The Beatles recorded three version of "The Fool On The Hill": the first being the piano demo featuring Paul only, the second slower group version recorded September 25 1967 (see previous blog entry). Both of these recordings can be heard commercially on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2" project.
The third and final version - the one we all know and love - was recorded with the basic track on September 26 1967 (the day after version two) with Paul playing piano, John on acoustic guitar, either George or Ringo playing the finger cymbals and maracas. There were five takes of the basic track with take five being used for the commercial version. The overdubbing process included Paul's vocal, the harmonicas played by George and John as well as the solo recorder by Paul. On September 27 1967, Paul doubled his vocals in the choruses. At this point, the track was left until almost a month later when the flutes were added on October 20 1967.
The flutes were probably added to track four (the harmonica overdubs) or they may have been synced to a second four track machine. At this point, the take number switched to take seven as the song was completed.
The mono mix was conducted on October 25 1967 and was satisfactory after twelve attempts and this is was appears on the "Magical Mystery Tour" LP and UK EP. The stereo mix of the song was conducted on November 01 1967 after five attempts and this naturally appears on the stereo versions of the "Magical Mystery Tour" LP, UK EP and CD. As a side note, it's been said that almost a minute and a half of the song was edited from it's original version. I've always wondered what the entire recording sounds like - that's a pretty long song considering the structure of the song and the arrangement of the demo and second variation. It could also be rumour.