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Beatles 50th Blog posts of '1967' 'March'

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: March 31, 1967

Studio Two, EMI Studios, in London

"With A Little Help From My Friend" and "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!" were mixed into mono during this 7:00 pm - 3:00 am session, the latter only after overdubbing of another organ part and a glockenspiel.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: March 30, 1967

Studio Two, EMI Studios, in London

Before the 11:00 pm to 7:30 am session. the Beatles went to Chelsea Manor studios in Flood Street, Chelsea, to pose for the splendid Michael Cooper shots which would adorn Peter Blakes sleeve design, and also the inside gatefold display, of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. A trend-setting photo session indeed.

On reaching EMI, the group settled straight back into "With A Little Help From My Friends", completing the recording by overdubbing guitars, bass, tambourine and backing vocals.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: March 29, 1967

Recording: Good Morning Good Morning, Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!

With A Little Help From My Friends

The sound effects for Good Morning Good Morning, assembled on the previous day, were added to the song during this session.

The effects were dubbed onto the vocal track of the tape. After this the song was complete, and it was mixed in mono and stereo on April 6, 1967.

Another set of sound effects, for Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!, had been created on February 20th. During this session they were added to track three. The song was completed with additional organ and glockenspiel on March 31st.

The Beatles began a new song on this evening. With A Little Help From My Friends was written for Ringo Starr to sing, and was known during this session only as Bad Finger Boogie.

From the beginning it was intended that the song would segue from the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band title track, and recording began with the "Billy Shears" line.

The Beatles began by recording the rhythm track in 10 takes, the last of which was the best. It had Paul McCartney on piano on track one, George Harrison's rhythm guitar on two, Starr's drums and cowbell played by John Lennon on three, and George Martin playing organ on track four.

A reduction mix, numbered take 11, made free some space on the tape for further overdubs. Starr then added his lead vocals to tracks three and four, with backing vocals by Lennon, McCartney and Harrison. This session ended at 5.45am, and recording for the song was completed on the following day.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: March 28, 1967

Recording: Good Morning Good Morning, Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!

John Lennon recorded a second lead vocal for Good Morning Good Morning on this evening, following a first attempt on February 16, 1967. Lennon harmonized with himself during parts of the song.

A second reduction mix combined the two vocal tracks and created space for further overdubs. Backing vocals, by Lennon and Paul McCartney, were the first to be added, and included the song's title being sung in German at one point. Also taped was a guitar solo, played by McCartney.

Lennon had decided to adorn the song with an array of animal sounds. He wished for it to begin with a rooster's crow, and to end with a range of different creatures. The order of these was carefully considered.

John said to me during one of the breaks that he wanted to have the sound of animals escaping and that each successive animal should be capable of frightening or devouring its predecessor! So those are not just random effects, there was actually a lot of thought put into all that.
Geoff Emerick
 
The effects begin with birds twittering, followed by a miaowing cat, dogs barking, horses neighing, sheep bleating, tigers roaring, an elephant trumpeting, a fox being chased by a hunt - with some sheep and cows added - a pig grunting and a hen clucking.

The effects were taken from the Abbey Road tape library. Volume 57: Fox-hunt was used for the chase, and all others were taken from the curiously-titled Volume 35: Animals and Bees. The sequences were assembled on this and the following day.

This particular session ended at 4.45am. Before it did, however, another Sgt Pepper song - Being For the Benefit Of Mr. Kite! - received further overdubs. These all went on to the vacant third track of the four-track tape.

For the first half of the song, John Lennon played organ while George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans played harmonicas, and George Martin played a Mellotron.

During the waltz in the middle, a tambourine was added, Paul McCartney played a guitar, Lennon added an organ part, and George Martin added a second organ part of descending notes. These were taped with the machine running at half speed, making them sound much higher and faster upon playback.

Work on Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite! continued on March 29th and March 31st 1967.

Source: The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: March 27, 1967

The Beatles are taking a small break from recording today

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: March 26, 1967

The Beatles in-between recording at EMI Studios in London

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: March 25, 1967

Top 10 Song Chart for March 25, 1967

1. Penny Lane - The Beatles

2. Happy Together - The Turtles

3. Dedicated To The One I Love - The Mamas and the Papas

4. I've Been Lonely Too Long - The Young Rascals

5. There's A Kind Of Hush - Herman's Hermits

6. Love Is Here And Now You're Gone - Diana Ross & The Supremes

7. Ruby Tuesday - The Rolling Stones

8. Kind Of A Drag - The Buckinghams

9. California Nights - Lesley Gore

10. Bernadette - The Four Tops

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: March 24, 1967

The Beatles in-between recording at EMI Studios in London

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: March 23, 1967

Studio Two, EMI Studios in London

Another attempt at recording the vocals for "Getting Better", overdubbed onto take 14. A reduction mixdown into take 15 and overdubbing of bongos onto this completed the recording, which was then mixed into mono before the end of this 7:00 pm to 3:45 am session. But it wasn't the usual team of George Martin and Geoff Emerick doing the recording and mixing - they were otherwise engaged this night so another EMI Studios balance engineer, Peter Vince, fulfilled both these roles.

The Beatles - A Day in The Life: March 22, 1967

Studio Two, EMI Studios in London

Overdubbing of two more dilruba parts and another sword-mandel part onto George's "Within You, Without You", played by the same musicians on March 15th, Amrat Gakjjar, P.D. Joshi and Natver Soni, respectively. A reduction mixdown then took one into take two and a rough mono mix was made for acetate=cutting purposes. While George's 7:00 pm to 2:15 am session was taking place in Studio Two, any other Beatle interested in listening to the thus far completed masters for Sgt. Pepper did so in the control room of Studio One between 11:00 pm and 12:30 am.