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“I wasn’t there while they were making it, but I heard it when it was finished. It was the first record the band did at Trident Studios and the first record they did in eight-track. The reason for that was, I had just finished recording the James Taylor Apple album there, and Paul had come in and played bass on Carolina In My Mind for me.
“This was the first time that Paul had seen an eight-track machine. As it turned out, EMI actually had a couple of them, but they were putting them through a rigorous testing and rebuilding process. They were like the BBC, with all of these technical standards, whereas the indie studios like Trident would just buy something and plug it in.
“So Paul had seen the joys of eight-track, and he then brought The Beatles to Trident to do Hey Jude. They had these big Tannoy monitors, which were kind of hype-y – they weren’t really the best things to mix on, but they were loud – and that’s what I heard Hey Jude on, these big old speakers. It was loud… and astonishing.
“The first time you hear it, you don’t know what to expect. There’s that whole end section lurking ‘round the corner, completely unknown to you. But then when it happens, it’s breathtaking.
“It’s a long song, and I do remember thinking, ‘Can they really do that? Can you make a single that long?’ Because we had been conditioned as Buddy Holly fans to think of singles as two or three minutes. That’s what his records were, and they were brilliant. To be that long and that complicated with Hey Jude, I thought it was wonderful, and I was super-impressed. The thought did cross my mind: ‘This is probably against the rules.’ But that’s one of the things The Beatles did so well: As songwriters, they broke the rules in a human and gentle way – and got away with it.”