"Thrillington" session #3

Thursday, June 17, 1971 • For Percy "Thrills" Thrillington

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Thrillington Official album.
Timeline More from year 1971
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

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From mcbeatle.de:

[…] The next day, on Thursday, June 17, recording took place, all day, in cavernous Studio One, the same one used on numerous occasions by the Beatles to record large orchestras, such as the one producing the climax at the end of “A Day in the Life”. From Hewson’s personal records, it is not known what was recorded this day, though the horn section (comprised of trumpets, trombones and a tuba) are thusfar unaccounted for. They were either recorded this day or in the afternoon on June 15. [Hewson’s diary also indicates, by the way, another meeting with Dick Rowe on this date at 6 p.m. – delayed from 2:30 by the McCartney session.]

The sessions ran quite smoothly over the three days of recording, with rare exception. [Richard Hewson does remember one session player who became so inebriated that he got in his car at lunchtime and went down Abbey Road and smashed into nine cars! “I don’t know whether it was my arranging and conducting that drove him to it!”] Both Hewson and Clark remember the recordings not only fondly, but, for both, as a highlight of their careers. “The excitement of performance for me was just totally there,” remembers Tony Clark. “When music is like that, everybody works at the same level. Most of my career I spend trying to find ways to make magic moments like that.” Clark and Hewson weren’t the only ones enjoying the recording. Tony adds, “What I do remember is that Paul was extremely happy through the whole of the experience.”

The album opens with a collage of orchestra and Swingle chatter and tuning up, taken from the various sessions. “That bit ends with someone saying ‘In the back office with a bottle of scotch,'” recalls Tony Clark. “That’s Jim Lawless, the percussionist.” “Too Many People” then begins with an acoustic guitar, bass, drums and Lawless’s vibraphone, accompanied by some cellos, saxophones and trombones.

In addition, one hears both trumpets and the Swingle Singers in what, today, sounds like a rather dated effect, but which in 1971 was a pioneering sound. “It’s sort of a watery effect; in fact, we just called it ‘the watery box’,” says Clark, referring to the flanged, phase-shifted sound produced by the device heard throughout the record. [“They got this the day we did the session and used it on everything!,” notes Richard Hewson. “You know engineers.”] […]

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




Ram On

Written by Paul McCartney



Eight Arms To Hold You • Chip Madinger • Mark Easter

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


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