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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: December 15, 1966

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

Four trumpets and three cellos, brilliantly scored by George Martin, provided the distinctive brass and string sound which he and John had decided was necessary for the remake of "Strawberry Fields Forever". (The trumpeters were Tony Fisher, Greg Bowen, Derek Watkins and Stanley Roderick, the cellists John Hall, Derek Simpson and Norman Jones). The instruments were recorded onto take 25, which was then reduced again into take 26; onto this was then added two separate Lennon Lead vocals.

By the end of the 2:30 - 12:00 pm session "Strawberry Fields Forever" had taken on an intensity of almost frightening proportion. With its frantic strings, blaring trumpets, heavy drum sound and two manic, exceptionally fast John Lennon vocals it was now but a distant relative of the original, acoustic take one. Would John be satisfied with it? For the time being, at least, it was labelled "best" and so was subjected to more rough mono mixing.

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