Recording "Penny Lane" #5

Friday, January 6, 1967 • For The Beatles

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

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About

The Beatles had recorded Paul McCartney’s “Penny Lane” in four sessions so far, on December 29 and December 30, 1966, and on January 4 and January 5, 1967. On this day, they continued working on the track from 7 pm to 1 am.

Paul recorded his bass part on track two. On track four, George Harrison added some electric guitar, Ringo Starr added drums and John Lennon played congas. Those overdubs replaced the previously recorded piano and guitar parts by John and George on January 4. The recording was made with the tape machine running at a slower speed of 47.5 cycles per second, so the music was faster upon playback.

Since the four tracks of the tape were now full, a reduction mix labelled Take 8 was created, freeing up two tracks. All the instrumental parts recorded to date were reduced to a single channel on track one, while all the vocals were on track four.

George Martin and John then added some piano parts to track two and Paul, John and George added backing vocals to track three. They also humorously scat-sang when they knew brass instruments would be added later. A good portion of this handclap and scat-singing overdub can be heard on “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (50th anniversary boxset)“.

However, these overdubs were later scrapped, and another tape reduction of Take 7 was done, labelled Take 9.

The work on “Penny Lane” would continue on January 9.

Last updated on January 22, 2024

Songs recorded


1.

Penny Lane

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 7


2.

Penny Lane

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 7 into take 8


3.

Penny Lane

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 8


4.

Penny Lane

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 7 into take 9

Staff

Musicians on "Penny Lane"

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Backing vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Piano, Backing vocals, Congas
George Harrison:
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
George Martin:
Piano

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
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!

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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