"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:
Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.
On this day, in a session that lasted from 7 pm to 4:30 am, The Beatles continued the work that had started the day before on John Lennon’s “Yer Blues“. They also recorded another Lennon song, “What’s The New Mary Jane“.
On “Yer Blues“, overdubs were added onto an edit of takes 16 and 17. John Lennon recorded his lead vocals, with some backing vocals by Paul McCartney here and there. Ringo Starr also added an extra snare drum. John and George Harrison’s guitar solos were reinserted adding ADT (“Artificial Double Tracking”) with a “wobble” effect, which was produced by an engineer “wobbling the oscillator” as Chris Thomas described it.
The team then started mixing the song in mono. They made four attempts at it and considered the third one as being the best. However, on August 20, they would edit this mono mix to add a very short edit piece at the beginning of the song.
Work then began on “What’s The New Mary Jane“. Four takes were recorded with the final one being marked as the best. Only John and George featured on the track, with John on piano and vocals and George on acoustic guitar.
Take 1 was a simple version and was also the shortest at 2’35”. It was released on the White Album’s 50th anniversary re-release in 2018.
Take 4 was the longest, lasting 6’35”, and contained a lengthy improvised section. This take was considered the best, and overdubs were added. John’s piano and George’s guitar were overdubbed a second time, John added another vocal track, and Yoko Ono and Mal Evans added overdubs using an assortment of unusual instruments. Take 4 was released on “Anthology 3” in 1996.
What’s The New Mary Jane was in the running for a place on the White Album but fell at the final hurdle – remaining unissued until now. The piece was John’s, and, of the four Beatles, only he and George are present. Contrary to its seemingly free-form nature, What’s The New Mary Jane had a pre-planned structure, the other takes recorded at this EMI session – and also a demo recorded at Esher three months previously – proving so. The Anthology version is Take 4, the one marked “best” on the tape box at the end of the evening’s work in number two studio at Abbey Road, featuring double-tracked piano and vocals (John), double-tracked guitar (George), and multitudinous sound effects contributed by Yoko Ono and the Beatles’ assistant Mal Evans.From Anthology 3 liner notes
A rough mono mix of “What’s The New Mary Jane” was made towards the end of the session, which truncated its length to 3’15”. Two mono mixes would be made on September 26, and two stereo mixes on October 14.
Last updated on September 19, 2021
Recording • Take 1
Album Officially released on The Beatles (50th anniversary boxset)
Recording • Take 2
Recording • Take 3
Recording • Take 4
Album Officially released on Anthology 3
Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 1 from take 4
Tape copying • Tape copying of remix mono 1
Musicians on "Yer Blues"
Musicians on "What's The New Mary Jane"
- John Lennon:
- Vocals, Piano
- George Harrison:
- Acoustic guitar
- Mal Evans:
- Vibraphone, Swanee whistle, Hand bell, Accordion, Tambourine, Ripping paper percussion, Football rattle
- Yoko Ono:
- Vibraphone, Swanee whistle, Hand bell, Accordion, Vocals, Tambourine, Ripping paper percussion, Football rattle
- 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.
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!