Recording, mixing: Hey Jude

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

This second session for ‘Hey Jude’ saw the song take shape, coming after the previous day’s first session.

Seventeen takes were recorded, numbered 7-23, which saw The Beatles refining the arrangement prior to taking it to London’s Trident Studios, which had eight-track recording facilities.

George Harrison spent much of the session in the control room of Studio Two, after Paul McCartney vetoed his ‘answering’ guitar lines after each phrase in the song’s verses. This incident was mentioned during the January 1969 Get Back/Let It Be sessions, suggesting it was a source of simmering conflict between the pair.

Hey Jude single artwork - France

A film crew was present in the studio, capturing footage for a documentary named Music! which was being made by the National Music Council of Great Britain. The footage shows the group working mostly on take nine, with McCartney on vocals and piano, John Lennon playing an acoustic guitar and singing, and Ringo Starr on drums.

During the session, The Beatles also played impromptu versions of ‘St Louis Blues’, which was released on the 50th anniversary White Album box set, and Ray Charles’ ‘Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying’.

The day’s final recording of ‘Hey Jude’, take 23, was given two reduction mixes to allow further overdubs. These mixes were numbered 24 and 25, and most likely featured vocals on one track and instruments on another.

A rough mix was made at the end of the session, and was taken away by George Martin for an orchestral score to be composed.

Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for Hey Jude

Last updated: 22 June 2023
Recording: Hey Jude
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