- Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Magical Mystery Tour Plus Other Songs LP.
- AIR Studios, London, UK
More from year 1971
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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, October 26, George Martin worked on “Strawberry Fields Forever“. From beatlesebooks.com:
[…] A further stereo mix of the song was made nearly four years later, on October 26th, 1971, at George Martin’s AIR Studios in London. Producer George Martin went back to the master tapes and started from scratch, creating stereo mixes of both the slower and faster versions of the song and then editing them together. Some of the noteworthy differences include more vibrant percussion quality, the panning from left to right of the swaramandala as heard at the end of the second and third choruses, and the slightly longer fade out at the end of the song (so you can actually hear “cranberry sauce” repeated twice instead of once in the previously released versions). John can also be heard quietly counting down the bars of the song during these quiet sections. The cello and trumpet track, however, comes in on the right channel this time around just after the main edit, the panning detail probably forgotten by George Martin in the making of this new stereo mix. Nonetheless, this mix is superior to the original stereo mix in many ways and, while it had only been available on German pressings of the “Magical Mystery Tour” album for many years, has become the standard version in subsequent CD releases from 1987 onward.
[c] stereo 26 Oct 1971 at AIR. edited.
Germany: Hor Zu SHZE 327 (later Odeon and Apple 1C 062-04 449) Magical Mystery Tour 1971.
CD: EMI CDP 7 48062 2 Magical Mystery Tour 1987, EMI CDP 7 97039 2 The Beatles 1967-1970 1993.
[…] The newer stereo mix [c] was once known as the German stereo mix and is now the standard CD stereo mix. It has better percussion sound than the older stereo mix [b] and more stereo separation. The older mix [b] has a nice effect at the edit, quickly moving the cello and trumpet track across the image from left to right, where it stays, distracting the listener from the edit itself; in the newer mix [c] this track just starts suddenly on the right. The swordmandel at the start of both verse 2 and 3, which sounds like a harp, moves from left to right in the newer mix [c], while it’s just centered in the older one [b]. John counts down the rest before the start of verse 2 and 3, properly mixed out in the older mix [b] but heard in the newer one [c]. The fadeout-fadein near the end goes to a moment of silence in the newer stereo mix [c], but comes back immediately in the others. The newer stereo mix [c] has a slightly longer final fade so we hear a second “cranberry sauce” in the drum track, left. The differences in the two stereo mixes helps in working out what is on the 4 tracks although there are still some questions.
Last updated on April 20, 2023
- George Martin:
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!
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.
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
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 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."