With the clock ticking on the satellite broadcast of “All You Need Is Love” — now just two days away — a bunch of studio musicians were brought in today to practice the orchestral score that George Martin had created, which was

culled from the “Marseillaise,” a Bach two-part invention, “Greensleeves,” and a little lick from “In the Mood.”

Martin calls this “the most traumatic week…probably of my whole life.” His wife was about to give birth, his father had just died, he was in the middle of moving; and then there was all this Beatle business.

In fact it was a fairly stressful time for all involved. Adding to the complication was the fact that after John decided that he would do his lead vocal live, Paul had insisted on playing his bass part live, and together they had peer pressured George Harrison into doing his guitar solo live. With every day that passed the whole thing grew more involved. Says engineer Geoff Emerick,

“All You Need Is Love” was actually quite simple when it was first presented and routined, but it grew more and more complicated as it got structured…. I began chain-smoking like a madman and suffered from insomnia and headaches. The other Abbey Road staffers needled me endlessly, telling me they wouldn’t change places with me for all the tea in China. I understood what they meant. I knew that I was on the hot seat: if something – anything – went wrong with the audio portion of the broadcast, the finger would be pointed squarely at me.

On the Friday evening, in the middle of a dress rehearsal, Brian Epstein came in and held a meeting with George Martin and the band in the Studio One control room, during which they debated the wisdom of rush-releasing the upcoming performance as a single.

Spoiler alert: They decided that it was a good idea. I think they got that one right.

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