Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rose and Valerie Screaming From The Gallery

The next song on side one of the great "Abbey Road" LP is an original Lennon/McCartney composition written mainly by Paul entitled "Maxwell's Silver Hammer". This song about pataphysical science (??) and a murderous tendency was first concieved a year previous and was rehearsed at Twickenham Studios earlier in 1969 for the "Get Back" project. Six months later, formal recording sessions for the song began.

The basic track was recorded at EMI Studio two on July 09 1969. Although all four Beatles were present, the instrumentation for these basic track recordings include Paul on piano and guide vocal, George Harrison on bass guitar and Ringo on drums. 21 takes of the song were recorded (although they skipped over numbers 6 to 10). Take 5 from this session can be heard on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 3". Take 21 was the basic track to recieve the future overdubs.

The next day on July 10 1969, overdubs on the basic track for "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" included vocals by Paul , George and Ringo. Also included were more piano by Paul and hammond organ played by George Martin. Ringo added hitting a real anvil and George Harrison add some electric guitar played through a leslie. 13 stereo mixes were attempted with none of them used. All of this activity took place at EMI studio two.

The next day on July 11 1969, further vocal (for the ending) and guitar overdubs were completed at EMI studio two.

On Wednesday August 06 1969, in the EMI studio two control room, a tape reduction of "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" was attempted and completed bringing the song to take 27. At the same time as the reduction, Paul McCartney was in EMI studio room 43 with a Moog synthesizer added this instrument to the last verse of the song and recording it at the same time as the reductions were taking place. Once this was completed, "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" was mixed for stereo at EMI studio two control room with remix number 14 to 26.

On Monday August 11 1969, a mono copy of the song was tape copied from stereo mix 18 and taken away to Apple.

The next day on August 12 1969, more stereo remixing was done for "Maxwell's silver Hammer" with mixes number 27 to 36. This all took place at EMI studio two.

On August 14 1969, a stereo mix of the final verse (37) was then spliced on tape with the previous best stereo mix (34). All of this took place at EMI studio two within the control room.

Finally, on August 25 1969, the master tape of the commercial version was edited in order to remove the first four bars of the song which made the intro start with the vocal and instrumentation of the first verse. This completed the master tape and used on all commercial versions.

"Maxwell's Silver Hammer" is available on the Apple LP/CD "Abbey Road".

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