Recording and mixing "I Want You (She's So Heavy)", "Oh! Darling"

Sunday, April 20, 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 Three, Abbey Road

Master release


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About

On this day, from 7 pm to 12:45 am, work continued on John Lennon’s “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and the basic track of Paul McCartney’s “Oh! Darling” was recorded.


I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” had been recorded at Trident Studios from February 22 to 24. The Beatles had added some overdubs on April 18. On this day, conga drums played by Ringo Starr and a Hammond organ played by Billy Preston were overdubbed onto what was called take 1 (on track six).

At this stage, “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” was considered complete but John decided to add more overdubs on August 8, 1969.


Oh! Darling” had been rehearsed numerous times (on January 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 22, 23, 27 and 31) during the “Get Back” sessions in January 1969. On this day, The Beatles decided to properly record it.

They recorded 26 takes of the backing track, with Paul on piano (track four) and guide vocals (track six), John on guitar (track five), George Harrison on bass (track one), Billy Preston on organ on some of the takes (track three) and Ringo on drums (track two).

Take four, with Billy Preston on organ, was released on “Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)” in 2019.

Take 26 was deemed the best. The first overdubs would be added on April 26, wiping Billy Preston’s organ in the process.

At the end of the session, a stereo mix was made in the control room for Paul to review.

Last updated on December 28, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

I Want You (She's So Heavy)

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 1


2.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 1


3.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 2


4.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 3


5.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 4

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


6.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 5


7.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 6


8.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 7


9.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 8


10.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 9


11.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 10


12.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 11


13.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 12


14.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 13


15.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 14


16.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 15


17.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 16


18.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 17


19.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 18


20.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 19


21.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 20


22.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 21


23.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 22


24.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 23


25.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 24


26.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 25


27.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 26


28.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 1 from take 26

Staff

Musicians on "Oh! Darling"

Paul McCartney:
Vocals, Piano
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Guitar
George Harrison:
Bass
Billy Preston:
Hammond organ

Musicians on "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"

Ringo Starr:
Conga drums
Billy Preston:
Hammond organ

Production staff

John Kurlander:
Second Engineer
Chris Thomas:
Producer
Jeff Jarratt:
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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