- Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane 7" Single.
- EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road
More from year 1966
Some songs from this session appear on:
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On November 24, 1966, after five months spent away from the recording studios, The Beatles were back at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, to start recording their next single and album. They spent the day recording Take 1 of John Lennon’s new song, “Strawberry Fields Forever“.
On this day, November 28, from 7 pm to 1:30 am, they continued the work on “Strawberry Fields Forever“, recording three more takes (numbered takes 2 to 4), with John Lennon on guitar, Paul McCartney on mellotron, George Harrison on maracas and Ringo Starr on drums.
On those takes, the song was arranged slightly differently than on take 1 – whereas Take 1 had begun with the first verse, this time it started with a mellotron introduction followed by the chorus. The key was also changed from C to B flat.
A few days later, we reconvened at Abbey Road and work resumed on “Strawberry Fields Forever,” as the song had been titled. The big breakthrough that night was Paul’s coming up with the stunning Mellotron line that opens the song. Paul’s inspiration really set the stage. In many ways, it was a harbinger of things to come over the next several months — the perfect, unique introduction to a series of near-perfect, near-unique sessions.Geoff Emerick – From “Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles“, 2006
Take 2 broke down around two and a half minutes. Take 3 was a false start. Take 4 was complete and received some overdubs. John added his lead vocals and some staccato guitar, George added some mellotron and Paul a bass line.
Take 4 was considered worthwhile at this stage and three rough mixes were then done to cut some acetates. It was released on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (50th anniversary boxset) in 2017.
Work on “Strawberry Fields Forever” would continue the following day, November 29, 1966.
Last updated on January 15, 2023
Recording • SI onto Take 4
Album Officially released on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (50th anniversary boxset)
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!
The second book of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC)-nominated series, "The Beatles Recording Reference Manual: Volume 2: Help! through Revolver (1965-1966)" follows the evolution of the band from the end of Beatlemania with "Help!" through the introspection of "Rubber Soul" up to the sonic revolution of "Revolver". 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.
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.