This session, which took place from 5pm-1.30am, was an eventful one which saw numerous overdubs added to ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’.
Between 6pm and 10.30pm three saxophones and a set of bongos were added to the song. The saxophonists were James Gray, Rex Morris and Cyril Reuben, while the percussionist was Jimmy Scott – whose pet phrase Paul McCartney had used for the song’s title.
Scott’s full name was Jimmy Anonmuogharan Scott Emuakpor. The phrase ‘Ob-la-di, ob-la-da’ was said to be a Urhobo colloquialism meaning ‘Life goes on’, but was actually just a family phrase.
Additional percussion – maracas, marimba and claves – were also added, from the second chorus onwards. These were recorded onto track three along with the saxophone and bongos.
Between 10.30pm and 11.45pm a piccolo was overdubbed onto track two, although this was subsequently wiped and replaced by a guitar part played by McCartney. The guitar was added towards the end of the session, and was distorted to make it sound like a bass guitar.
McCartney took away a rough mono mix of Ob-La-Di at the end of the session. After reviewing it over the weekend, he decided the song required a remake, which was begun on Monday 8 July 1968. It was, however, released on 1996’s Anthology 3.
Also on this day...
- 2014: Ringo Starr live: Global Event Center, Winstar World Casino, Thackerville, Oklahoma
- 2014: Paul McCartney live: Times Union Center, Albany, New York
- 1966: The Beatles leave the Philippines
- 1963: Live: Plaza, Old Hill
- 1963: Live: Plaza, Handsworth
- 1962: Live: Majestic Ballroom, Birkenhead
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.