Mixing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", recording "Long Long Long"

Monday, October 7, 1968 • For The Beatles

Part of


"The Beatles" (aka the White Album) sessions

May 30 - Oct 15, 1968 • Songs recorded during this session appear on The Beatles (Mono)

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the The Beatles (Mono) LP.
Timeline More from year 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Master album


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About

This new day in the studio began with copies made of the mono and stereo mixes of “Honey Pie” and “Martha My Dear” which had been created at Trident Studios on October 5, 1968. Then, mono and stereo mixes of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” were done. Those remain unused as final mixes were done on October 14.

Then work started on “Long, Long, Long“, a new song from George Harrison. The backing track was recorded during those sessions. John Lennon was absent during that session. From Wikipedia:

The working title for the song was “It’s Been a Long, Long, Long Time”. Recording began at EMI Studios (now Abbey Road Studios) in London on 7 October 1968, during the final week of sessions for the White Album. Since the start of the project, in late May, the album sessions had been fraught with disharmony, partly as a result of the constant presence of Yoko Ono, Lennon’s new partner, and disagreements within the band over their new business venture, Apple Corps. While noting the context of the song’s recording, MacDonald describes “Long, Long, Long” as Harrison’s “touching token of exhausted, relieved reconciliation with God”.

The recording session was a relaxed occasion; the burning of Indian incense helped to create the requisite atmosphere in the studio. The Beatles recorded 67 takes of the rhythm track, with Harrison on vocals and acoustic guitar, McCartney playing Hammond organ, and Ringo Starr on drums. The drum part includes a series of loud fills that serve as a commentary beside the vocal line, in the manner of Starr’s playing on “A Day in the Life” in 1967. The idea for the end of the song was inspired by the sound created by a wine bottle sitting on a Leslie speaker, through which the organ was connected. Whenever McCartney played a certain note on the keyboard, the bottle began to vibrate, producing an eerie clattering sound that the Beatles decided to incorporate in their subsequent performances of the track. To compound the effect on the selected take, Starr played a fast snare drum roll and Harrison vocalised a prolonged, high-pitched wail. Chris Gerard of PopMatters comments on the “palpable spiritual longing” conveyed in the song and describes this coda as a “weird spectral ending, with Harrison wailing like a wounded ghost while the band members rattle their instruments ominously”. In his book on the history of ambient music, Mark Prendergast cites the song as a ballad “noteworthy for its Ambient production”.

Nine hours after this all-night session, the band returned to the studio to carry out overdubs.

There was a bottle of “Blue Nun” wine on top of the Leslie speaker during the recording and when our Paul hit some organ note the Leslie started vibrating and the bottle rattling. You can hear it on the record – at the very end.

George Harrison, from “I Me Mine” book, 1979

Just before starting the 67th take of the song, George Harrison declared “Let this be the one!“. Paul McCartney replied “I suppose it’s been a long, long, long time” (quotes from “The Beatles” super deluxe book, 2018). The day after, The Beatles would add overdubs to Take 67.

Last updated on May 29, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

Honey Pie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape copying of remix mono 1 and of remix stereo 1


2.

Martha My Dear

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape copying of remix mono 1 and of remix stereo 1


3.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Written by George Harrison

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 1 from take 25


4.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Written by George Harrison

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 1 from take 25


5.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Written by George Harrison

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 2 from take 25


6.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 1


7.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 2


8.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 3


9.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 4


10.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 5


11.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 6


12.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 7


13.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 8


14.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 9


15.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 10


16.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 11


17.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 12


18.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 13


19.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 14


20.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 15


21.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 16


22.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 17


23.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 18


24.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 19


25.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 20


26.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 21


27.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 22


28.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 23


29.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 24


30.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 25


31.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 26


32.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 27


33.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 28


34.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 29


35.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 30


36.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 31


37.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 32


38.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 33


39.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 34


40.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 35


41.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 36


42.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 37


43.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 38


44.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 39


45.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 40


46.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 41


47.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 42


48.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 43


49.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 44

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


50.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 45


51.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 46


52.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 47


53.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 48


54.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 49


55.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 50


56.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 51


57.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 52


58.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 53


59.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 54


60.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 55


61.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 56


62.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 57


63.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 58


64.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 59


65.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 60


66.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 61


67.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 62


68.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 63


69.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 64


70.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 65


71.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 66


72.

Long, Long, Long

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 67

Staff

Musicians

Paul McCartney:
Hammond organ
Ringo Starr:
Drums
George Harrison:
Acoustic guitar, Vocals

Production staff

Chris Thomas:
Producer
Ken Scott:
Engineer
Mike Sheady:
Second Engineer

The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions • Mark Lewisohn

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 Beatles Bible

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.

Have a look at https://www.beatlesbible.com/1968/10/07/mixing-recording-while-my-guitar-gently-weeps-long-long-long/

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