Editing "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", "The End"

Monday, August 25, 1969 • For The Beatles

Part of

"Abbey Road" sessions

Feb 22 - Aug 25, 1969 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Abbey Road

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Abbey Road LP.
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

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This was the final recording session for the “Abbey Road” album. From 2:30 pm to 8 pm, the final edits of “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” and “The End” were made.

Seven seconds were cut from the master tape of “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer“, to remove the song’s introduction. Some sound effects were also considered to improve the track, but the idea was discarded.

McCartney, along with tape operator Alan Parsons, experimented with the introduction to Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, running the final stereo remix tape (an edit of remix stereo RS 34 and RS 37) backwards while adding tape echo / repeat echo. To review the work, they made the edit of the stereo master with the descending chord progression that was originally the song’s introduction cut from the tape.

Lewisohn noted that sound effects were then “made” for the beginning of the song. It can only be assumed that sound effects were gathered from the EMI tape library, a common source of such material for Beatles recording. The results of this work were not used on the track.

After it was decided that neither the edit nor the sound effects should be used in the song’s opening, the original introduction was not replaced on the master remix. This explains why the release version of the song begins with McCartney’s vocal, and not an instrumental lead in.

From “The Beatles Recording Reference Manual – Volume 5” by Jerry Hammack

The End” was then edited, losing 36 seconds of the guitar solo section in the process, bringing its length down from 2’41” to 2’05”.

The day ended with the creation of a safety copy of the master tape. Both the master and the copy were taken away by engineer Geoff Emerick and brought to Apple Studios to be cut to disc by Malcolm Davis. The album was the first UK one to not be cut at EMI by Harry Moss.

Last updated on December 28, 2021

Songs recorded


Maxwell's Silver Hammer

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Editing • Editing of master


The End

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Editing • Editing of master


Maxwell's Silver Hammer

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Unnumbered sound effects take


Tape copying of Abbey Road LP masters

Tape copying


Production staff

George Martin:
Geoff Emerick:
Phil McDonald:
Alan Parsons:
Second engineer

Going further

The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions • Mark Lewisohn

The definitive guide for every Beatles recording sessions from 1962 to 1970.

We owe a lot to Mark Lewisohn for the creation of those session pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - the number of takes for each song, who contributed what, a description of the context and how each session went, various photographies... And an introductory interview with Paul McCartney!

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If we like to think, in all modesty, that the Paul McCartney Project is the best online ressource for everything Paul McCartney, The Beatles Bible is for sure the definitive online site focused on the Beatles. There are obviously some overlap in terms of content between the two sites, but also some major differences in terms of approach.

Read more on The Beatles Bible


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