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Flashback: Recording ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’ With John and Yoko


Just in time for the holidays, The Guardian has republished an article about the making of “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The article describes Phil Spector at work on the single at various points. Here is an excerpt:

“Suddenly there’s a little flurry at the entrance. Phil Spector’s arrived, in big shades, wearing a red and white button saying ‘Back To Mono’, which breaks everyone up. But he’s serious, you know.

Immediately, the session is working. Within seconds of getting behind the huge band, Spector is thinking in terms not just of sound, but of arrangement, drama, production. It takes him about 10 seconds to get a sound which transforms the guitars from a happy rabble into a brilliant cutting wash of colour, and they aren’t even miked properly yet.”