The original idea had been that the satellite broadcast scheduled for June 25 would show The Beatles live in the studio working on a new song. But as the date drew closer, George Martin was growing increasingly nervous. According to Bob Spitz,

The Beatles hadn’t performed as a band in almost a year. There was no telling how they’d sound au natural. “We must do some preparations for this,” Martin told them. “We can’t just go in front of 350 million people without some work.”

And so it was decided, over the objections of the BBC, to prerecord a backing track that The Beatles would sing over. To that end, they convened today at Olympic Sound Studios to begin recording “All You Need Is Love.” They were feeling experimental, it seems; all except Ringo played instruments that were new to them: John a harpsichord, Paul a double bass, and George Harrison a violin.

33 takes were recorded, but at the end of the day take 10 was deemed the best and mixed down to a single track so overdubs could be added later. That wouldn’t happen until Monday, but we will have other things to discuss in the interim.

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