Recording: I Will, Glass Onion

Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: Chris Thomas
Engineer: Ken Scott

The Beatles began recording the White Album ballad ‘I Will’ during this session.

George Harrison was absent, so it was a three-man effort. Paul McCartney sang and played acoustic guitar, Ringo Starr played drums and maracas, and John Lennon kept a beat on temple blocks.

It took 67 attempts before a satisfactory take was completed. McCartney also led the others through various improvisations, including take 19, better known as ‘Can You Take Me Back?’, a snippet from which appeared on the White Album in between ‘Cry Baby Cry’ and ‘Revolution 9’.

Also during the session, the trio recorded ‘Step Inside Love’, a song written by McCartney for Cilla Black. Their rendition segued into an improvised song, ‘Los Paranoias’. These were included on 1996’s Anthology 3, along with take one of I Will.

Anthology 3 album artwork

Take 65 was chosen of the best take of I Will. The Beatles had been recording the session on four-track tape, and to enable further overdubs the performance was dubbed onto eight-track tape.

At the end of the session a brief overdub was added to ‘Glass Onion’: the sound of a recorder, played by Paul McCartney, after the couplet about ‘The Fool On The Hill’.

Recording: Glass Onion
Recording, mixing: Helter Skelter, I Will
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