Today’s recording was significant for one other reason: it was the final recording session to feature a member of The Beatles; at least, until the Anthology recordings of the 1990s. Ringo Starr was the only Beatle to participate on this day, playing drums on each of the three songs alongside the orchestra.
The musical scores for The Long And Winding Road were arranged and conducted by Richard Hewson, while Across The Universe was done by Brian Rogers. John Barham scored the vocals for The Long And Winding Road and Across The Universe.
In addition to Ringo Starr, there were 18 violins, four violas, four cellos, one harp, three trumpets, three trombones, two guitarists and 14 singers. In all there were 50 musicians in Abbey Road’s studio one, which cost EMI a sum total of £1,126 and five shillings.
The Long And Winding Road originally had Paul McCartney’s lead vocals and piano on separate tracks, John Lennon’s bass guitar, George Harrison’s guitar, Billy Preston’s electric piano, two tracks for Starr’s drums, and a spare track for backing vocals.
Phil Spector reduced these seven tracks to five by combining one of the drum tracks with Lennon’s bass guitar, and Harrison’s and Preston’s instruments on another. Although it has been reported that he erased part of McCartney’s vocals, this did not happen, although he did omit a half-spoken section from the final mix.