Studios Two and Three, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Geoff Emerick, Phil McDonald
Two separate sessions were held on this day at Abbey Road, for the recording and mixing of two Beatles songs.
In the control room of Studio Two from 2.30-6pm, 10 stereo mixes of ‘Come Together’ were made, with John Lennon’s vocals treated with artificial double-tracking during the choruses.
The first of the mixes was considered the best, and was issued as a single and on the Abbey Road album.
The “Love you, love you” vocals were recorded for ‘The End’ on this date. Paul McCartney recorded the parts multiple times, included once with the tape machine running slower than normal, which increased the pitch when played back normally.
A reduction mix was also made to combine John Lennon’s and George Harrison’s initial guitar parts on track seven. An edit was also made to extend the space for the guitar solos from 22 to 28 bars.
The new mix freed up track four for the new guitar solos by, in order of appearance, McCartney, Harrison, and Lennon. The solos were recorded in Studio Three from 6pm to midnight.
The idea for guitar solos was very spontaneous and everybody said, ‘Yes! Definitely’ – well, except for George, who was a little apprehensive at first. But he saw how excited John and Paul were so he went along with it. Truthfully, I think they rather liked the idea of playing together, not really trying to outdo one another per se, but engaging in some real musical bonding.
Yoko was about to go into the studio with John – this was commonplace by now – and he actually told her, ‘No, not now. Let me just do this. It’ll just take a minute.’ That surprised me a bit. Maybe he felt like he was returning to his roots with the boys – who knows?
The order was Paul first, then George, then John, and they went back and forth. They ran down their ideas a few times and before you knew it, they were ready to go. Their amps were lined up together and we recorded their parts on one track.
You could really see the joy in their faces as they played; it was like they were teenagers again. One take was all we needed. The musical telepathy between them was mind-boggling.
Also on this day...
- 2014: Paul McCartney live: EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City
- 1968: Tape copying, recording: Hey Jude, Not Guilty
- 1967: George Harrison visits Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco
- 1963: Live: Springfield Ballroom, Jersey
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1961: Live: Litherland Town Hall, Liverpool
- 1957: The Quarrymen first play the Cavern Club
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
I love this story.
I find it nothing short of mind-blowing to reflect that 50 years ago — at this very moment — Paul, George, and John were laying down what may be my favorite passage in all Beatles music — their alternating guitar solos in “The End”!
Mark Lewisohn’s “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” says nothing about the guitar solos being recorded today. In fact it doesn’t appear he ever mentions them at all. He is usually so meticulous, how did that fall through the cracks?