Recording and mixing "Yer Blues", recording and mixing "What's The New Mary Jane"

Wednesday, August 14, 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.
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Timeline

Session Aug 14, 1968 • Recording and mixing "Yer Blues", recording and mixing "What's The New Mary Jane"

More from year 1968

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

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

Songs recorded


1.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto edit of takes 16 and 17


2.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 1 from edit of takes 16 and 17


3.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 2 from edit of takes 16 and 17


4.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 3 from edit of takes 16 and 17


5.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 4 from edit of takes 16 and 17


6.

What's The New Mary Jane

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 1

Album Officially released on The Beatles (50th anniversary boxset)


7.

What's The New Mary Jane

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 2


8.

What's The New Mary Jane

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 3


9.

What's The New Mary Jane

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 4

Album Officially released on Anthology 3


10.

What's The New Mary Jane

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 1 from take 4


11.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape copying of remix mono 3


12.

What's The New Mary Jane

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape copying of remix mono 1

Staff

Musicians on "Yer Blues"

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Lead vocal

Musicians on "What's The New Mary Jane"

John Lennon:
Piano, Vocals
George Harrison:
Acoustic guitar
Mal Evans:
Accordion, Tambourine, Ripping paper percussion, Football rattle, Vibraphone, Swanee whistle, Hand bell
Yoko Ono:
Hand bell, Accordion, Vocals, Tambourine, Ripping paper percussion, Football rattle, Vibraphone, Swanee whistle

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Ken Scott:
Engineer
John Smith:
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


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.

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.