Recording "Penny Lane" #8

Thursday, January 12, 1967 • For The Beatles

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane 7" Single.
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

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The Beatles had so far spent seven sessions recording Paul McCartney’s “Penny Lane”, on December 29 and December 30, 1966, and on January 4, January 5, January 6, January 9 and January 10, 1967.

On January 9, flutes, trumpets, piccolos and a flugelhorn had been added. On this day, the second set of classical instruments overdubs were recorded, including two other trumpets, two oboes, two cor anglais and a double bass.

In contrast to John, who had only the vaguest of ideas about how he wanted “Strawberry Fields Forever” to be recorded, Paul had very definite thoughts about the instrumentation he wanted on “Penny Lane.” George Martin was tasked with creating an arrangement for flutes, trumpets, piccolo, and fluegelhorn, to which were added oboes, cor anglais (English horn), and bowed double bass. Combined with Paul’s stellar bass playing and superb vocals (with backing from John and George), the track was beginning to sound full, polished, and quite finished to me.

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

The previous day, on January 11, Paul McCartney witnessed David Mason, a trumpet player, perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto N°2 in F Major, on the BBC1 television program “Masterworks”. Impressed by the performance, Paul informed George Martin on this day. George Martin, who was familiar with David Mason, contacted him and scheduled a studio session on January 17, 1967. During the session, David Mason would add his famous piccolo trumpet solo.

Last updated on February 5, 2023

Songs recorded


Penny Lane

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 9


Penny Lane

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 7 from take 9


Penny Lane

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 8 from take 9


Musicians on "Penny Lane"

Bert Courtley:
Duncan Campbell:
Dick Morgan:
Cor anglais, Oboes
Mike Winfield:
Cor anglais, Oboes
Frank Clarke:
Double bass

Production staff

George Martin:
Geoff Emerick:
Phil McDonald:
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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