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

Wednesday, August 14, 1968 • For The Beatles

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the The Beatles (Mono) LP.
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

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:
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

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Ken Scott:
Engineer
John Smith:
Second Engineer

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

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