Recording, mixing: Oh! Darling, Octopus’s Garden

Studios Two and Three, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Phil McDonald

The day began with Paul McCartney’s second attempt at recording a lead vocal take for ‘Oh! Darling’.

Studio Three was booked from 2.30-8pm, although McCartney’s vocals were done in just one take. He returned to the song again on 22 July before recording a final take on the following day.

The rest of the session was devoted to ‘Octopus’s Garden’. Ringo Starr recorded his lead vocals, which he manually double-tracked during the choruses. He also added drum fills before each chorus, which can be heard in the left channel of the final mix.

Ringo Starr's lyrics for Octopus's Garden

Following these overdubs the song was complete. At this stage the eight-track tape had McCartney’s bass guitar on track one; Starr’s drums on two; bubble sound effects and ‘underwater’ backing vocals on three; low notes on a piano, doubled up by guitar, on four; tom toms and backing vocals on five; Starr’s lead vocals plus more backing vocals by George Harrison and McCartney on six; piano and lead guitar on seven; and John Lennon’s rhythm guitar on eight.

From 8-10.30pm ‘Octopus’s Garden’ was mixed in stereo in the control room of Studio Two. Five mixes, numbered 10-14, were made. Starr’s vocals in the verses were treated with artificial double tracking.

Seven mono mixes were also made, for unknown purposes, as Abbey Road was never considered for mono release. ‘Octopus’s Garden’ was the only song on the album to be mixed in mono.

Last updated: 6 July 2022
Recording: Oh! Darling, Octopus's Garden
Recording: Come Together
Also on this day...

Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.

Latest Comments

  1. Jason Carty Wednesday 17 July 2019

Leave a Reply