Hard-to-find, Studio master tapes

Sgt Pepper’s Lovely Hot Cross Bun

New Links Updated January 2009!!!

Happy Easter, one and all. This post is something of a milestone, seen as it’s my 100th post. Cue trumpets, fanfares and perhaps a gold watch from my employers. Since late last year I was anticipating this post and had decided on something incredible that I would make available for download. But that’ll have to wait for another day. It was all ready to go as well, until some like-minded geeks over on the Teenage Fanclub message boards pointed me in the direction of THE BEST THING EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE INTERNET.


It’s only four of The Beatlesstudio master tapes! I’ll say that again. It’s. Only. Four. Of. The. Beatles’. Studio. Master. Tapes. The individual 4 or so tracks that make up ‘Sgt Peppers…’, ‘She’s Leaving Home’, ‘A Day In The Life’ and ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’. Yer actual masters! In digital form! Crystal clear! It’s like Paul McCartney is singing right in front of you! Jeeez, the ‘Sgt Peppers’ backing tracks are amaaaaaazing! Here’s a quick burst of George’s stinging guitar and some Salvation Army horns. Like it? Now download the lot! (*see below) Get yourself audacity, load the tracks into it individually and get ready to do a ‘2 Many DJs’-style mash-up and impress your friends. Or, you could set up your computer, load up the tracks and pretend you’re George Martin on one of those Classic Album documentaries, pontificating over the use of the string section in ‘She’s Leaving Home’. “This is a wonderful part (slide the faders) – Paul had the idea for a string quartet – just listen out for the harp…(plink plink)…rather lovely, don’t you agree?” It’s The Beatles! Just the way you like them!


Martin and Lennon ponder how they’ll sound after you’ve had a go at the controls

How are these available? Surely the record companies could be making some money by releasing these in some sort of commercial form? That’s what I was thinking/fearing. This post may be removed quicker than Paul’s moustache, so you better act fast. The story goes that since studio tape is a wee bit fragile after time, some record companies are digitizing many of their master tapes to preserve them as best as possible. But some enterprising body has sneaked a few mixes out and leaked them onto the internet. If you look hard enough there are loads more – Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ (a certain future post), some Eagles stuff, Nirvana, Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (yes, really!) Seek and ye shall find. It’s a wonderful world out there, it really is. This is musical porn, man. Musical porn.

‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ Studio Master Tapes
‘A Day In The Life’ Studio Master Tapes
‘She’s Leaving Home’ Studio Master Tapes
‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ Studio Master Tapes

Happy remixing!

Any links to other stuff of a similar nature gratefully accepted. Of course.
Oh, and if you’re a latecomer to these fine pages, nice to see you. More Beatles elsewhere on Plain Or Pan – take time to poke about!

19 thoughts on “Sgt Pepper’s Lovely Hot Cross Bun”

  1. Hello!
    I’m here by random link — but now I am interested in those tapes …

  2. How do you open these files? Audacity wouldn’t recognize the .rar file format. How many bits, data rate, channels, etc.

  3. OK, no need to answer – stop laughing. I figured out that .rar files are compressed files and I have just purchased the needed “decompressor”. It is a real joy to be able to put these into Sony Vegas software and pretend I’m George Martin! 🙂 Now, please tell me there is a site where I can PURCHASE these and other Beatles tracks legally…..and maybe some by the Moody Blues as well.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing. Truth it the mixes even then sound better because they went through dolby systems that were expensive and the eq gear & board was something you basic computer cannot do as good as the real thing. I have all the Beatles LP’s and some CD’s too and it will always be the best cut as the engineers meant it to be. Even then! But in any
    event it is still cool to listen and discover things. These were very talented dude’s.

    The Cook

  5. Hello Phil,

    First of all: Love your site.
    You did a great job!

    I have a question:
    To complete my BRG collection I need just the numbers 3 and 4. That is The BRG files volume 1 and 2.
    Is it possible for me to download these great albums somewhere on the internet?

    I hope you can help me.

    Thanks anyway.


    From Holland

  6. Howzit again Anonymous West of Scotland male –


    These masters are the bee’s feckin ballsac, no question. However, I’ve yet to find (on my various trawls across the deep blue high seas of the interweb) any fresh remixes yet. I’ve got the Streetlab ‘Gimme Shelter’ and Brassica’s take on ‘ADITL’, but…can’t seem to find anything else. Am I being dense or do you perhaps know of any you’d be willing to share a link about?

    Yours in admiration and all that jazz,


  7. Fantastico downloads, mucho thanks

    However, I don’t think George Martin would be eulogising over ‘She’s leaving home’ orchestration as Sir Paul got Mike Leander (later Sir Paul Gadd’s musical arranger) to do it on account of Sir George’s busy schedule. I understand the man whose tie George Harrison didn’t like wasn’t well pleased.

  8. This is fantastic!

    Look at me! I’m Geoff Emmerick on Garage Band! Wheee!


    Um … what about Mr. Kite? Is it available like this somewhere?

Comments are closed.