"Thrillington" session #2

Wednesday, June 16, 1971 • For Percy "Thrills" Thrillington

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Thrillington LP.
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

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The recording of “Thrillington“, an instrumental version of Paul McCartney’s second solo album, “RAM“, had started on the previous day, and continued on this day.

Paul McCartney acted only as a producer during those sessions.

He was there the entire time, fine tuning it, speaking with the musicians, just being on top of it and making sure the feel is right. He was definitely in charge. Everyone was secure that if there were any decisions to be made, he would make them.

Tony Clark – Interview with Matt Hurwitz, from “Good Day Sunshine” fanzine – Issue #78 – Quoted in mcbeatle.de

I don’t think I’ve seen Paul quite so happy, away from the responsibility of making and producing his own music – just having a great, great bunch of musicians playing his music. Paul would talk to the musicians, and be the producer in the box, with me engineering, and it all flowed. Paul was bopping around, and feeling great about his music. I reckon we all did.

Tony Clark – from Facebook (Quote taken from McCartney Legacy Volume One, © Dey Street books, 2022.)

From “Good Day Sunshine” fanzine, issue #78:

[…] Upon returning the next morning, on Wednesday the 16th, for another 10 a.m. session in Studio Two, McCartney, Hewson and Clark recorded a group of 4 flutes, 1 piccollo and a boys choir, the latter appearing on only one song, “Ram On.” The afternoon session, which began at 2:30, featured a fairly well-known group of singers from France, The Swingle Singers. “They were an extremely talented group, very large,” says Hewson. “They were really terrific. They were known in Europe for doing sort of jazzy, scat renditions of Bach.” The Swingles, in all, appeared on five of the album’s eleven tracks.

That evening, beginning at 7:30, 9 more violins were taped, as were a set of 4 recorders. “We actually got Carl Dolmetsch and members of his family to come do the session,” says Hewson. Dolmetsch was known not only for his recorder playing, but for his family’s well-known recorders themselves, sold throughout the world. […]

From “Good Day Sunshine” fanzine – Issue #78 – Quoted in mcbeatle.de

The recording of “Thrillington” continued and ended on the following day.

From Twitter – Paul during the orchestral sessions for the ‘Thrillington’ album in New York #ThrowbackThursday #TBT #whoisPercyThrillington

Last updated on May 4, 2022

Songs recorded


Too Many People

Written by Paul McCartney



3 Legs

Written by Paul McCartney



Ram On

Written by Paul McCartney




Smile Away

Written by Paul McCartney






9 violins, 1 piccollo, 4 flutes

Musicians on "Too Many People"

Musicians on "Ram On"

Boys choir

Musicians on "Dear Boy"

Musicians on "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey"

Carl Dolmetsch:
Recorder Carl
Carl Dolmetsch Family:

Musicians on "Heart Of The Country"

Musicians on "Eat at Home"

Musicians on "Long Haired Lady"

Musicians on "The Back Seat Of My Car"

Carl Dolmetsch:
Recorder Carl
Carl Dolmetsch Family:

Production staff

Paul McCartney:
Richard Hewson:
Arrangements, Orchestration
Tony Clark:
Recording engineer
Alan Parsons:
Assistant recording engineer

Going further

Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989

With 25 albums of pop music, 5 of classical – a total of around 500 songs – released over the course of more than half a century, Paul McCartney's career, on his own and with Wings, boasts an incredible catalogue that's always striving to free itself from the shadow of The Beatles. The stories behind the songs, demos and studio recordings, unreleased tracks, recording dates, musicians, live performances and tours, covers, events: Music Is Ideas Volume 1 traces McCartney's post-Beatles output from 1970 to 1989 in the form of 346 song sheets, filled with details of the recordings and stories behind the sessions. Accompanied by photos, and drawing on interviews and contemporary reviews, this reference book draws the portrait of a musical craftsman who has elevated popular song to an art-form.

Shop on Amazon

Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium

We owe a lot to Chip Madinger and Mark Easter for the creation of those session pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details!

Eight Arms To Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium is the ultimate look at the careers of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr beyond the Beatles. Every aspect of their professional careers as solo artists is explored, from recording sessions, record releases and tours, to television, film and music videos, including everything in between. From their early film soundtrack work to the officially released retrospectives, all solo efforts by the four men are exhaustively examined.

As the paperback version is out of print, you can buy a PDF version on the authors' website

Shop on Amazon

Maccazine - Volume 40, Issue 3 - RAM Part 1 - Timeline

This very special RAM special is the first in a series. This is a Timeline for 1970 – 1971 when McCartney started writing and planning RAM in the summer of 1970 and ending with the release of the first Wings album WILD LIFE in December 1971. [...] One thing I noted when exploring the material inside the deluxe RAM remaster is that the book contains many mistakes. A couple of dates are completely inaccurate and the story is far from complete. For this reason, I started to compile a Timeline for the 1970/1971 period filling the gaps and correcting the mistakes. The result is this Maccazine special. As the Timeline was way too long for one special, we decided to do a double issue (issue 3, 2012 and issue 1, 2013).

Maccazine - Volume 47, Issue 1 - The birth of Wings

"Maccazine is a hard copy magazine (a bound paperback) about Paul McCartney. It is published twice a year. Due to the fact that the Internet has taken over the world and the fact that the latest Paul McCartney news is to be found on hundreds of websites, we have decided to focus on creating an informative paper magazine about Paul McCartney."

"In this issue we take you back to the early days of Paul McCartney’s solo career when he decided to form a new group. With Wings he proved there was life after The Beatles. This Maccazine features a detailed timeline of ‘the birth’ of the band with interesting entries including many new facts and unpublished photos. Follow-up timelines will be published in the upcoming years."


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