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Recording: Long Long Long, I’m So Tired, The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill

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

The Beatles recorded two new songs by John Lennon for the White Album during this 4pm-8am session, and continued work on George Harrison’s ‘Long, Long, Long’.

Harrison’s song was the first to be worked upon. He double-tracked his vocals onto take 67 from the previous day, and Paul McCartney overdubbed a bass guitar part. At this time the song still had the working title ‘It’s Been A Long Long Long Time’.

George Harrison's handwritten lyrics for Long Long Long

The first Lennon song to be recorded was ‘I’m So Tired’, written in India about his burgeoning feelings towards Yoko Ono.

The Beatles recorded the song in 14 takes, with McCartney’s bass guitar on track one, Ringo Starr’s drums on two, Lennon and Harrison’s rhythm guitars on the third, and Lennon’s lead vocals on track four.

Lennon added a second vocal track onto track five, with harmonies from McCartney. More drums, guitar and electric piano were recorded onto track six, extra snare drum for the choruses was added to track seven, and organ and I’m So Tired was completed with lead guitar and organ on track eight.

John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for I'm So Tired

‘The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill’ was the next to be recorded, with a satisfactory take achieved in just three attempts. This most likely featured bass guitar, drums and two acoustic guitars, onto which Lennon and Ono added their lead vocals.

Lennon then double-tracked his vocals, accompanied by a chorus of The Beatles and various studio guests including Starr’s wife Maureen Starkey. This overdub also featured whistling, clapping and tambourine.

George Martin’s assistant Chris Thomas then added Mellotron, firstly on the mandolin setting during the verses, then a bassoon sound – previously used on ‘Flying’ – for the final singalong and ending.

Another Mellotron piece was used for the introduction, added during a later edit and mix session. This was an on-board sample tape, one of several which the Mellotron Mark II was shipped with, and is said to have been performed by Australian session musician Eric Cook.

‘The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill’ was mixed in mono and stereo on the following day.

John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill

Last updated: 23 June 2023
Mixing, recording: While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Long, Long, Long
Recording, mixing: The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill, Long Long Long, Why Don't We Do It In The Road
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  1. BeatleKen Wednesday 28 July 2021
    • David Harvey Wednesday 8 December 2021

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