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Thursday, September 30, 1971

Mixing "Penny Lane"

For The Beatles

Last updated on April 20, 2023

In September and October of 1971, George Martin undertook a project to remix several Beatles songs into stereo. On September 30, “Penny Lane” was mixed, followed by “Baby, You’re A Rich Man” on October 22, and “Strawberry Fields Forever” on October 26.

These newly-mixed stereo versions were initially released on the German pressing of “Magical Mystery Tour Plus Other Songs“. The stereo mix of “Penny Lane” was released on the UK version of the Blue album in 1973. The stereo mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever” was released in the UK on some reissues in 1976. The three stereo mixes were included in the CD releases from 1987 onwards.

On this day, September 30, George Martin worked on “Penny Lane“. From beatlesebooks.com:

A true stereo mix was finally created on September 30th, 1971 by George Martin in his AIR Studios in London. While this mix still did not include the ending trumpet flourish from David Mason, it did include a trumpet flourish not heard before, which appears just after the phrase “clean machine.” While this new mix appeared on the UK version of the compilation album “The Beatles/1967-1970” (“The Blue Album”), it apparently didn’t find its way to Capitol in the US. They, instead, created yet another mock stereo version from the mono mix they previously had, using this new mix for the American “Blue Album” release, this version having a little less treble-bass separation than the one they created for the “Magical Mystery Tour” album.

The true stereo mix finally appeared in the US on the 1980 released album “Rarities,” although Capitol artificially inserted the ending trumpet flourish to make this version a true rarity. Future Beatles compilation albums that appeared in the states, as well as all CD releases, feature the unadulterated stereo mix as created by George Martin in 1971, with a few notable exceptions as detailed below.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

[c] stereo 30 Sep 1971 at AIR.
Germany: Hor Zu SHZE 327 (later Odeon and Apple 1C 062-04 449) Magical Mystery Tour 1971.
Australia: Apple TVSS 8 Essential Beatles 1972.
UK: Apple PCSP 718 1967-1970 1973, Parlophone TC-PCS 3077 (cassette) Magical Mystery Tour 1976.
US: Capitol SV-12245 20 Greatest Hits 1982.
CD: EMI CDP 7 48062 2 Magical Mystery Tour 1987, EMI CDP 7 97039 2 The Beatles 1967-1970 1993.

Session activities

  1. Penny Lane

    Written by Lennon - McCartney


    AlbumOfficially released on Magical Mystery Tour Plus Other Songs


Production staff

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!

Shop on Amazon

Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989

With 25 albums of pop music, 5 of classical – a total of around 500 songs – released over the course of more than half a century, Paul McCartney's career, on his own and with Wings, boasts an incredible catalogue that's always striving to free itself from the shadow of The Beatles. The stories behind the songs, demos and studio recordings, unreleased tracks, recording dates, musicians, live performances and tours, covers, events: Music Is Ideas Volume 1 traces McCartney's post-Beatles output from 1970 to 1989 in the form of 346 song sheets, filled with details of the recordings and stories behind the sessions. Accompanied by photos, and drawing on interviews and contemporary reviews, this reference book draws the portrait of a musical craftsman who has elevated popular song to an art-form.

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Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium

We owe a lot to Chip Madinger and Mark Easter for the creation of those session pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details!

Eight Arms To Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium is the ultimate look at the careers of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr beyond the Beatles. Every aspect of their professional careers as solo artists is explored, from recording sessions, record releases and tours, to television, film and music videos, including everything in between. From their early film soundtrack work to the officially released retrospectives, all solo efforts by the four men are exhaustively examined.

As the paperback version is out of print, you can buy a PDF version on the authors' website

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Maccazine - Volume 40, Issue 3 - RAM Part 1 - Timeline

This very special RAM special is the first in a series. This is a Timeline for 1970 – 1971 when McCartney started writing and planning RAM in the summer of 1970 and ending with the release of the first Wings album WILD LIFE in December 1971. [...] One thing I noted when exploring the material inside the deluxe RAM remaster is that the book contains many mistakes. A couple of dates are completely inaccurate and the story is far from complete. For this reason, I started to compile a Timeline for the 1970/1971 period filling the gaps and correcting the mistakes. The result is this Maccazine special. As the Timeline was way too long for one special, we decided to do a double issue (issue 3, 2012 and issue 1, 2013).

Maccazine - Volume 47, Issue 1 - The birth of Wings

"Maccazine is a hard copy magazine (a bound paperback) about Paul McCartney. It is published twice a year. Due to the fact that the Internet has taken over the world and the fact that the latest Paul McCartney news is to be found on hundreds of websites, we have decided to focus on creating an informative paper magazine about Paul McCartney."

"In this issue we take you back to the early days of Paul McCartney’s solo career when he decided to form a new group. With Wings he proved there was life after The Beatles. This Maccazine features a detailed timeline of ‘the birth’ of the band with interesting entries including many new facts and unpublished photos. Follow-up timelines will be published in the upcoming years."

Paul McCartney writing

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