Recording "Magical Mystery Tour" #4

Wednesday, May 3, 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 Three, Abbey Road

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In April of 1967, Paul McCartney spent two weeks vacationing in the United States before boarding a flight back to London on April 12. During the flight, he borrowed a notepad from a stewardess and defined a rough plan for a Beatles television film. Later, on April 25, the Beatles recorded the basic track of the theme song for their upcoming project “Magical Mystery Tour”. Over the next two days, April 26 and 27, they added various overdubs to the song.

On this day, from 7 pm to 12:15 am, four outside musicians joined The Beatles to record some brass overdub for “Magical Mystery Tour“. The four trumpets were added onto Take 9.

Geoff Emerick, the Beatles’ regular engineer, was absent that day was replaced by Malcolm Addey.

Paul had decided to add brass, to the Magical Mystery Tour theme song, including the same kind of Brandenburg Concerto-type piccolo trumpets he had used in “Penny Lane.” Since I had recorded every note of the track, I naturally assumed that I would be engineering the overdub. But EMI’s executives, in their infinite wisdom, thought otherwise. Months before, I had been booked to record an eccentric group called Adge Cutler and the Wurzels doing a gig in a pub up in Somerset. […]

Ken Townsend accompanied me on the trip, and I kept telling him that I was certain the Beatles would be ticked off that I wasn’t there, especially since Malcolm Addey, of all people, was going to be taking my place. I was correct in my prediction, and I didn’t hear the end of it for weeks — in fact, it’s something that Paul still brings up occasionally, just to needle me. Given George Martin’s reluctance to work with Malcolm, I have no idea why he was unable to pull strings and reverse management’s decision. Perhaps it was just another sign that he was starting to lose control.

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

Paul McCartney was humming to the musicians the notes that he wanted, trying for a long time to get his thoughts across to them. In the end, we had to send the trumpet players off for tea while Paul and George [Martin] worked things out on the studio three piano.

Malcolm Addey – From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn, 1988

Gary Howarth got so fed up with them not knowing what they wanted that he wrote something out for them himself. It was his idea they used

Philip Jones – Friend of Gary Howarth – From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn, 1988

Malcolm had done a creditable job of recording the brass, with the tape slowed down so that it would sound extra toppy when played back at normal speed. […] The brass was note-perfect, with not a fluff to be heard, despite the intricacy of the part.

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

With the trumpets added, the recording of “Magical Mystery Tour” was completed. The mixing process started the following day.

Last updated on April 16, 2023

Songs recorded


Magical Mystery Tour

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 9


Musicians on "Magical Mystery Tour"

David Mason:
Elgar Howarth:
Roy Copestake:
John Wilbraham:

Production staff

George Martin:
Malcolm Addey:
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!

Shop on Amazon

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.

Shop on Amazon

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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