Recording and mixing "Sexy Sadie"

Wednesday, August 21, 1968 • For The Beatles

Part of


"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.
Timeline More from year 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Master album


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About

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

Songs recorded


1.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 107 into take 112


2.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 112


3.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 112 into take 113


4.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 112 into take 114


5.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 112 into take 115


6.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 115


7.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 115 into take 116


8.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 115 into take 117


9.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 117


10.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 1 from take 117


11.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 2 from take 117


12.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 3 from take 117


13.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 4 from take 117


14.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 5 from take 117

Staff

Musicians on "Sexy Sadie"

Paul McCartney:
Piano, Bass, Organ, Backing vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Lead vocal, Backing vocals
George Harrison:
Tambourine, Backing vocals

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Ken Scott:
Engineer
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 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/1968/08/21/recording-mixing-sexy-sadie/

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