Recording "I'm The Walrus"

Tuesday, September 5, 1967 • For The Beatles

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Magical Mystery Tour (Mono) Official album.
Timeline More from year 1967
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

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About

From Anthology 2 liner notes, about take 16:

Lacking at this juncture the many overdubs and effects that would turn it into perhaps the most compelling master ever issued by the Beatles this is Take 16 of I Am The Walrus, the basic track on to which all the extras were added.

Using this recording as his reference, George Martin wrote the string and backing vocal arrangement that not only was sympathetic to John Lennon’s composition but enhanced it in a most dramatic fashion.

My first session as a second engineer for the Beatles had been scary, but my first session as an engineer with them was absolutely terrifying. Up until then, not allowed to touch mics or anything, I’d learned recording techniques by mostly sitting and watching. There were three pop engineers at Abbey Road during the time I was assisting — Norman Smith, Malcolm Addey and Peter Bown — and then the great thing was I got to see how three incredible classical engineers worked as well: Chris Parker, Bob Gooch and Neville Boyling. Still, once I got the call to engineer, it was as if I’d been dropped in the fire, especially since I was now on my own to record the biggest band in the world. It was a case of sink or swim, and luckily I swam.

The Magical Mystery Tour project came just after the death of [Beatles manager] Brian Epstein and the whole thing was un-together. I hate to use the word ‘floundering’, but that’s almost what was going on, whereas for the White Album their heads were a little straighter. Considering the drugs that were being taken, this may seem hard to believe, but I think by then they’d come to terms with Brian’s death and they appeared to have a much better idea as to what they should be doing.

Ken Scott – From The Beatles ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ (soundonsound.com)

Last updated on September 5, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

I Am The Walrus

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 1


2.

I Am The Walrus

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 2


3.

I Am The Walrus

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 3


4.

I Am The Walrus

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 4


5.

I Am The Walrus

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 5


6.

I Am The Walrus

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 6


7.

I Am The Walrus

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 7


8.

I Am The Walrus

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 8


9.

I Am The Walrus

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 9


10.

I Am The Walrus

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 10


11.

I Am The Walrus

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 11


12.

I Am The Walrus

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 12


13.

I Am The Walrus

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 13


14.

I Am The Walrus

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 14


15.

I Am The Walrus

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 15


16.

I Am The Walrus

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 16

Album Officially released on Anthology 2

Staff

Production staff

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

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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