John Burden

Apr 13, 1921
Oct 31, 2010

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From John Burden (

Horn player who performed at the Coronation and transcribed Paul McCartney’s hums into the brass part on Sgt Pepper’s title track.

John Burden was a distinguished horn player who enjoyed a successful career as an orchestral and chamber musician as well as being one of the most prolific film session artists of his era.

As principal horn of the London Symphony Orchestra he appeared on celebrated recordings with Colin Davis, Josef Krips and Sir Malcolm Sargent, and also played at the Coronation in 1953.

Later his work ranged from the James Bond films to the West End, and he worked with artists as diverse as Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Dizzy Gillespie and The Beatles.

In February of 1967, John Burden was one of four French horn players who recorded overdubs on the track “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” 

They didn’t really know what they wanted. I wrote out phrases for them based on what Paul McCartney was humming to us and George Martin. All four Beatles were there but only Paul took an active interest in our overdub.

John Burden – From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn, 1988

Last updated on December 26, 2023

Recording sessions John Burden participated in

Albums, EPs & singles which John Burden contributed to

1967-1970 (US version, 1973)

By The Beatles • Official album

Contribution: French horn • 1 songs

1967-1970 (UK version, 1973)

By The Beatles • LP

Contribution: French horn • 1 songs

Yellow Submarine Songtrack

By The Beatles • Official album

Contribution: French horn • 1 songs

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Mono - 2009 remaster)

By The Beatles • Official album

Contribution: French horn • 1 songs


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