Mark Lewisohn, in The Complete Beatles Recording Session:
Wednesday 27 April 1966. Just before midnight - an apt time -
The Beatles started work on a new song, John's splendidly dreamy 'I'm Only Sleeping'. Again they concentrated on
perfecting the rhythm track first, especially as the song was mostly acoustic at this stage, with an extra few bars of
strumming starting off the song which were lopped off in the remix.
Friday 29 April 1966. After 'Eleanor Rigby' John overdubbed his lead vocal onto the tape of the previously recorded 'I'm Only Sleeping'. It was the first of three superimposition sessions for the song. On this occasion the tape machine was run at 45 cycles instead of 50, thus speeding up John's voice quite considerably on playback. Just to complicate matters further, the rhythm track onto which John's vocal was superimposed was taped at 56 cycles and played back at 47¾.
Thursday 5 May 1966. The Beatles had decided to adorn 'I'm Only Sleeping' with the sound of backwards guitars. There are two ways of recording backwards instruments, one easy, one difficult. The easy way is to play the instrument normally and then turn the tape around. The other involves working out the notation forwards, writing it out backwards, then playing it as the notation says, so that it comes out back to front. This way, although the sound still has the aural attraction of a backwards tape, the instrument is actually playing a melodic run of notes. The Beatles, of course, chose the latter alternative, hence this near six hour session for just the guitar overdub. In fact, they made it doubly difficult by recording two guitar parts - one ordinary, one a fuzz guitar - which were superimposed on top of one another. Geoff Emerick recalls that this was all George Harrison's idea and that he did the playing.
Gepost op: 9 dec 2008