Recording, mixing: Rocky Raccoon

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

The Beatles rehearsed, recorded and completed a song during a single session on this day. It was an unusual feat for the group in 1968.

The song was ‘Rocky Raccoon’. All four Beatles were present for the 7pm-3am session, although George Harrison did not play on the backing track, instead choosing to observe from the studio control room.

The song was recorded in nine takes, with Paul McCartney on vocals and acoustic guitar, Ringo Starr on drums, and John Lennon alternating between bass guitar and harmonica. Take eight from the session was released on 1996’s Anthology 3.

Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for Rocky Raccoon

Take nine was the keeper, however. Lennon’s bass guitar was erased by a fresh bass guitar duet featuring him and McCartney, the latter entering at 0’54”. Also overdubbed were harmonium played by Lennon, and an extra snare drum hit to emphasise the gunshot.

This was given a reduction mix, numbered take 10, which combined the bass guitars and drums on one track. Lennon then recorded harmonica, George Martin played two honky-tonk piano solos, and harmony vocals by McCartney, Lennon and Harrison.

A mono mix of ‘Rocky Raccoon’ was made at the end of the session, and copies were taken away by Lennon and McCartney. Copies of ‘Yer Blues’ were also made for Harrison and Starr.

Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for Rocky Raccoon

Last updated: 26 June 2023
Recording, mixing: Yer Blues, What's The New Mary Jane
Recording: While My Guitar Gently Weeps
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