Recording, mixing: Old Brown Shoe, I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

2.30pm, Friday 18 April 1969 (45 years ago)

Studios Two and Three, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: Chris Thomas
Engineer: Jeff Jarratt

The Beatles finished the recording of George Harrison‘s song Old Brown Shoe on this day, and continued work on the Abbey Road song I Want You (She’s So Heavy).


Harrison worked alone on the song, recording a guitar solo onto track seven. The instrument was fed through a Leslie speaker. He then erased John Lennon‘s rhythm guitar by overdubbing a Hammond organ part.

The recording session was surprisingly lengthy, lasting from 2.30-10.30pm in Studio Three. Harrison and producer Chris Thomas then mixed Old Brown Shoe in stereo in 19 attempts, which were numbered 5-23, in the studio control room. They completed the work at 1am.

Studio Two had also been booked for work on I Want You (She’s So Heavy). Harrison, Lennon, Thomas, balance engineer Jeff Jarratt and tape operator John Kurlander were present for the overdubbing of guitars, in a late session lasting from 1-4.30am.

The Beatles had begun recording the song on 22 February 1969, and a master tape was assembled from three different takes on the following day.

On this early morning they added several unnumbered guitar overdubs, to build up the song’s crescendo. A reduction mix was then made to allow more work at a later date.

John and George went into the far left-hand corner of number two to overdub those guitar. They wanted a massive sound so they kept tracking and tracking, over and over.
Jeff Jarratt
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

A rough stereo mix was made at the end of the session, which was taken away by George Harrison.

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