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Recording: Sun King, Mean Mr Mustard, Come Together, Polythene Pam, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

Studio Two, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Geoff Emerick, Phil McDonald

This 12-hour session saw The Beatles begin two new songs for the Abbey Road medley, and a continuation of three others.

The day began with overdubs for ‘Sun King’/‘Mean Mr Mustard’, the backing track for which had been taped on the previous day. Vocals, piano and organ were added, and the songs were completed on 29 July 1969.

Picture one from the Abbey Road photography session

Paul McCartney then recorded a harmony vocal part for ‘Come Together’, which was recorded onto track eight of the tape, along with some lead vocals double-tracked by John Lennon.

In 1970 McCartney expressed regret that he hadn’t sung the harmonies with Lennon.

Even on Abbey Road we don’t do harmonies like we used to. I think it’s sad. On ‘Come Together’ I would have liked to sing harmony with John and I think he would have liked me to but I was too embarrassed to ask him and I don’t work to the best of my abilities in that situation.
Paul McCartney
Evening Standard newspaper, 1970

‘Polythene Pam’ and ‘She Came In Through The Bathroom Window’ had both been written in 1968 and were rehearsed during the January 1969 Get Back/Let It Be sessions.

John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for Polythene Pam

The two songs were recorded as one on this day. The basic tracks featured McCartney’s bass guitar on track one of the eight-track tape; Ringo Starr’s drums on track two; Lennon’s 12-string acoustic guitar on three; George Harrison’s electric lead guitar on four; and vocals by Lennon and McCartney on six.

Lennon and McCartney both sang guide vocals during the recordings, which were replaced with proper attempts towards the end of the session, from 10.30pm-2.30am.

Take 39 was selected as the best, and was subjected to further overdubs. Take 27, meanwhile, was released on some formats of the 50th anniversary reissue of Abbey Road.

Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

Last updated: 26 June 2023
Recording, mixing: Come And Get It, Sun King, Mean Mr Mustard
Recording: Polythene Pam, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
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