- 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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“She Said, She Said” was the final track recorded during the Revolver sessions. It was also the first composition that Lennon had brought to the band in almost two months, since “I’m Only Sleeping“. Because of Lennon’s lack of productivity, Harrison was afforded a rare opportunity to have a third song, “I Want to Tell You“, included on a Beatles album. The session took place on 21 June 1966, two days before the Beatles had to leave for West Germany to begin the first leg of their 1966 world tour. It took nine hours to rehearse and record, complete with overdubs, making it the only song on Revolver to be made in a single session. After the subsequent mixing session, the Beatles’ producer, George Martin, said: “All right, boys, I’m just going for a lie-down.”
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.”
Last updated on September 16, 2022
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.