Studio Two and annexe, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Ken Scott
Following unproductive first sessions on 19 and 24 July 1968, The Beatles finally recorded a satisfactory arrangement of ‘Sexy Sadie’ during this session.
Unusually, they began this second remake with take 100, recording a total of eight takes. Number 107 was considered the best, and was given four reduction mixes, numbered 108-111. These put John Lennon’s lead vocals on one track, his and George Harrison’s guitars on a second, Paul McCartney’s piano on three, and Ringo Starr’s drums on track four.
These reduction mixes went unused, however, and new ones were made on 21 August along with further overdubs.
The Beatles then began recording ‘Yer Blues’. Eager to achieve new sounds, they opted to play inside a small annexe room used to store four-track machines.
We had to fit all four of them in that tiny room and they literally couldn’t move. They had to find a position with their guitars and not move, or they would hit someone in the face or in the guitar. And that’s where we cut the track. So input came in a lot of different ways, and they were always up to trying anything new.
Fourteen takes were recorded, with Lennon and Harrison on lead guitar, McCartney on Rickenbacker bass guitar, and Starr on drums. Lennon also sang a guide vocal. Following take eight, McCartney took a break while the others recorded a jam in the key of E.
Takes six and 14 of ‘Yer Blues’ were both judged to be good, so reduction mixes were made. Take six was mixed twice, numbered takes 15 and 16, and the single reduction of take 14 was called take 17. These mixes combined the two guitar tracks into one.
Takes 16 and 17 of ‘Yer Blues’ were subsequently edited together, with the edit occurring at 3’16”. The first part of the final version is from take 17, while the guitar solo is abruptly spliced with the beginning of take 16, complete with Lennon’s guide vocals.
The recording of ‘Yer Blues’ continued on the following day, with additional vocals and drums.
Also on this day...
- 2008: The Beatles’ contract with Brian Epstein to be auctioned
- 2008: John Lennon’s killer denied parole for fifth time
- 1969: Mixing: You Never Give Me Your Money
- 1966: KLUE radio in Texas organises a public Beatles bonfire
- 1966: Live: Olympia Stadium, Detroit
- 1965: Travel: London to New York
- 1965: US album release: Help!
- 1963: Live: Odeon Cinema, Llandudno
- 1962: Live: Majestic Ballroom, Crewe
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1961: Live: Casbah Coffee Club, Liverpool
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
It sounds like the jazz bass on yer blues, just the whole growly tone.