- Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Revolver (UK Mono) LP.
- EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road
More from year 1966
Some songs from this session appear on:
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The basic track for “Taxman“, as well as most overdubs, had been recorded the previous day, April 21, 1966. On this day, a reduction mix of Take 11, named Take 12, was first made to free up a track. Ringo Starr then added a cowbell and John Lennon and Paul McCartney replaced the backing vocals they had recorded the previous day. Instead of “Anybody got a bit of money?“, they now sang “Ah! Ah! Mister Wilson… Ah! Ah! Mister Heath”, in reference to Prime Minister Harold Wilson (leader of the UK Labour Party) and Edward Heath (leader of the UK Conservative Party).
A final overdub would be added onto Take 12 on May 16, 1966.
The basic track of “Tomorrow Never Knows” had been recorded on April 6, 1966. The following day, April 7, 1966, The Beatles added tape loops and John Lennon recorded his lead vocals. On this day, April 22, they recorded the final overdubs, including some more vocal parts from John, George Harrison on sitar and tamboura, Paul McCartney on guitar and piano, Ringo Starr on tambourine, and also an organ part.
Lennon double-tracked his vocal performance from the 7th in places and then replaced the original vocal for the back half of the song with a new performance, this time utilizing the Leslie 122 speaker cabinet. […]
Other brush strokes added to finish the masterpiece included Harrison on sitar […] and tanpura/tambura (a traditional Indian four or five-stringed droning instrument), McCartney’s backwards lead guitar […], Starr on tambourine, McCartney on […] the “Mrs Mills” upright piano, and an unknown musician on organ.From The Beatles Recording Reference Manual – Volume 2 – Help! through Revolver (1965-1966) by Jerry Hammack, 2021
A couple of weeks later, George Harrison showed up with the tamboura he had so eagerly talked of during the first night’s session. Actually, he’d been talking about it almost nonstop since then, so everyone was really curious to see the thing. He staggered into the studio under its weight – it’s a huge instrument, and the case was the size of a small coffin – and brought it out with a grand gesture, displaying it proudly as we gathered around.
“What do you think to that, then” he asked everyone in sight. Not willing to trust his precious cargo to either of the two roadies, he had actually stuffed the tamboura case in the backseat of one of his Porsches, which he parked right in front of the main entrance so he could carry the instrument by hand up the steps. […]
But George Harrison had said that the tamboura drone would be the perfect complement to John’s song, and he was right. Having seen how well Paul’s loops had worked, George wanted to contribute one of his own, so I recorded him playing a single note on the huge instrument – again using a close-miking technique – and turned it into a loop. It ended up becoming the sound that opens the track. Another sonic component — the little bit of tack piano at the end — was a fluke. It actually came from a trial we did on the first take, when the group were just putting ideas down, but Paul heard it during one of the playbacks and suggested that we fly it into the fadeout, and it worked perfectly.
Last updated on November 1, 2022
Musicians on "Taxman"
Musicians on "Tomorrow Never Knows"
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.