- Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Revolver (UK Mono) LP.
- EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road
More from year 1966
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This was the 21st day of the recording sessions for the “Revolver” album.
“Got To Get You Into My Life“ had been worked on during the first sessions for the “Revolver” album, on April 7, 8 and 11, then shelved for more than a month. On this day, in a session lasting 12 hours (from 12:30 pm to 12:30 am), The Beatles returned to it.
First, a horn section was recorded and added onto take 8.
We put trumpets on because it sounded like a trumpet number. None of the others did, so we haven’t used them on any other tracks, so it’s a nice novelty.Paul McCartney – From “The Beatles: Off The Record” by Keith Badman, 2008
Eddie Thornton and Glenn Hughes were members of Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, a British rhythm and blues group whose repertoire spanned jazz, soul, ska, and calypso, that Paul McCartney and John Lennon had seen live a few times in some London nightclubs. Through this connexion, they were invited to this session by Paul. However, Glenn Hughes fell ill and was replaced at the last minute by Peter Coe, another member of the Blue Flames. Three other freelancers joined them.
I was playing with Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames so I knew The Beatles – John and Paul particularly – from the studios and also from the London nightclub scene. In fact, Paul met Linda Eastman when he was at the Bag O’Nails Club watching us perform. But it was at the Scotch (of St. James) that Paul asked me to do this session with them.Eddie Thornton – Trumpet player – From The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn, 2004
That led to a lot of extra work for me. Through working with The Beatles I played with Jimi Hendrix, Sandie Shaw, The Small Faces and The Rolling Stones.Eddie Thornton
Georgie (Fame) called me, so I rushed up to the EMI Studios. Because I play tenor sax it meant having two tenors instead of a tenor and baritone…The Beatles wanted a definite jazz feel. Paul and George Martin were in charge. There was nothing written down but Paul sat at the piano and showed us what he wanted and we played with the rhythm track in our headphones. I remember that we tried it a few times to get the feel right and then John Lennon, who was in the control room, suddenly rushed out, stuck his thumb aloft and shouted ‘Got it!’ George Harrison got a little bit involved too but Ringo sat playing draughts in the corner.Peter Coe – Trumpet player – From The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn, 2004
It was interesting and unusual. I’ve never done a session quite like it before. The tune was a rhythm & bluesish sort of thing. We were only on one number. Apparently, The Beatles felt it needed something extra. As for the song’s arrangement, well, they didn’t have a thing written down! We just listened to what they had done and got an idea of what they wanted. Then we went ahead from there and gradually built up an arrangement. We tried a few things, and Paul and George Martin decided between them what would be used.Les Condon – Trumpet player – From “The Beatles: Off The Record” by Keith Badman, 2008
No one had ever heard strings like that before, and neither had they heard brass the way I recorded it on “Got To Get You Into My Life.” Again, I close-miked the instruments — actually put the mics right down into the bells instead of the standard technique of placing them four feet away — and then applied severe limiting to the sound. There were only five players on the session, and when it came time to mix the song, Paul kept saying, “I wish we could make the brass sound bigger.”
George Martin replied, “Well, there’s no way we’re bringing them back in for another session — we’ve got to get the album wrapped up and there’s no more budget for outside players anyway.”
That’s when I came up with the idea of dubbing the horn track onto a fresh piece of two-track tape, then playing it back alongside the multitrack, but just slightly out of sync, which had the effect of doubling the horns. I loved Paul’s singing on that song, too — he really let loose. At one point while Paul was recording the lead vocal, John actually burst out of the control room to shout his encouragement — evidence of the camaraderie and teamwork that was so pervasive during the Revolver sessions.Geoff Emerick – From “Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles“, 2006
As the tape was full, a reduction mix was needed to allow for more overdubs. Three attempts were made – labelled takes 9 to 11 – with take 9 deemed the best. As part of this process, Paul’s lead vocals, recorded on April 11, were scrapped and two tracks were made available.
Paul then re-recorded his lead vocals (utilising frequency control – they were recorded at a slower-than-normal speed and played back at a slightly higher pitch). John Lennon and George Harrison recorded some backing vocals that weren’t used in the released version of the track.
Ringo Starr also added a tambourine part, John some organ and George some electric guitar.
Two mono mixes, which were not used, ended the session. One final overdub would be added on June 17, 1966 to complete “Got To Get You Into My Life“.
BEATLES PLUS JAZZMEN
IT’S Ringo, Paul, George and John week! And in this week of “Paperback Writer” (it’s out tomorrow, Friday), comes the news the Beatles have recorded an LP track with top British jazzmen.
Georgie Fame advised the Beatles on the best musicians available that would “think Beatle”. On the session were Ian Hamer, Les Condon and Eddie Thornton (trumpets), Alan Branscombe and Peter Coe (tenors).
Trumpeter Les Condon told the MM of his reaction to working on a Beatle date: “Interesting and unusual — I’ve never done a session quite like it before. The tune was a rhythm-and-bluesish sort of thing — we were only on one number which they had recorded previously. Apparently they felt it needed something extra. That’s why we were there. The arrangement? Well, they didn’t have a thing written down. We just listened to what they’d done and got an idea of what they wanted. Then we went ahead from there and gradually built up an arrangement. We tried a few things, and Paul McCartney – he’s really the prime mover who gets everyone at it — and recording manager George Martin decided between them what would be used. But most of it went right the first time. Ian and I jotted down some voicings but everybody chipped in and credit for the arrangement must be evenly divided. I suggested something for the trumpets for an ending, and we dubbed that on. They didn’t think it was quite strong enough, so we dubbed it on with the three trumpets again. You’ll really be hearing six trumpets in that coda. It was the most relaxed session I’ve ever been on. The Beatles all seemed very nice fellows. And do you know what? They didn’t tell us anything. They kept asking things.”From Melody Maker – June 11, 1966
Last updated on January 11, 2023
Musicians on "Got To Get You Into My Life"
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.