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Recording, mixing: Here Comes The Sun, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

Room 43, Studios Two and Three, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Tony Clark, Phil McDonald

Overdubs for two Abbey Road songs were recorded on this day, in two separate sessions.

In Studio Three from 2.30-11pm George Harrison added more guitar onto ‘Here Comes The Sun’, following the previous recording session on 16 July 1969.

It is likely that Harrison realised the song required more work after a rough stereo mix was made on 4 August.

Picture one from the Abbey Road photography session (photo: Iain Macmillan)

This day’s work involved the addition of three guitar parts. It is likely that one of these was an unused guitar solo, which was unheard until the release of Martin Scorsese’s 2011 documentary George Harrison: Living In The Material World.

One of the items on the documentary’s DVD/Blu-ray release was a studio scene featuring Dhani Harrison, George Martin, and Giles Martin listening to the ‘Here Comes The Sun’ multi-track tapes.

Meanwhile on 6 August 1969, a separate overdub session was taking place for ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’. Harrison’s Moog synthesizer was set up in Room 43 at EMI Studios, and from 2.30-11pm Paul McCartney recorded the solo for the song.

Paul used the Moog for the solo in ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ but the notes were not from the keyboard. He did that with a continuous ribbon-slide thing, just moving his finger up and down on an endless ribbon. It’s very difficult to find the right notes, rather like a violin, but Paul picked it up straight away. He can pick up anything musical in a couple of days.
Alan Parsons
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

The signal from the Moog was patched through from Room 43 to Studio Two. The solo was performed simultaneously with the creation of six reduction mixes, numbered takes 22-27, the last of which was the best.

From 11pm to 1am stereo mixes of ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ were created in the control room of Studio Two. These were numbered 14-26, although none were used.

Last updated: 26 June 2023
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