- Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Revolver (UK Mono) LP.
- EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road
More from year 1966
Some songs from this session appear on:
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This was the penultimate recording session for the “Revolver” album. The Beatles and the engineering team entered the EMI Studios at Abbey Road, at 10 am, and left the following day at 3:45 am. There were three distinct sessions. The first two sessions were focused on the creation of mono and stereo mixes for six songs. The third saw the recording of a new song, John Lennon’s “She Said, She Said“.
The first mixing session started at 10 am, and finished at 1 pm.
The weeks flew by, and before we knew it, the end date was nearing. We were mixing as we went along, and the mixes were going quickly because all the sounds were there. It was mostly down to balancing instruments and vocals; we didn’t have to fix many parts or add much in the way of reverb or echo, because most things were recorded right along with their effects. Incredibly, all the stereo mixes of the album were done in a single long day. Our focus was on the mono mixes, which were the real mixes as far as we were concerned, since so few people had stereo record players in those days.Geoff Emerick – From “Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles“, 2006
Work started on George Harrison’s “Love You To” (which still had the working title “Granny Smith“). The mono mix was completed on April 13, 1966. On this day, three stereo mixes were made from take 7. An edit involving all three mixes was then made, to create the version released on the stereo version of “Revolver“.
Another George Harrison song, “I Want To Tell You“, was next to be tackled. The mono mix was completed on June 3, 1966. On this day, two stereo mixes were made from take 4. Remix Stereo 2 was the one released.
The third song to be mixed on this day was Paul McCartney’s “Here, There And Everywhere“. Two stereo mixes were made from take 14. Remix Stereo 2 was the one released. Two mono mixes of the same song were then done (replacing the first mono mix done on June 17). Remix Mono 3 was the one released.
After a break from 1 pm to 2:30 pm, the mixing and editing activities restarted.
In the same session, a stereo mix of “For No One” was done, which served as the released version.
On May 12, 1966, “Doctor Robert” had been mixed in mono for inclusion on Capitol’s US album “Yesterday And Today”. On this day, three mono mixes were made from take 7 (labelled Remixes Mono 4 to 6). An edited version of Remix Mono 6 served as the mono version released on “Revolver“.
The third George Harrison song on “Revolver“, “Taxman“, had been mixed in mono on May 16. On this day, two additional mono mixes were done from take 12 (labelled Remix Mono 5 and Remix Mono 6). Those remixes were edited together, extending the song to its final 2:37 running time.
In the same session, two stereo mixes of “Taxman” were also made from take 12 and subject to the same editing. Those edited versions served as the mono and stereo release versions.
This session ended at 6:30 pm. The Beatles had a 30-minute break before entering Studio Two and beginning work on “She Said, She Said“.
“She Said, She Said” was the final song recorded for the album and was completed at the end of this session.
It wasn’t until the very end, when most of Revolver was mixed and ready to be mastered, that someone realized that the album was a song short. The LPs of that era were a lot more concise than today’s CDs, but if they were too short, there would be complaints — or worse yet, returns — from consumers. Not only was there a release date set, and a hungry public clamoring to hear the finished album, but the Beatles were booked to begin a European tour just days after the sessions ended, so there was no time to spare.
So on the next-to-last night, after we had all spent a full day mixing, Mal and Neil reappeared with the band’s equipment and the group began frantically rehearsing John’s new song “She Said, She Said.” John had always been the basher in the group — his attitude was “Let’s just get it done” — so it was no big surprise that we got the entire song recorded and mixed in nine hours, as opposed to the more than three days we spent on “Here, There and Everywhere.” Still, he made the group run through the song dozens of times before he was satisfied with the final result. For all of that, it still sounds scrappy and rough to me, it’s got the ragged feel of a track that was done in the middle of the night, under pressure. The next day we staggered in for another five hours of mixing and sequencing, and the album was done.Geoff Emerick – From “Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles“, 2006
The Beatles began by extensively rehearsing the song, with at least 25 attempts before the first proper recording attempt. They then taped the rhythm track in three takes. It’s unclear if Paul McCartney or George Harrison played bass on the track, as at one point Paul walked out of the studio following an argument.
