Recording "The Fool On The Hill", "Hello, Goodbye"

Friday, October 20, 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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During this recording session, which lasted from 7 pm to 3:45 am, the goal was to add overdubs of flutes and violas onto two Beatles songs, “The Fool On The Hill” and “Hello, Goodbye“.

The Fool On The Hill” had been recorded over two days, on September 25 and 26, 1967, with backing vocals added on September 27. The final touch to the song was the addition, on this day, of three flutes, played by Jack Ellory and brothers Christopher and Richard Taylor, which were recorded as Take 7 on a separate tape as all tracks on the main tape were full.

On October 25 1967, Takes 6 and 7 were mixed in sync to create a final mono master.

Hello, Goodbye” had been recorded in two sessions so far, on October 2 and 19, 1967. On this day, two viola players, Ken Essex and Leo Birnbaum, were booked to play between 8 pm and 11 pm. However, due to the session running over time, they were required to stay until 2:30 am and were consequently paid double the agreed fee.

It appears that George Martin, the Beatles’ producer, had not yet written the viola score and had to create it on the spot. Once the score was ready, the viola parts were recorded as Take 17 (the reference track created as Take 17 the previous day was not used).

Paul McCartney was doodling at the piano, and George Martin was sitting next to him writing down what Paul was playing.

Leo Birnbaun – From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn, 1988

All of the Beatles were there. One of them was sitting on the floor in what looked like a pyjama suit, drawing with crayons on a piece of paper.

Ken Essex – From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn, 1988

Work on “Hello, Goodbye” continued on October 25, 1967.

Last updated on April 15, 2023

Songs recorded


The Fool On The Hill

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 6


Hello, Goodbye

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 17


Musicians on "Hello, Goodbye"

Musicians on "The Fool On The Hill"

Production staff

George Martin:
Phil McDonald:
Second Engineer
Ken Scott:

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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