Fool On The Hill

This disc was auctioned on eBay in September 2005. The auction description states this is "an extremely different version". The label states 20 October 1967. At that session featured the addition of flutes as a simultaneous 4-track to 4-track mix/overdub. The flutes probably went onto the harmonica track. This all went onto reel E66430. Proper mixing would not be done until 25 October.

If the auction description is correct, and with the Perry Cox certification, I would tend to assume it is, I believe this is some undocumented (or preserved) mix done to highlight the 20 October session's work. However, it seems as though the mix described in the auction could be achieved by taking the right channel of the stereo mix and adding "a LOT of echo"


UK 10" Acetate


Now HERE is an incredible Beatles collectible, an original UK EMI Records 10" Acetate (one sided) of a completely alternate version of "The Fool On The Hill."

This is an extremely different version than the one released on the "Magical Mystery Tour" and "Anthology" albums, with No piano, No acoustic guitar, No percussion (drums or the triangle you hear on the released version), No bass, a slightly different vocal, and a radically different mix emphasizing primarily Paul's voice, the flutes, John & George's harmonicas and Paul's recorder. It's got a LOT of echo too.

According to the definitive reference "The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions" by Mark Lewishon, during the October 20, 1967 Beatles session (the date that appears on this acetate) "three flautists- brothers Christopher and Richard Taylor plus Jack Ellory--were recruited to add the final touches to "The Fool On The Hill." The flautists "were booked to play from 8:00 pm to 11pm, but their part of the session overran until 2:30 AM, resulting in double time payments to the musicians." Session viola player Leo Birnbaum, who played on "Hello, Goodbye" that day observed that "Paul McCartney was doodling at the piano and George Martin was sitting next to him wrting down what Paul was playing. One of them was sitting on the floor in what looked like a pyjama suit, drawing with crayons on a piece of paper."

This acetate was cut by the 2nd engineer on that session, Phil McDonald, who's initials appear on the right side of the label. In excellent condition (very unusual for a Beatles acetate,) this acetate comes with a certificate of authenticity from Perry Cox, world famous Beatles expert and author of "The Official Price Guide To Beatles Records and Memorabilia." Also included is a CD transfer of this acetate. As with everything we offer it is guaranteed authentic with no time limit. This came from an extremely large and long term European Beatles collection, and is as you might imagine incredibly rare.

Ken Scott, the legendary record producer and Beatles engineer told me the following about Beatles acetates: "Back in those days there were no cassettes, DATs or CDs and so the main way for artists and producers to be able to listen to something at home was through playback acetates. The number required varied. As did the persons receiving them. It could be producer, artist, arranger, publisher, DJ or sometimes even a promotion guy."

As this was a "work in progress" acetate, very few would have been made, only for the Beatles members and their very inner circle. An extraordinary opportunity !