Very much, John. It’s a nice one. I like the title “She Said She Said”, which I think was made up on the session. John brought it in pretty much finished, I think. I’m not sure, but I think it was one of the only Beatles records I never played on. I think we’d had a barney, or something, and I said, ‘Oh, fuck you!’ and they said, ‘Well, we’ll do it.’ I think George played bass.Paul McCartney – From Many Years From Now by Barry Miles, 1997
The creative cooperation among the four Beatles was at its highest during the Revolver period. There nevertheless remained a philosophical divide between McCartney and Lennon, Harrison and Starr due to McCartney’s refusal to try LSD. McCartney took part in the early takes for “She Said She Said” but did not contribute to the finished recording. He recalled: “I think we had a barney or something and I said, ‘Oh, fuck you!,’ and they said, ‘Well, we’ll do it.’ I think George played bass.” Harrison played a Burns bass guitar, which he had used earlier in the Revolver sessions, during initial recording for “Paperback Writer“. Harrison also contributed the lead guitar part, incorporating an Indian quality in its sound and providing an introduction that Riley describes as “outwardly harnessed, but inwardly raging”. Case describes the recording as “a metallic spiral of guitar and drums as aggressive as anything by the Who or the Yardbirds”.
According to McCartney biographer Barry Miles, logs from the recording session appear to contradict McCartney’s statement, as they do not indicate any bass overdubs by Harrison. Some authors therefore state that McCartney taped a bass track before walking out, on the same track as Starr’s drums. In his 2012 book on the making of Revolver, however, Robert Rodriguez comments that the stereo mix of the song puts the bass and drums on separate channels – showing that the two contributions were not recorded together on the same track, which the logs suggest – and the bass part has little in common with McCartney’s playing style or sound. He concludes that the session logs must be wrong and Harrison’s role as bassist on “She Said She Said” is “pretty well certain”.
Rodriguez highlights McCartney’s walkout as one of “a handful of unsolved Beatles mysteries”. When identifying the probable causes for McCartney’s uncharacteristic behaviour, he cites later comments made by Lennon: specifically that Lennon appreciated Harrison’s tendency to “take it as-is” whereas McCartney often took a musical arrangement in a direction he himself preferred; and that, given Lennon and Harrison’s habit of teasing their bandmate over his refusal to take LSD, McCartney possibly felt alienated by the song’s subject matter. Lennon expressed satisfaction with the completed track, adding, “The guitars are great on it.”
From The Beatles Recording Reference Manual – Volume 2 – Help! through Revolver (1965-1966) by Jerry Hammack:
McCartney may or may not have played bass on “She Said She Said”. In the Miles book, McCartney recalls that he got in an argument with Lennon and left the session before the bass work was completed. However, EMI Recording Studio documentation indicates the backing track included two guitar parts and a bass part.
It is most likely then that McCartney was the bass player, completing the work before his “barney” with Lennon, leaving the session and the other three Beatles to complete the night’s work.
From “Revolver (2022)” book:
It is pretty certain, however, that Paul is heard on the original rhythm track containing bass and drums. From 1’55” into the song, there are some more bass notes played on the organ after Paul had left the studio.
The disagreement that happened in the dead of night seems to have been about how to resolve differing ideas for the arrangement. A recording sheet in the Abbey Road archive indicates a piano was added to the song at one stage, but no trace of the instrument remains on the tapes.
Take 3 was deemed the best, and, as discussed above, had John Lennon on electric guitar, George Harrison on either bass or electric guitar, Paul McCartney possibly on bass and Ringo Starr on drums.
Take 3 then received the first overdubs. John added his lead vocals (recorded with varispeed – with the tape running slower so his voice was faster and higher upon playback) and John and George added backing vocals.
A tape reduction (named take 4) followed to free up a track, which received an organ part played by John and more electric guitar by George.
With the recording completed, three mono mixes were made from take 4 but were never used. “She Said, She Said” was mixed in mono and stereo on the following day, June 22, 1966.
Last updated on November 12, 2023
Musicians on "She Said She Said"
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.
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