"The Beatles" (aka the White Album) sessions
May 30 - Oct 18, 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.
- EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road
More from year 1968
Some songs from this session appear on:
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On this day, The Beatles completed “Sexy Sadie” in a session lasting from 7:30 pm to 7:15 am. The basic track had been recorded on August 13, after some prior unsuccessful attempts.
George Harrison was back from holiday in Greece and likely joined the session mid-way.
The day started with a reduction mix of take 107 named 112 (for whatever reason, the four reduction mixes made on August 13 were not used). Overdubs were added in 3 steps, with reduction mixes done between each step, bringing the take count to 117 at the end of the session.
Overdubs consisted of a bass part, an organ part, and a second piano part played by Paul McCartney, some drums played by Ringo Starr, a tambourine played by George and John Lennon’s lead vocals, and backing vocals by Paul, John and George. ADT (“Artificial Double-Tracking”) was used on electric guitars recorded during the previous session.
At the end of the session, they worked on the mono mix. Five attempts were made, included the one released on the White Album, minus a small part. From beatlesebooks.com:
Five attempts were made at creating this mono mix, ‘remix 5’ being 39 seconds longer than what was eventually released on the “White Album” because of the inclusion of an instrumental version of the bridge during the close of the song which was edited out on the released mono mix. A tape copy of this longer mix was made on August 23rd, 1968 which was taken away by Mal Evans and given to Ringo who thereby gave it to his friend Peter Sellers, this extended version eventually appearing on bootleg albums. This extra instrumental bridge was edited out of the master mono version of the song sometime before the mono master of the “White Album” was prepared, possibly during the 24-hour session on October 16th / 17th when the album was banded together for official release.From beatlesebooks.com
The stereo mix would be made on October 14.
Last updated on September 11, 2021
Tape copying • Tape reduction take 107 into take 112
Recording • SI onto take 112
Tape copying • Tape reduction take 112 into take 113
Tape copying • Tape reduction take 112 into take 114
Tape copying • Tape reduction take 112 into take 115
Recording • SI onto take 115
Tape copying • Tape reduction take 115 into take 116
Tape copying • Tape reduction take 115 into take 117
Recording • SI onto take 117
Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 1 from take 117
Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 2 from take 117
Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 3 from take 117
Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 4 from take 117
Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 5 from take 117
Musicians on "Sexy Sadie"
- Paul McCartney:
- Organ, Backing vocals, Piano, Bass
- Ringo Starr:
- John Lennon:
- Backing vocals, Lead vocal
- George Harrison:
- Backing vocals, Tambourine
- George Martin:
- Ken Scott:
- John Smith:
- 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 Recording Reference Manual: Volume 4: The Beatles through Yellow Submarine (1968 - early 1969)
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.
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