Recording "And Your Bird Can Sing", "Taxman"

Wednesday, April 20, 1966 • For The Beatles

Part of


Recording "Revolver"

April 6 - June 22, 1966 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Revolver (UK Mono)

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Revolver (UK Mono) LP.
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Master release


Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.

About

This was the tenth day of the recording sessions for the “Revolver” album. The Beatles started working on two new songs, “And Your Bird Can Sing” and “Taxman“, during this twelve-hour session (from 2:30 pm to 2:30 am). None of the work done on this day would be used (“And Your Bird Can Sing” would be remade on April 26, and “Taxmanon April 21).


The Beatles recorded two takes of “And Your Bird Can Sing“, with John Lennon or Paul McCartney on electric guitar, George Harrison on electric guitar, Ringo Starr on drums and John on lead vocals.

I think it was Paul and me, or maybe John and me, playing (guitars) in harmony — quite a complicated little line that goes through the middle-eight.

George Harrison – From interview with Guitar Player Magazine, 1987

Take 2 was deemed the best, and overdubs were added. Paul added his bass line, Ringo played tambourine, George added a guitar solo, and John double-tracked his lead vocals. When Paul and John sang their backing vocals, they were overcome by hysterical laughter and unable to sing their parts.

Take 2 was released on Anthology 2 in 1996 and re-released on the 2022 reissue of “Revolver”.

John’s composition And Your Bird Can Sing appeared on Revolver in remake form, Take 10 from 26 April. Six days earlier, in two takes, the Beatles recorded a different arrangement of the number, the overdubbing of several vocal tracks on to Take 2 indicating that, for a few days at least, they considered that it had the makings of a master. This recording is released here for the first time, counted-in by John. And someone or something – the tape does not reveal what – was causing them to giggle…

From Anthology 2 liner notes

One of my favorites on the Anthology is, ‘And Your Bird Can Sing,’ which is a nice song, but this take of it was one we couldn’t use at the time. John and I got a fit of the giggles while we were doing the double-track. You couldn’t have released it at the time. But now you can. Sounds great just hearing us lose it on a take.

Paul McCartney, 1994

What’s intriguing about ‘And Your Bird…’ is the early demos show how much it was meant to be a Byrds song. It’s like that classic line from Douglas Adams [author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy]: “There is an art to flying, or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” And sometimes the secret about writing a great song is to copy someone and not do it completely correctly. In the early demos it’s almost too Byrdsy, and they had to de-Byrds it a bit. John’s guitar playing on this is extraordinary, also.

Giles Martin – From The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’: inside the remixed release with Giles Martin (nme.com), October 24, 2022

The Beatles then switched to George Harrison’s “Taxman” and recorded four takes of it, with likely George on guitar, Paul on bass and Ringo on drums. Only two of those takes were complete run-throughs.

At the very end of this long session, the engineering team returned to “And Your Bird Can Sing” and created five mono mixes, all from take 2.

Last updated on October 27, 2022

Songs recorded


1.

And Your Bird Can Sing

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 1


2.

And Your Bird Can Sing

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 2

Album Officially released on Anthology 2


3.

Taxman

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 1


4.

Taxman

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 2


5.

Taxman

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 3


6.

Taxman

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 4


7.

And Your Bird Can Sing

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 1 from take 2


8.

And Your Bird Can Sing

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 2 from take 2


9.

And Your Bird Can Sing

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 3 from take 2


10.

And Your Bird Can Sing

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 4 from take 2


11.

And Your Bird Can Sing

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 5 from take 2

Staff

Musicians on "Taxman"

Paul McCartney:
Bass ?
Ringo Starr:
Drums ?
George Harrison:
Electric guitar ?

Musicians on "And Your Bird Can Sing"

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Backing vocals, Electric guitar ?
Ringo Starr:
Tambourine, Drums
John Lennon:
Electric guitar ?, Lead vocals, Backing vocals
George Harrison:
Electric guitar

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 2 - Help! through Revolver (1965-1966)

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.

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

Contribute!

Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.