Recording "Blue Jay Way"

Friday, October 6, 1967 • For The Beatles

Part of

Recording the "Magical Mystery Tour" soundtrack

Apr 25 - May 3 and Aug 22 - Nov 17, 1967 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Magical Mystery Tour (US LP - Mono)

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Magical Mystery Tour (US LP - Mono) LP.
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

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On September 6, 1967, The Beatles recorded the basic track of “Blue Jay Way,” which was George Harrison’s contribution to the “Magical Mystery Tour” soundtrack. The following day, on September 7, the band overdubbed lead vocals and backing vocals.

On this day, during a session that started at 7 pm and ended at midnight, they completed the recording of the track.

There was a free track available on the four-track tape of Take 3 at the end of the September 7 session, which was then filled with a cello and tambourine overdub. Ringo Starr played the tambourine part, while Peter Willison played the cello and received a payment of £27 for his contribution.

The fixer who arranged string players for lots of Beatles sessions was Sid Sax. He died in 2005. [… Peter Willison, a cellist my dad shared a flat with in St John’s Wood in the mid-to-late 1960s, remembers returning home at about 10 p.m. on 6 October 1967 after a concert at the Albert Hall and getting a call from Sax, telling him to drive to Studio Two at Abbey Road, immediately, for an all-night recording of what turned out to be ‘Blue Jay Way’. Peter arrived at the studio still wearing tails. At 27, he was about the same age as the Beatles. ‘They didn’t really have a clue what they were doing,’ Peter told me. ‘There were no other musicians. There was no music stand and no music. George Martin asked me to listen to the track and just play along. We experimented a bit. Finally at 4 a.m. we were finished.’ Could he remember my dad playing on any Beatles tracks? He couldn’t.

From Adam Smyth | A Day in the Life · LRB 24 December 2020

I was playing at the Albert Hall beforehand and arrived at the studio after 10. As I was in tails Ringo said I didn’t have to dress for them. There were no other musicians there, no music stand and no music. George Martin asked me to listen to the track and just play along. We experimented a bit and finally at 4 am we were finished.

Peter Willison – From 6 October 1967 – UK, Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road – Blue Jay Way – Beatles and Solo Photos Forum (

Following the recording sessions, “Blue Jay Way” was mixed in mono on October 12 and November 7, 1967, and in stereo on November 7, 1967.

Last updated on May 7, 2023

Songs recorded


Blue Jay Way

Written by George Harrison

Recording • SI onto take 3


Musicians on "Blue Jay Way"

Ringo Starr:
Peter Willison:

Production staff

George Martin:
Geoff Emerick:
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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