hamburg
- 1959: Live: Casbah Coffee Club, Liverpool
- 1934: Brian Epstein is born
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.