Recording, mixing: Revolution, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Cry Baby Cry

Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick

The Beatles completed work on two songs, and began another, during two sessions on this day.

The first session took place from 3.30-8pm in Abbey Road’s Studio Two. Two mono mixes of ‘Revolution’, numbered 20 and 21, were created.

These mixes were to replace the four created on 12 July 1968, which John Lennon thought to be substandard. Mix 21 was duly selected for the b-side of the ‘Hey Jude’ single.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da single artwork - Japan

‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ was the second song to be tackled. Paul McCartney had decided to re-record his lead vocals. Background contributions from the rest of the group, included various jokey noises such as forced laughter, and “arm”, “leg” and “foot”, after Molly or Desmond let the children lend a hand.

I lost interest in the White Album because they were really arguing amongst themselves and swearing at each other. The expletives were really flying. There was one instance just before I left when they were doing ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ for the umpteenth time. Paul was re-recording the vocal again and George Martin made some remark about how he should be lilting onto the half-beat or whatever and Paul, in no refined way, said something to the effect of ‘Well you come down and sing it’. I said to George [Martin] ‘Look, I’ve had enough. I want to leave. I don’t want to know any more.’ George said ‘Well, leave at the end of the week’ – I think it was a Monday or Tuesday – but I said ‘No, I want to leave now, this very minute’. And that was it.

I went down to the studio to explain it to the group and John said ‘Look, we’re not moaning and getting uptight about you, we’re complaining about EMI. Look at this place, Studio Two, all we’ve seen is bricks for the past year. Why can’t they decorate it?’ Admittedly the studio did need smartening up a little bit but I knew this was just an outlet for a bigger problem. They were falling apart.

Geoff Emerick
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

Ten mono mixes were then made, which were numbered 12-21. This saw the completion of ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’, doubtless to the relief of the group.

The second session started at 9pm and finished at 3am on the morning of 16 July. The Beatles began work on ‘Cry Baby Cry’, although these were unnumbered rehearsal takes rather than proper attempts. Four reels of tape were filled, but unfortunately most of the recordings were erased in subsequent sessions.

The Beatles move into the Apple headquarters at 3 Savile Row, London
Recording: Cry Baby Cry
Also on this day...

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  1. mamawouldbeproud Monday 15 July 2013
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