- Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Magical Mystery Tour (US LP - Mono) LP.
- EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road
- EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road
More from year 1967
Some songs from this session appear on:
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On this day, two sessions were held to complete the mixing of songs for the “Magical Mystery Tour” soundtrack. The first session took place in the control room of Studio Two between 2:30 PM and 5:45 PM, with Ken Scott as the balance engineer, assisted by Peter Mew. The team began with “Blue Jay Way,” which had been recorded during three sessions, on September 6 and 7, and October 12, 1967. It was mixed in stereo in two attempts, labelled Remix Stereo 1 and 2. Although RS2 was initially deemed the best and was subject to some editing, the team was not entirely satisfied and later revisited it during the second session.
Following this, the team focused on “Flying,” requiring a single stereo mix (RS1) from Take 8, which was also subject to some editing.
The second session was held in Studio One, from 9 PM to 4:30 AM, with Geoff Emerick taking over as the engineer, assisted by Graham Kirkby. This session began with nine mono mixes of “Blue Jay Way,” numbered 20-28, followed by three more stereo mixes, numbered 10-12. The best of these – Remix Mono 27 and Remix Stereo 12 – were then edited to become the master versions.
George Martin then thought to have another go at creating a stereo mix, but this time with a new idea. The idea was to play a recording of the song backwards simultaneous to the making of the stereo mix, panning in the backward tape to fill in what were considered empty gaps in the song. They gave this idea three attempts (remixes 10 through 12) before deciding that remix 12 was the best. With this new backwards idea in place, they thought to use this stereo mix for the mono version as well, knowing they wouldn’t be able to create it exactly the same way with another attempt at a mono mix. This idea was abandoned, however, mono remix 27 being the released version without any backward recording present.
Both the mono mix (remix 27) and stereo mix (remix 12) underwent some editing work on this day, possibly involving the oscillating and highly reverberated organ swirling sounds at the end of both mixes, the stereo mix differing somewhat from the mono mix.From beatlesebooks.com
“Blue Jay Way” features extensive use of three studio techniques employed by the Beatles over 1966–67: flanging, an audio delay effect; sound-signal rotation via a Leslie speaker; and (in the stereo mix only) reversed tapes. Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn compares “Blue Jay Way” with two Lennon tracks from this period, “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “I Am the Walrus“, in that the recording “seized upon all the studio trickery and technical advancements of 1966 and 1967 and captured them in one song”. Together with the pedal drone supplied by the keyboard parts, the various sound treatments reinforce the sense of dislocation evident in the song.
In the case of the reversed-tape technique, a recording of the completed track was played backwards and faded in at key points during the performance. This effect created a response to Harrison’s lead vocal over the verses, as the backing vocals appear to answer each line he sings. Due to the limits of multitracking, the process of feeding in reversed sounds was carried out live during the final mixing session. Described by Lewisohn as “quite problematical”, the process was not repeated when the Beatles and their production team worked on the mono mix.From Wikipedia
The third song to be mixed on that day was the title track “Magical Mystery Tour“, which had been recorded over four days in April and May of 1967 (on April 25, 26 and 27, and May 3). The initial mono mix was completed on May 4, with the stereo mix following on November 6.
But during the editing of the “Magical Mystery Tour” TV special, John Lennon had added a spoken introduction to the song: “Roll up, roll up for the Magical Mystery Tour! Step right this way! Hurry, hurry, hurry!”. It was decided that this introduction should be included in the record release as well.
To incorporate the new introduction, the stereo and mono mixes were modified. Remix Stereo 4 and Remix Mono 7 were copied onto new tapes, with Paul McCartney recreating John’s spoken introduction, but omitting the “Hurry, hurry, hurry!” section. The tape loop of traffic noise from the April 25 session was also added.
Multiple stereo and mono mixes were created, with two stereo versions (RS 5 and RS 6) and three mono versions (RM8 to RM10). Ultimately, RS6 and RM10 were selected as the final versions for release.
At the end of the session, copies of several other songs, including “I Am The Walrus“, “Your Mother Should Know“, “Flying“, “Blue Jay Way“, “The Fool On The Hill“, and “Strawberry Fields Forever“, were made for Capitol Records’ representative Voyle Gilmore, who took them back to the United States for release.
Last updated on April 19, 2023
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!
The third book of this critically - acclaimed series, nominated for the 2019 Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) award for Excellence In Historical Recorded Sound, "The Beatles Recording Reference Manual: Volume 3: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band through Magical Mystery Tour (late 1966-1967)" captures the band's most innovative era in its entirety. From the first take to the final remix, discover the making of the greatest recordings of all time. Through extensive, fully-documented research, these books fill an important gap left by all other Beatles books published to date and provide a unique view into the recordings of the world's most successful pop music act.
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.