- Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the All You Need Is Love / Baby You're A Rich Man (UK) 7" Single.
- Olympic Sound Studios, London
More from year 1967
"Our World" satellite broadcast
Some songs from this session appear on:
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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. The Beatles were asked to provide a song that had a message that was easily understood by everyone, using simple English terms. The band undertook the assignment at a time when they were considering making a television special, “Magical Mystery Tour”, and working on songs for the animated film “Yellow Submarine“, for which they were contractually obliged to United Artists to supply four new recordings.
Brian [Epstein] paused for dramatic emphasis. “You have been selected to represent England in a television programme which, for the first time ever, will be transmitted live around the world via satellite. The BBC shall actually be filming you making your next record.”
The show, he went on to explain, was to be called Our World, and it was a celebration of cultures around the globe. He looked around the room expectantly. I almost thought he was getting ready to take a bow. To his utter dismay, the group’s response was… to yawn. […] Paul didn’t seem all that interested; I guess he was probably just too focused on finishing up Pepper.
With a distinct lack of enthusiasm, John finally said, “Oh, okay. I’ll do something for that.”Geoff Emerick – From “Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles“, 2006
So John and I just got together, and thought and I wrote one, and John wrote one, and we went to the session and we just decided to do his first. By the time that we had done the backing track for John’s, we suddenly realized that his was the one… So we’ve still got mine, ready to do for the next one, which is of a similar nature in its simplicity, but with a different message.Paul McCartney – From beatlesebooks.com
It was John’s song, mainly, one of those we had around at the time. It fits very well, so it might have been written especially for the show (and once we had it, it was certainly tailored to suit the programme). But I’ve got a feeling it was just one of John’s songs that was coming anyway. We went down to Olympic Studios in Barnes and recorded it, and everyone said, ‘Ah, this is the one we should use for the show.’Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles Anthology” book, 2000
Brian Epstein later said in a statement to Melody Maker magazine, “[All You Need Is Love] was an inspired song and they really wanted to give the world a message. The nice thing about it is that it cannot be misinterpreted. It is a clear message saying that love is everything.”
On June 18, 1967, The Beatles gathered at Olympic Sound Studios to record the basic track of “All You Need Is Love” as they were unable to book space at EMI Studios at short notice. They had recently recorded “Baby You’re A Rich Man” there.
Eddie Kramer, who later became the producer of Jimi Hendrix, was the engineer, with George Chkiantz as the tape operator and George Martin as the producer.
The project came together so fast,that George Martin was unable to book the band into any of the EMI studios, so they had to record the backing track at Olympic; once again, to my frustration. I was unable to engineer it or even attend because I was an EMI staffer.Geoff Emerick – From “Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles“, 2006
They came in and it was, ‘Well, what are we going to do now?’ John had the idea for ‘All You Need Is Love’ and he sat next to me in the control room. We rigged the talkback mike so that it could be used for vocals, and he sang through that.Eddie Kramer – Engineer – From beatlesebooks.com
Right from the beginning of take one ‘La Marseillaise’ (the French national anthem) was a vital part of the song, emphasizing the international flavor of the occasion.From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn, 1988
The band used unfamiliar instruments for the rhythm track: John Lennon was on the harpsichord, Paul McCartney on the double bass, George Harrison on the violin, and Ringo Starr on drums.
We just put a track down, because I knew the chords. I played a harpsichord and George played a violin, because we felt like doing it like that and Paul played a double bass. They can’t play them, so we got some nice noises coming out and then you can hear it going on, because it sounded like an orchestra, but it’s just those two playing the violin. So then we thought, ‘Ah well, we’ll have some more orchestra around this little three-piece with a drum.’ There was no conception about how it should sound like at the end until we did it that day. Until the rehearsal, it still sounded a bit strange then.John Lennon, 1967
I remember that one of the minor problems was that George had got hold of a violin which he wanted to try to play, even though he couldn’t!George Martin – From “All You Need Is Ears“, 1979
There was a bunch of instruments left over in the studio from previous sessions, including a double-bass that Paul played.Eddie Kramer – Engineer – From beatlesebooks.com
The Beatles recorded 33 takes of the rhythm track with this unusual instrumentation and John singing a guide vocal.
They did the song from beginning to end for a good half-hour. They’d get to the end of the song and John would count it off again without stopping, doing it again and again until they got the one that they liked.Eddie Kramer – From beatlesebooks.com
The Beatles were very opportunistic and very positive. At one point we accidentally made a curious sound on the tape and they not only wanted to keep it on the recording they also asked us to deliberately repeat that same sound again. Other groups would have been annoyed but The Beatles capitalized on the mistake.George Chkiantz – From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn, 1988
Take 10 was chosen as the best and a reduction mix was made with all the instruments copied onto track one of a new four-track tape before the next session at Abbey Road. An unnumbered remix mono was then made from the tape reduction to continue working on the track at Abbey Road, as the recording machines at Olympic were not compatible with the ones at Abbey Road.
They did a four-track to four-track mixdown, with curiously little care we all thought – and George Martin specifically told me to keep any little chatter before the take began.George Chkiantz – From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn, 1988
Work on “All You Need Is Love” continued five days later, on June 19, 1967, at Abbey Road.
MAL AND NEIL TELL YOU HOW ‘All You Need Is Love’ WAS RECORDED
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE was the most sudden single The Beatles have ever made! Mostly John and Paul take much longer to compose new songs — an idea hangs about in their minds, it’s set aside while they work on something else, it’s fetched back to their attention and, at last, it takes the form of a finished tune and some lyrics. They’ve been known to leave a gap of many months between the first and last parts of the operation.
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE was written at the end of May. Recording was completed on Sunday June 25 and the single was rushed into the shops only days later. Shops all over the world, that is, not just here in Great Britain. […]
The first part of ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE was recorded at Olympic on June 14. That night they made the first backing track — just instrumental stuff — with John playing a harpsichord (sounds like a very tinny piano sound on the record), Paul using an Arco string bass, which he played with a bow and Ringo on drums as usual. Plus George playing the violin for the first time in his life! […]From The Beatles Monthly Book, August 1967
Last updated on April 1, 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.