Although the Beatles were from Liverpool, they recorded nearly their entire output in London. Of course, the most famous studio was EMI at Abbey Road, but they also used several other studios. Find out where these studios were – and fascinating facts and stories about the Beatles recording sessions on this unique virtual tour.
- Whih Beatles recording session was attended by ‘Jesus Christ’?
- Which Beatles album took one day to record?
- Which Beatles recording session was witnessed by 400 million people?
- When were the Beatles last in a studio together?
- Which was Paul McCartney’s favourite Beatles recording session (you will be surprised!)?
- Who was in bed during the making of the Beatles final album.?
Watch the full playlist for the tour here:
1 January is a remarkable day in the Beatles history. It is 58 years since the ill-fated audition at the Decca Studios in London. On the New Year’s Eve John, Paul, George – and Pete Best made an 8 hour journey from Liverpool to London, and having had some festive fun at Trafalgar Square were a bit worse for wear the next day. It was a new and nerve wrecking experience for them to perform in a proper recording studio in front of A & R man Mike Smith. Guess what he said afterwards….
John Lennon considered Strawberry Fields Forever his finest work with the Beatles, and many fans and music expert would agree with him.
It was the opening of a new chapter in the Beatles’ musical journey in many ways. August 1966 saw the last ever proper live Beatles concert, and after a few month’s break the Beatles were back in the EMI recording studio at Abbey Road in November. Revolver, which had been the last recording venture, was far behind them, and a new chapter, which was to become Sgt.Pepper, was opening its doors. It all started with Strawberry Fields Forever. John came up with evocative nostalgic lyrics about the Salvation army grounds he used to play in in Liverpool. The musical ideas were so new, rich and abundant, that they spent 45 hours on it, resulting in numerous takes, crammed, in addition to the guitars, with all types of percussion, mellotron flute sounds, an Indian swarmandal, George Martin’s brass and cello arrangement, plus reverse-recorded instrumentation, jump-cuts and superimposition. The final three versions were different in tempo and key signatures.
John could not make up his mind which version he liked best. Finally, he told Martin that he wanted to combine the lighter feel of Take 7 with the intensity of Take 26, and wanted to join the two together for the final version. To Martin’s protestation that they were in different keys, as well as different tempos, John replied, “You can fix it, George”.
On 22 December George Martin and Geoff Emerick, armed with scissors, two tape machines and a vari-speed control, performed the magic, and the Strawberry Fields Forever that we all know and love, was born. As George Martin said in an interview to Andy Peebles, “See if you can spot the join, folks!”
Trident Studios, London
This is a live online tour, and that there will be a Q & A session at the end. It is a great opportunity to meet fans from around the world!
I am Richard Porter, author of the book Guide to the Beatles London; writer and presenter of The Beatles’ London’ DVD; and a guide of 30 years experience. I was the President of the London Beatles Fan Club for 10 years and was a former winner of the ‘Beatles Brain of Britain’ competition. I organised the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road, and was on the committee that erected a blue plaque to commemorate the Beatles famous ‘Rooftop concert’ at 3 Savile Row. In short, I am Super Fanatical Beatles Fan!