- Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the The Beatles (Mono) LP.
- EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road
- EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road
More from year 1968
Some songs from this session appear on:
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On this day, the session lasted from 7 pm to 5:30 am. It started with the completion of George Harrison’s song, “Long, Long, Long“. Paul McCartney added some minor backing vocals, and Chris Thomas performed a piano overdubs.
[Chris Thomas] recalled that “They said ‘Make it like The Moody Blues'”. Sure enough, his playing is reminiscent of Mike Pinder’s piano solo on ‘Go Now!’ by The Moody Blues, released in 1964.From “The Beatles” Super Deluxe edition book (2018)
Paul McCartney then isolated himself with Ken Townsend in Studio One, to record a new song of his, “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?“. This was the first and last time technical engineer Ken Townsend acted as balance engineer on a Beatles’ song, even if he heavily contributed to the sound of The Beatles over the years (for instance, by inventing artificial double tracking – ADT).
My one-minute-40-seconds claim to fame! […] Paul said, ‘I’ve got this idea for a song. Can we give it a try?’ (Studio One) was laid out for an orchestra for the following day. I placed Paul on the left-hand side so I could see him through the window. That studio is a huge great barn – 22,000 cubic feet.Ken Townsend – From “The Beatles” Super Deluxe edition book (2018)
Paul recorded five takes of “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?“. Unlike its heavy blues result, the song began as an acoustic guitar number, with Paul experimenting, on each take, with different ways of singing the song.
Take 4 was released on “Anthology 3” in 1996:
The White Album version does not suggest so, but Why Don’t We Do It In The Road started out as an acoustic number, and, moreover, had Paul alternating between gentle (if pleading) and strident vocal styles. The master (Take 5) was adorned with a number of overdubs that turned the song into much heavier piece, with every instrument bar Ringo’s drums played by Paul himself. This is Take 4, performed solo.Liner notes of Anthology 3.
At this end of take 4, Paul said to Ken Townsend:
Well, well, well, what do you think of all that? Do you think that I could do it better? I think I could do it a bit better actually. See, I wanna just try and do one quiet verse, one loud verse; and then that’s it, really.Paul McCartney – at the end of take 4 – From “The Beatles” Super Deluxe edition book (2018)
Paul then recorded a fifth take, which would be the version onto which overdubs would be added.
Is that OK? ‘Cause I won’t come listen to that one. However, I will move this microphone nearer the piano, should I?Paul McCartney – at the end of take 5
Take 5 without overdubs was released on White Album 50th anniversary reissue in 2018.
Paul last added a piano overdub onto take 5, before calling it a day. Work on “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” would continue and be completed on the following day.
While Paul McCartney worked on “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?“, George Harrison, John Lennon and the engineering team worked on mixes for “The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill“. The mono and stereo mixes released on the White Album were made on this day.
Last updated on September 11, 2021
The definitive guide for every Beatles recording sessions from 1962 to 1970.
We owe a lot to Mark Lewisohn for the creation of those session pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - the number of takes for each song, who contributed what, a description of the context and how each session went, various photographies... And an introductory interview with Paul McCartney!
The fourth book of this critically acclaimed series, "The Beatles Recording Reference Manual: Volume 4: The Beatles through Yellow Submarine (1968 - early 1969)" captures The Beatles as they take the lessons of Sgt. Pepper forward with an ambitious double-album that is equally innovative and progressive. From the first take to the final remix, discover the making of the greatest recordings of all time. Through extensive, fully-documented research, these books fill an important gap left by all other Beatles books published to date and provide a unique view into the recordings of the world's most successful pop music act.
If we like to think, in all modesty, that the Paul McCartney Project is the best online ressource for everything Paul McCartney, The Beatles Bible is for sure the definitive online site focused on the Beatles. There are obviously some overlap in terms of content between the two sites, but also some major differences in terms of approach.