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Lovely Rita

“Lovely Rita” is a song by the Beatles performed on the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, written and sung by Paul McCartney, although as with all McCartney or Lennon-written Beatles’ songs, it is credited to Lennon–McCartney. It is about a female traffic warden and the narrator’s affection for her.[3]

Recording began on 23 February 1967. Using a four-track recorder, this first performance featured Harrison’s guitar on track 1, Lennon’s guitar on track 2, Ringo’s drums on track 3, and McCartney’s piano set on track 4. Once those tracks were “bounced,” the band later added lead vocal, bass, and a three-part backing vocal section featuring George, John, and American session musician Shawn Phillips. Engineer Geoff Emerick noted McCartney’s vocal arrangements were directly inspired by Brian Wilson’s work for the Beach Boys.[7] A second piano, played by George Martin and processed electromechanically to wobble in and out of tune was added for the distinctive solo. By 21 March, the final mono mix was completed and a month later, the stereo mix was done.[5] During mixdown the tape machine ran at 48.75 Hz instead of the standard 50 Hz, so that the pitch on the released recording is nearly a quarter-tone flat from the key of E in which the song was performed.[8]

The unusual noises during the song after the lines “and the bag across her shoulder/ made her look a little like a military man” were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison playing comb and paper.[9]

Pink Floyd watched the Beatles recording “Lovely Rita”.[10][11] Later, Pink Floyd took the effects of “Lovely Rita” for recording their instrumental compostition, “Pow R. Toc H.” from their debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

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