Recording "All You Need Is Love" #3

Friday, June 23, 1967 • For The Beatles

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the All You Need Is Love / Baby You're A Rich Man (UK) 7" Single.
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

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About

On May 18, 1967, Brian Epstein signed a contract for The Beatles to appear as Britain’s representatives on “Our World”, a live television production that would be broadcast internationally via satellite on June 25. For this momentous occasion, The Beatles chose to record “All You Need Is Love”, a track written by John Lennon, and perform parts of it live.

The Beatles began recording “All You Need Is Love” on June 14, 1967, at Olympic Sound Studios, and continued working on it at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, on June 19. A mono mix was prepared on June 21, which was used as a reference for the orchestra’s scoring by George Martin.

On June 17, Mike Vickers, a member of Manfred Mann, was asked to write the orchestra arrangement, as George Martin had some personal constraints. Mike Vickers was also asked to conduct the orchestra during the rehearsals and live recordings, as George Martin would be busy producing the session on the day of the broadcast. He completed the writing of the score on June 22.

On this day, June 23, from 8 to 11 pm in Abbey Road Studio 1, the 13-piece orchestra, composed of four violins, two cellos, two tenor saxophones, two trombones, two trumpets, an accordion, and a flügelhorn, was brought in for the first rehearsals.

“All You Need Is Love” was actually quite simple when it was first presented and routined, but it grew more and more complicated as it got structured. Even though it was a Lennon composition, I noticed that Paul was taking charge to a great degree, certainly in terms of making suggestions and interfacing with the classical musicians, many of whom (like trumpeter David Mason) had worked with us before. Because George Martin wanted to remain in the control room, Mike Vickers of the band Manfred Mann was recruited to conduct.

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

Ten takes, numbered 34 to 43, were recorded on this day, with John Lennon on vocals, Paul McCartney on bass and backing vocals, George Harrison on guitar and backing vocals, Ringo Starr on drums and the orchestra. The orchestra returned to EMI Studios for additional rehearsals the following day and to perform live during the broadcast on June 25.

On this day, the decision was made to release “All You Need Is Love” as a single after the broadcast.

On the Friday evening, in the middle of a dress rehearsal, Brian Epstein came in and held a meeting with George Martin and the band in the Studio One control room, during which they debated the wisdom of rush-releasing the upcoming performance as a single. John, of course, was keen—it was his song, after all—and it didn’t take much effort to talk Paul into it, either, since he knew the value of the massive publicity they would be receiving by virtue of the broadcast, thereby guaranteeing huge record sales. Only George Harrison was reluctant; presumably he was worried that he might muff his solo, even though it was only four bars long. He was finally persuaded when George Martin assured him that we could stay late afterward and do any necessary repair work. Their decision, of course, added even more pressure on me. I now had to not only do the sound for the live broadcast—the BBC truck parked outside would be receiving a feed of the monitor mix I would be creating as the Beatles and the orchestral musicians were playing live—but I had to get everything recorded cleanly on tape as well.

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

From Meet the Beatles for Real: Getting cozy with Paul – Photo by Lizzie Bravo June 23, 1967 (in the early morning?) – This is what Lizzie posted on her Facebook about this great photograph: I had the pleasure of introducing this young man to my dear friend and his mega fan Nicia who came to London on holiday with her parents. I took this and other photos of them that night. It was quite late and he was leaving the studios.
From Meet the Beatles for Real: Tracking down Pepper – On June 23, 1967 the Beatles were working on the song, All you need is love. And three of them signed the inner sleeve of their latest LP, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. A fan named Carole was a regular outside of EMI during that time and she asked John, Paul and Ringo to sign them album for her. She was unable to get George signature on the album. John just signed “John” with a kiss next to his name. That is how things were when a Beatle actually knew you, I guess.


Last updated on February 10, 2024

Songs recorded


1.

All You Need Is Love

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 10


2.

All You Need Is Love

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 34 as SI onto take 10


3.

All You Need Is Love

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 35 as SI onto take 10


4.

All You Need Is Love

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 36 as SI onto take 10


5.

All You Need Is Love

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 37 as SI onto take 10


6.

All You Need Is Love

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 38 as SI onto take 10


7.

All You Need Is Love

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 39 as SI onto take 10


8.

All You Need Is Love

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 40 as SI onto take 10


9.

All You Need Is Love

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 41 as SI onto take 10


10.

All You Need Is Love

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 42 as SI onto take 10


11.

All You Need Is Love

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 43 as SI onto take 10

Staff

Musicians on "All You Need Is Love"

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Lead vocals
George Harrison:
Guitar, Backing vocals
Sidney Sax:
Violin
David Mason:
Trumpet
Lionel Ross:
Cello
Patrick Halling:
Violin
Eric Bowie:
Violin
John Ronayne:
Violin
Jack Holmes:
Cello
Rex Morris:
Tenor saxophone
Don Honeywill:
Tenor saxophone
Stanley Woods:
Flugelhorn, Trumpet
Evan Watkins:
Trombone
Harry Spain:
Trombone
Jack Emblow:
Accordion
Mike Vickers:
Conductor

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Richard Lush:
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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The Beatles Recording Reference Manual: Volume 3: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band through Magical Mystery Tour (late 1966-1967)

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.

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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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