Recording "Lullaby"

Wednesday, January 10, 1968 • For Grapefruit

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Yesterday's Sunshine: The Complete 1967-1968 London Sessions Official album.
Timeline More from year 1968
Studio:
Advision Studios, London, UK

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About

Grapefruit was a London-based band, brought together by Terry Doran of Apple Publishing, the music publishing company started and owned by the Beatles. The band was formed late 1967 and was given its name by John Lennon.

On this day, Lennon and McCartney produced one of their songs, “Lullaby“. This would be the only song they produced together.

From the liner notes of Grapefruit – Yesterday’s Sunshine: The Complete 1967-1968 London Sessions, 2016:

[…] Apple Publishing had been set up as a publishing business. But for Grapefruit, they would assume a larger role, effectively becoming a production company as well. Apple would pay for all of the Grapefruit recording sessions and then license the finished masters to a record label. With “Dear Delilah” in the can, Apple negotiated a deal with RCA to release Grapefruit’s records in England. For the United States, Grapefruit would be signed to a new label formed by [Terry] Melcher, Equinox Records.

The Beatles were impressed with “Dear Delilah” and soon developed a genuine interest in the group. On 10th January 1968 – several weeks before “Dear Delilah” was even released – Grapefruit entered Advision Studios in the company of Paul McCartney and John Lennon, who would product “Lullaby” as the follow up to “Dear Delilah”.

“Lullaby” was the song that had captured John Lennon’s imagination in the summer of 1967 and had led to George Alexander being signed to Apple. Lennon was particularly keen to get this song captured on tape and this was to be the only recording to ever be jointly produced by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. In a single session, the two Beatles transformed “Lullaby” into a perfect encapsulation of English psychedelic pop, but it would never be issued. Not the Lennon and McCartney produced version at least.

[…] “Dear Delilah” was released in February 1968 and in the weeks that followed, managed to climb to number 21 in the English charts. It was a promising enough start for a new group and RCA wanted a follow up single as soon as possible. They requested new material from Apple, but with the Beatles now off in India, the Lennon and McCartney version of “Lullaby” was left on the shelf after Grapefruit presented RCA with the self-produced tracks, “Elevator” and “Yes”. […]

Stefan Granados

Lullaby” was released on Grapefruit’s debut album in 1968, but according to Stefan Granados, this was not the version produced by Lennon / McCartney. It seems the Lennon / McCartney-produced version was released for the first time in 2016.

The Beatles spent some more time with Grapefruit in the studios. Lennon / McCartney joined their very first session in November 1967. And Lennon / McCartney / Harrison sometimes joined sessions of their first album, as remembered by John Perry:

Moving on, It was in the studio where we got our first taste of interaction with the Beatles. After our initial session at IBC we knuckled down to making our first album, and for the most part it would be just us. Memories of standing around the piano probably at Trident studios with the Grapefruit guys and Terry Melcher playing
Round Going Round. Unfortunately he had taken one of his little tablets which made everything half tempo
and although he was “feelin’ it”, it turned a bright happy song into a dirge! Fortunately it had worn off by the time we got to recording. So we kicked off recording where occasionally out of the blue, one or a couple of the Beatles would just turn up and hang out there. Memories of Paul playing Hey Jude to John, (possibly the first time he’d heard it) on a piano behind a curtain; a memory of Lennon, screaming at me trying to get me to play a certain way on a Grapefruit track: “I want it to sound like a f**king airplane coming into land” Bearing in mind
we didn’t even use overdrive guitar in the Castaways this was pretty terrifying. Also George came in a few
times and played around with the drum sounds and stuff.

Interaction with “the boys” was always fascinating and frightening at the same time. You gotta remember
I was a huge fan before I met them, and I have to this day got a collection of Beatles magazines, a monthly mag about the fab four that I devoured in younger days from cover to cover. Now I was hanging out with them and expected to be ‘normal’ in their presence, it was pretty weird. The thing is they were very normal together, the problem was they were THE BEATLES!!!

Here’s an example. We met up for a drink in a pub in Wigmore St. and were sitting round with the lads. I’m sitting between Paul and George and they start to talk to each other with me in the middle. The thing was that because at that time their every word if heard could make the front page, they put their heads very close together so their conversation couldn’t be overheard. Can you imagine when your idol’s face is about 6 inches from yours asking “what do you think” – pretty scary!

John Perry – From grapefruit-booklet-uncorrected-CopyTHIS-ONE.pdf (heartrecords.org)

Last updated on July 3, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

Lullaby

Written by George Alexander

Recording

Staff

Musicians

Pete Swettenham:
Performer
George Alexander:
Performer
John Perry:
Performer
Geoff Swettenham:
Performer

Production staff

Paul McCartney:
Producer
John Lennon:
Producer

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