Recording and mixing "Come And Get It", "Sun King", "Mean Mr Mustard"

Thursday, July 24, 1969 • For The Beatles

Part of


"Abbey Road" sessions

Feb 22 - Aug 25, 1969 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Abbey Road

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Abbey Road LP.
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Master release


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About

The day began with Paul McCartney recording the demo of a new song – “Come And Get It“. This demo was released on “Anthology 3” in 1996 (using a fake stereo mix done prepared by Geoff Emerick in the 80s for the aborted “Sessions” album) and re-released on “Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)” in 2019 (using the original mix done on this day):

Ahead of the Beatles’ latest session for Abbey Road, Paul McCartney arrived at EMI early this July afternoon and assembled a solo demo of a new composition, Come And Get It, that he was offering exclusively to be Apple label group the Iveys. First he sang and played the piano, then he double-tracked his vocal and shook maracas, then added drums and, finally, overlaid bass guitar. The process took less than an hour, and nine days later Paul produced the Iveys’ version, almost identical to his, which – released after they changed their name to Badfinger – became a Top Five single and the main theme for the Peter Sellers/Ringo Starr movie The Magic Christian.

From Anthology 3 liner notes

[The day before], just before leaving, Paul sat down at the piano and started playing a new song. He explained that it wasn’t one he wanted to do for the album. Instead, he planned on giving the song to a new group that Apple had recently signed, a band called Badfinger. It was quite late and Paul was tired, so he asked me to set up all the sounds for him so that he could come in fresh first thing the next morning and record it straight away. I knew that I’d be a little late coming in the next day because I had a meeting scheduled at Apple, so Phil ended up doing the actual recording. The song turned out to be the million-seller “Come And Get It,” and Phil told me afterwards that Paul knocked off the demo in under an hour, while John and Yoko sat quietly in the control room, offering no input or assistance.

Geoff Emerick – From “Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles“, 2006

This session, which started at 2:30 pm and was attended by John Lennon, ended at 3:30 pm.


The Beatles session of the day started at 3:30 pm and ended at 10:30 pm. It saw the recording of two additional songs, written by John, for the long medley. “Sun King” and “Mean Mr. Mustard” had been rehearsed during the “Get Back” sessions in January 1969. On this day, they were recorded as one song (they were not segued during an editing process), under the working title “Here Comes The Sun King“.

A few days later we recorded the backing tracks to Lennon’s “Here Comes The Sun King” and “Mean Mr. Mustard,” both recorded together in a single pass. There is a slight gap between the two songs, so they could have easily been recorded separately, but knowing in advance that they would be sequenced in that order, John made the decision to play through both of them in one go, which made it a little more of a challenge to the band’s musicianship. But they pulled it off — it really was a group effort, and all four Beatles played with energy and enthusiasm, each making his own unique contribution to the sound and arrangement. Even Ringo came up with a strong idea, draping his tom-toms with heavy tea towels and playing them with timpani beaters in order to give John the “jungle drum” sound he was after.

Geoff Emerick – From “Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles“, 2006

The vibe was so good that, this time around, Paul was invited by John to participate in both songs, which seemed to lift his spirits greatly. They even disappeared behind the screens at one point for a puff on a joint, just the two of them, and when they came out they had a fit of giggles as they sang the pseudo-Spanish gibberish at the end of “Here Comes The Sun King”; in fact, they found it impossible to get through a take without dissolving into laughter.

Geoff Emerick – From “Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles“, 2006

Thirty-five takes of the rhythm track were recorded, with John on rhythm guitar recorded through a Leslie speaker (track three) and on guide vocals (track six), Paul on bass (track one), George Harrison on lead guitar with a tremolo echo (track four) and Ringo Starr on drums (track two).

Take 7 is in fact a cover version of “Ain’t She Sweet” led by John and played like Gene Vincent. It was followed by versions of other Gene Vincent’s songs: “Who Slapped John?“, “Up A Lazy River” and “Be Bop A Lula“. This version of “Ain’t She Sweet” was released on “Anthology 3” in 1996:

Later in the day, during the recording of the Abbey Road song Sun King, the Beatles ambled into a lighthearted jam that encompassed three Gene Vincent songs – Be-Bop-A-Lula, Who Slapped John? and, most enticingly, Ain’t She Sweet, the standard from 1927 that Vincent had covered in 1956 and the Beatles themselves recorded in 1961 (issued on Anthology 1). Then they had performed an arrangement that vocalist John Lennon described as “a march”, but in this 1969 jam they duplicated the softened style of Vincent’s recording.

From Anthology 3 liner notes

Take 20 was released on “Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)” in 2019.

Take 35, the final one, was considered the best. Work on “Sun King / Mean Mr. Mustard” would continue on the following day.

Last updated on December 26, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

Come And Get It

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording • Take 1

Album Officially released on Anthology 3


2.

Come And Get It

Written by Paul McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 1 from take 1


3.

Come And Get It

Written by Paul McCartney

Tape copying • Tape copying of remix stereo 1


4.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 1


5.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 2


6.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 3


7.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 4


8.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 5


9.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 6


10.

Ain't She Sweet

Written by Milton Ager, Jack Yellen

Recording • Jam session of four Gene Vincent songs. Documented as take 7 of "Here Comes The Sun King"

Album Officially released on Anthology 3


11.

Who Slapped John?

Written by Gene Vincent, Tex Davis

Recording • Jam session of four Gene Vincent songs. Documented as take 7 of "Here Comes The Sun King"


12.

Up A Lazy River

Written by Hoagy Carmichael, Sidney Arodin

Recording • Jam session of four Gene Vincent songs. Documented as take 7 of "Here Comes The Sun King"


13.

Be Bop A Lula

Written by Gene Vincent, Donald Graves, Bill Davis

Recording • Jam session of four Gene Vincent songs. Documented as take 7 of "Here Comes The Sun King"


14.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 8


15.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 9


16.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 10


17.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 11


18.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 12


19.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 13


20.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 14


21.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 15


22.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 16


23.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 17


24.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 18


25.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 19


26.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 20

Album Officially released on Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)


27.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 21


28.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 22


29.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 23


30.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 24


31.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 25


32.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 26


33.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 27


34.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 28


35.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 29


36.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 30


37.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 31


38.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 32


39.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 33


40.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 34


41.

Sun King

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 35


42.

Mean Mr. Mustard

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Takes 1-35 (recorded along with "Sun King" as one track, under the working title "Here Comes The Sun King")

Staff

Musicians on "Come And Get It"

Paul McCartney:
Vocals, Maracas, Piano, Drums, Bass

Musicians on "Sun King"

Paul McCartney:
Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Lead guitar

Musicians on "Mean Mr. Mustard"

Paul McCartney:
Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar

Musicians on "Ain't She Sweet"

Paul McCartney:
Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Phil McDonald:
Engineer
John Kurlander:
Second Engineer

Going further


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!

Shop on Amazon


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.

Read more on The Beatles Bible

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