Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Ken Scott
Overdubs were added to take five, the rhythm track previously recorded. Paul McCartney added piano and George Harrison played more drums onto track three, erasing John Lennon six-string bass guitar part. Another electric guitar track was also added.
A reduction mix was then made, which was labelled take six, which combined all the instruments onto a single track. McCartney recorded his lead vocals with simultaneous backing by Lennon and Harrison, recorded onto two separate tracks with backups by all three Beatles.
Track four on the tape was filled with a bass guitar overdub by McCartney, six-string bass by Harrison, and Lennon hitting a snare drum.
A single mono mix of Back In The USSR was then made, during which the sound of a jet plane was added. The sound of a Viscount aeroplane taking off and landing had been recorded at London Airport, and came from the tape Volume 17: Jet and Piston Engine Aeroplane, from Abbey Road’s collection.
A stereo mix of the song was made on 13 October 1968.
For the mono mix everything came out OK, but the stereo mix took a long, long time and I was holding the pencil to keep the effects tape taught. I guess I must have been leaning back on it and started to stretch it, because the mono has this clear, clean lovely jet sound while the stereo is an abomination of a jet sound.
The Beatles, super deluxe edition
Before the session ended at 3am, four sets of the final mono mixes of Back In The USSR, ‘Rocky Raccoon’, ‘Wild Honey Pie’, ‘Mother Nature’s Son’ and ‘Sexy Sadie’ were made and signed out by The Beatles’ assistant Mal Evans.
Also on this day...
- 2018: John Lennon’s Imagine to be reissued as super deluxe box set
- 1967: Recording: Your Mother Should Know
- 1966: Live: Shea Stadium, New York
- 1965: Day off in Los Angeles
- 1964: Live: Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles
- 1964: Interview: John Lennon and Ringo Starr in Los Angeles
- 1963: Live: Gaumont Cinema, Bournemouth
- 1963: UK single release: She Loves You
- 1962: Live: Riverpark Ballroom, Chester
- 1962: John Lennon marries Cynthia Powell
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1960: Live: Indra Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.