Recording and mixing "Oh! Darling", "Octopus's Garden"

Friday, July 18, 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
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Master release


Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.

About

As he did on July 17, Paul McCartney arrived early at EMI Studios to re-record the lead vocals of “Oh! Darling“. Not satisfied, he would try again on July 22 and July 23.

Perhaps my main memory of the Abbey Road sessions is of Paul coming into studio three at two o’clock or 2.30 each afternoon, on his own, to do the vocal on Oh! Darling. […] Paul came in several days running to do the lead vocal on Oh! Darling. He’d come in, sing it and say ‘No, that’s not it, I’ll try it again tomorrow’. He only tried it once per day, I suppose he wanted to capture a certain rawness which could only be done once before the voice changed. […]

Alan Parsons, engineer​ – From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn

Once Paul was done with “Oh! Darling“, The Beatles focused on Ringo Starr’s “Octopus’s Garden“, which had received some overdubs on the previous day.

With only two open tracks remaining and three vocal parts to be recorded, in order to accomplish the double-tracked lead vocal for Octopus’s Garden, an undocumented tape reduction with simultaneous superimposition was required.

From “The Beatles Recording Reference Manual – Volume 5” by Jerry Hammack

A decision was made to re-record Ringo’s lead vocals. Paul and George Harrison recorded some additional backing vocals, and Ringo added tom-tom beats from his drum kit.

In the end, the eight-track tape contained bass on track one, drums on two, bubbly sound effects and wobbled ‘underwater vocals’ on three, bass notes of a piano and a guitar doubling them on four, tom-tom beats and backing vocals by Paul and George on five; more backing vocals by Paul and George and a lead vocal overdubbed on six, piano and George’s lead guitar on seven, John’s guitar on eight.

From “Abbey Road” Super Deluxe edition book (2019) by Kevin Howlett

At 8 pm, the recording of “Octopus’s Garden” was over.

From 8 pm to 10:30 pm, time was spent mixing the track in mono and stereo. The final stereo mix made on the day was the one released on “Abbey Road“.

Last updated on December 26, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

Oh! Darling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 26


2.

Octopus's Garden

Written by Ringo Starr

Recording • SI onto take 32


3.

Octopus's Garden

Written by Ringo Starr

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 1 from take 32


4.

Octopus's Garden

Written by Ringo Starr

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 2 from take 32


5.

Octopus's Garden

Written by Ringo Starr

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 3 from take 32


6.

Octopus's Garden

Written by Ringo Starr

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 4 from take 32


7.

Octopus's Garden

Written by Ringo Starr

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 5 from take 32


8.

Octopus's Garden

Written by Ringo Starr

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 6 from take 32


9.

Octopus's Garden

Written by Ringo Starr

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 7 from take 32


10.

Octopus's Garden

Written by Ringo Starr

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 10 from take 32


11.

Octopus's Garden

Written by Ringo Starr

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 11 from take 32


12.

Octopus's Garden

Written by Ringo Starr

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 12 from take 32


13.

Octopus's Garden

Written by Ringo Starr

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 13 from take 32


14.

Octopus's Garden

Written by Ringo Starr

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 14 from take 32

Album Officially released on Abbey Road

Staff

Musicians on "Oh! Darling"

Paul McCartney:
Lead vocals

Musicians on "Octopus's Garden"

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Lead vocals
George Harrison:
Backing vocals

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Phil McDonald:
Engineer
Alan Parsons:
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

Contribute!

Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.