Mixing "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)", recording "Only A Northern Song"

Thursday, April 20, 1967 • For The Beatles

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (UK Mono) LP.
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Songs recorded


1.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 1 from take 9


2.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 2 from take 9


3.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 3 from take 9


4.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 4 from take 9


5.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 5 from take 9


6.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 6 from take 9


7.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 7 from take 9


8.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 8 from take 9


9.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 9 from take 9


10.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 10 from take 9

Album Officially released on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (UK Stereo)


11.

Only A Northern Song

Written by George Harrison

Recording • SI onto take 3


12.

Only A Northern Song

Written by George Harrison

Recording • SI onto take 11

Staff

Musicians on "Only A Northern Song"

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Trumpet
John Lennon:
Glockenspiel
George Harrison:
Lead vocals
?:
Organ, Dialogue, Percussion, Noises, Piano

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Richard Lush:
Second Engineer

About

There were two sessions on this day. From 5 to 6:15 pm, balance engineer Geoff Emerick and tape operator Richard Lush (without producer George Martin) created the stereo mix of “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise).”

The track was recorded and mixed in mono on April 1, 1967. Ten attempts at mixing Take 9 and the additional sound effects reel in stereo were made and labelled Remix Stereo 1 to 10, with RS10 serving as the stereo release version of the song.


George Martin attended the second session of the day, which took place from 7 pm to 2:15 am. The Beatles revisited “Only A Northern Song” by George Harrison, which was originally recorded on February 13 and 14, 1967. Although the song was discarded from the “Sgt. Pepper” album, the band decided to recycle it for the “Yellow Submarine” animated film soundtrack, for which the producers were present in the studio during this session.

The process used to finish the song on this day was quite unconventional. They first went back to Take 3, which was the original four-track tape that they had recorded the rhythm track on, on February 13, and wiped the bass, organ, and tambourine parts. Paul McCartney then re-recorded his bass part and added a trumpet part. John Lennon also contributed some glockenspiel, a percussion instrument consisting of metal bars arranged in a keyboard layout.

On February 14, George Harrison had recorded his lead vocals onto Take 12, a reduction mix of Take 3. However, it was decided that he should re-record his lead vocals. Those were added onto Take 11, another reduction mix done on February 14. As they were double-tracked, they filled two tracks of the four-track tape. Paul added another trumpet part, and track one, which contained drums and tambourine from the previous sessions, was erased and replaced by some miscellaneous percussion sounds, studio chatters, organs, and piano.

The two versions of “Only A Northern Song” – Take 3 and Take 11 – were mixed together during the following day’s session.


I think if it had gone Disneyesque [The “Yellow Submarine” animated movie] and they’d wanted a ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ I would have been very keen to do it, but because they were going more in the Pepper direction, we said to use songs we’d already recorded, like ‘All You Need Is Love’. They also wanted some new songs from us, so we recorded ‘Only A Northern Song’ in Abbey Road. I remember playing a silly trumpet. My dad used to play. I can’t but I can mess around a lot – and that song gave me the perfect framework. It was very tongue in cheek.

Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles Anthology” book, 2000

The film producers were wandering around the studio and they had to sort of go along with this – I saw some very sad faces while I’m playing this trumpet.

Paul McCartney

There was a commitment for The Beatles to do four songs for the film. Apparently, they would say, this is a lousy song, let’s give it to Brodax.

Al Brodax – Producer of the Yellow Submarine film – From MOJO, October 1999

The Beatles were completely uninterested in Yellow Submarine, which was a feature-length cartoon that Brian had obligated them to do, apparently against their wishes. As a result, it essentially became a receptacle for any song of theirs that they deemed substandard, such as George Harrison’s “Only A Northern Song.” “Shovel that sideways,” they would say, and we knew that meant it was destined to be given over to the cartoon: they simply couldn’t be bothered writing anything new for it.

Geoff Emerick – From “Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles“, 2006

#SgtPepper mixing desk. Abbey Road, Studio 2

Last updated on January 24, 2024

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