The Beatles Wiki


The Beatles Wiki

       Getting Better is a song written by Paul McCartney, with help from John Lennon, based on an original idea by McCartney. It was recorded by The Beatles for the 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The song's music suggests optimism but some of the song's lyrics have a sinister theme. In this sense, it exaggerates the contrasting personas of the two most active songwriters in the group. In response to McCartney's line, "It's getting better all the time," Lennon replies, "It can't get no worse!"

According to Hunter Davies, the initial idea for the song's title came from a phrase often spoken by Jimmy Nicol, the group's stand-in drummer for the Australian leg of a 1964 tour.


March 9, 1967- Recording was scheduled from 7:00 pm until 3:30 am, but the band apparently didn't file in until around eleven. They then recorded seven takes of the basic rhythm track with guitars, bass, drums and George Martin hitting the piano strings. A reduction mix took everything down to one track.

March 10, 1967- Bass, drums and George playing tamboura were overdubbed onto the three remaining tracks.

March 21, 1967- Lead and backing vocals were overdubbed. Beatles biographer Hunter Davies was there, and in The Beatles Recording Sessions, he recalled, "The Beatles had already done the backing track and now they were doing the vocals. They could hear the backing through their headphones while they were singing but all I could hear was their voices: flat, grainy, hoarse, and awfully disembodied."

Ringo was not needed for this vocal recording, so he had the night off. After repeatedly hearing the track, however, Paul decided to summon Ringo to the studio to re-record his drums. However, after readjusting some knobs and, upon further listening, Paul decided that Ringo's drums were fine. They then called Ringo again to tell him there was no need for him to come to the studio after all. (This was the night John unknowingly took an acid trip and George Martin unwittingly brought him to the roof to get some air, since he thought Lennon was ill.)

March 23, 1967, A vocal overdub was re-recorded and the congas were overdubbed. Three mono remixes were made.

April 17, 1967- Stereo mixing

May 26, 1967- First released on the UK LP Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.