Recording, mixing: I Want You (She’s So Heavy), Oh! Darling

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

Work continued on John Lennon‘s I Want You (She’s So Heavy) during this 7pm-12.45am session, which also saw the recording of the backing track for Oh! Darling.

At the end of the 18 April 1969 session, I Want You (She’s So Heavy) had been given a reduction mix to allow for further overdubs. The backing track was in place, as were massed electric guitar arpeggios played by Lennon and George Harrison.

During this session congas and Hammond organ were added to the tape. Following these overdubs the song was considered complete, although white noise and further percussion were added on 8 August.

The Beatles – or Paul McCartney alone – had performed Oh! Darling on numerous dates of the Get Back/Let It Be sessions: on 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 22, 23, 27 and 31 January 1969. This, however, was the first day the group attempted a proper studio recording.

They taped 26 takes of the backing track, which was recorded live with McCartney on bass guitar and guide vocals, Lennon on piano, Harrison playing lead guitar fed through a Leslie speaker, and Ringo Starr on drums. The last of these takes was considered the best, and a Hammond organ part – later wiped – was overdubbed.

Also during the Oh! Darling recording, John Lennon led the group through a cover of Joe South’s song Games People Play, which followed a jam by The Beatles.

At the end of the session a first stereo mix was made, although it was never used. At this stage, Oh! Darling was known under the working title Oh! Darling (I’ll Never Do You No Harm). Conversely, I Want You (She’s So Heavy) had the simpler title I Want You.

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