Recording: While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Ken Scott

Although George Harrison had written a number of songs prior to and during The Beatles’ 1968 trip to India, he was yet to record any for the White Album. That changed during this session, when he recorded the first version of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’.

The Beatles first rehearsed a number of takes of the song, which were recorded and filled two tape reels. These were taken away by Harrison at the end of the session, and the instrumentation and arrangement is unknown.

George Harrison's handwritten lyrics to While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Harrison did, however, record a solo acoustic version on this day, onto which a harmonium, possibly played by Paul McCartney, was overdubbed. This take was released on 1996’s Anthology 3 and, augmented with a string arrangement, on the Love album.

The Anthology mix was prepared by Geoff Emerick in 1984 for the unreleased Sessions album, and featured a looped ending of the final guitar phrase. It also omitted Harrison’s final comment to the control room: “Let’s hear that back!”

Last updated: 6 July 2022
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