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Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 14, 1969

Today, a 12-hour session took place for the mixing and editing of various Abbey Road songs in the control room of Abbey Road's Studio Two from 2.30pm-2.30am.

Five stereo mixes were made of Sun King-Mean Mr. Mustard and were numbered mixes 20-24. Maxwell's Silver Hammer's final verse was then mixed in stereo.

Thirteen mixes of Polythene Pam/She Came In Through The Bathroom Window were the next to be made.

The crossfade from You Never Give Me Your Money into Sun King/Mean Mr Mustard was attempted 11 times on this day, which used tape loops assembled by Paul McCartney on 5 August 1969. It was, however, improved on 21 August in a single attempt, which became stereo crossfade mix 12.

During the session John Lennon gave an interview to BBC Radio 1's Kenny Everett for the show Everett Is Here. The interview was broadcast in two parts on 20 and 27 September 1969.

The day ended with the aforementioned edit of two mixes of Maxwell's Silver Hammer, followed by editing of Sun King/Mean Mr Mustard onto Polythene Pam/She Came In Through The Bathroom Window. By 2.30am around half of the Abbey Road medley was complete, with final work on the other songs taking place in the coming days.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 13, 1969

Today in Abbey Road Studio's the mixing session for You Never Give Me Your Money was completed from 2.30-9.15pm.

Eight stereo mixes of the song were made on this day, and were numbered 20-27. Take 23 was chosen as the best, and the first attempt at a crossfade into Sun King/Mean Mr Mustard took place the following day, 14 August 1969.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 12, 1969

Three Abbey Road songs were mixed in stereo today including Oh! Darling which was the first in the session. Five mixes, numbered 5-9, were made. Next up was Because, which needed just two mixes to complete.

Maxwell's Silver Hammer was the third song made, numbered 27-36, following earlier efforts made on 6 August 1969.

Take 34 was chosen as the best for the time being, although it was subsequently combined with a remix, number 37, of the final verse only. That work took place two days later on 14 August.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 11, 1969

The Beatles in the recording studio (Studios Three and Two, EMI Studios, London). John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison record the “she’s so heavy” harmony vocals for I Want You (She’s So Heavy). Then backing vocals are overdubbed for Oh! Darling and Here Comes the Sun.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 10, 1969

The Beatles did not have a recording session today

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 9, 1969

Today, All four Beatles gathered at EMI Studios in the morning to take one of the most famous photo shoots of their career. Iain Macmillan took the image that would appear on their last recorded album, Abbey Road.

Prior to the shoot, Paul McCartney had sketched his ideas for the cover, to which Macmillan added a more detailed illustration.

As the group waited outside the studio for the shoot to begin, Linda McCartney took a number of extra photographs. A policeman held up the traffic as Macmillan, with a stepladder positioned in the middle of the road, took six shots as the group walked across the zebra crossing just outside the studio.

The Beatles crossed the road a number of times while Macmillan photographed them. It was a hot day in north London, and for four of the six photographs McCartney walked barefoot; for the other two he wore sandals.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 8, 1969

Photographer, Iain McMillan, balanced on a step-ladder in the middle of Abbey Road, takes photographs of John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison (lined up in that order) walking across the zebra crossing (pedestrian cross-walk) just outside Abbey Road studios. The Beatles cross several times, McMillan taking six shots while a policeman holds up traffic for them. After this, Paul chooses out of the six pictures taken the best one for the LP. Before a scheduled recording session, Paul takes John to his house at Cavendish Avenue, George and Mal go to the London Zoo at Regent’s Park, and Ringo goes shopping.

The Beatles in the recording studio (Studios Two and Three, EMI Studios, London). Recording drums and bass overdubs for The End. Then Ringo Starr adds drums, while John Lennon records an overdub of synthesizer and white-noise onto I Want You (She’s So Heavy). In another studio, Paul McCartney records lead guitar and tambourine overdubs onto Oh! Darling.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 7, 1969

Two sessions were held 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.

John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison assembled in Studio Three from 2:30 to 5:30 for the recording of the guitar solos on The End.

According to Geoff Emerick, the idea for the 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.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 6, 1969

-The Beatles in the recording studio (Studios Three and Two, EMI Studios, London). George Harrison records an acoustic guitar overdub for Here Comes the Sun, and Paul McCartney records Moog synthesizer onto Maxwell's Silver Hammer. With all of the basic tracks for Abbey Road recorded, and only overdubs left, there will be only a few more instances where all four Beatles are in the studio together.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 5, 1969

The Beatles in the recording studio (Studios Three and Two, EMI Studios, London). George has his new Moog synthesizer brought into the studio for group to use in finishing up Abbey Road. Moog overdubs are recorded onto Because. Then vocals are overdubbed onto The End. Paul had brought along tape loops to use in creating the transition sounds linking You Never Give Me Your Money and Sun King.