Recording "Good Morning Good Morning"

Monday, March 13, 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

Songs recorded


1.

Good Morning Good Morning

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 10

Staff

Musicians on "Good Morning Good Morning"

Barrie Cameron:
Saxophone
David Glyde:
Saxophone
Alan Holmes:
Saxophone
John Lee:
Trombone
?:
Trombone, French horn

Production staff

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

About

On February 8, 1967, The Beatles recorded the rhythm track of John Lennon’s song “Good Morning Good Morning” and added overdubs on February 16. The track was then put on hold for almost a month before being worked on again during this session, which began at 7 pm and ended at 2:30 am.

The purpose of this session was to record a brass overdub for which three members of Sounds Incorporated, a group managed by Brian Epstein, were recruited to play saxophones. These musicians were Barrie Cameron, David Glyde, and Alan Holmes. Sounds Incorporated had previously opened for The Beatles during their 1965 world tour. John Lee on trombone and an unknown trombone player, along with a French horn player simply known as Tom, were also recruited for this session.

However, the session started with a 2-3 hour chat that turned into a listening session of the current stage of the “Sgt. Pepper” tracks for the benefit of the Sounds Incorporated players.

The brass overdub was then recorded and added to track two of the four-track tape of Take 10 and was subjected to heavy limiting and compression to alter the sound.

Work on “Good Morning Good Morning” continued on March 28, 1967.


When we came to record it we used Sounds Incorporated to do a big sax thing; they were friends of ours who had been on tour with us.

Paul McCartney – From “Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now” by Barry Miles, 1997

We were there for about six hours. The first three hours we had refreshments and The Beatles played us the completed songs for the new LP.

Alan Holmes – From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn, 1988

The Beatles had been cloistered in the studio for so long, they were clearly suffering from cabin fever. In addition, few people outside of our small inner circle had heard any of the Pepper tracks, so as everyone sat downstairs catching up with one another and reminiscing about old times, we were asked to play mixes of the completed tracks through the studio speakers. […]

I was studying the expressions of the Sounds Incorporated guys, trying to measure their reactions to the tracks we were playing for them. They were mesmerized! We knew that what we had been doing was exceptional, but it was gratifying to see that kind of response from people fresh to the project. From that point on, every time anyone came to visit the Beatles on a session, Richard and I hoped that we would be asked to play back something that was completed, or in progress, not just because we loved hearing the tracks, but because we enjoyed seeing the stunned looks on their faces.

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

The basic tune was quite simple, but John wanted a very hard driving sound to punch it along. This is where the horns came in. I thought the way to do it would be to have a mixture of saxophones, trumpets and trombones playing either in unison or in octaves, and sometimes on spread chords. It so happened that Brian Epstein managed a group called Sounds Incorporated, who were good pals, if a bit crazy, so we brought them in to give us our horn sound. They worked with us all day on it — and they had a very hard time.

John’s rhythms, so natural to his ear, were the very devil for thesix players to deliver in perfect time. They had to count like mad to know exactly when to do the ‘stabs’. It was very easy for them to miss cues, and very hard indeed to hit them as one, bang on.

George Martin – From “With A Little Help From My Friends: The Making of Sgt. Pepper“, 1995

For nearly a month, John had been ruminating about what kind of instrumentation he wanted on “Good Morning Good Morning”. He finally decided to add brass, but he was adamant that it mustn’t sound “ordinary,” and he insisted that George Martin hire a horn section comprised of old Liverpool mates instead of the top-flight session musicians we had been using. The group, who called themselves Sounds Incorporated, were nice enough blokes – actually, they were a lot of fun, which explained why Lennon liked them so much. But it took quite a long time to get a good take out of them because, throughout the session, John kept complaining that they were playing too “straight” — he had a real bee in his bonnet about that. In the end, to satisfy Lennon’s demand that I take a different sonic approach, I shoved the mics right down the bells of the saxes and screwed the sound up with limiters and a healthy dose of effects like flanging and ADT; we pretty much used every piece of equipment at hand.

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

They spent a long time doing the overdub, about three hours or maybe longer, but John Lennon thought it sounded too straight. So we ended up flanging, limiting and compressing it, anything to make it sound unlike brass playing. It was typical John Lennon – he just wanted it to sound weird.

Richard Lush, tape operator – From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn, 1988

From Meet the Beatles for Real: Paul and Denise – March 13, 1967  – Denise Werneck always seemed to be able to get the best posed photos with Paul.    I always thought they looked cute together. For those of you who might not know, Denise was one of Lizzie Bravo’s close friends that came to London from  Brazil slightly before Lizzie got there.

Last updated on February 10, 2024

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