Recording "Don't Pass Me By"

Wednesday, June 5, 1968 • For The Beatles

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the The Beatles (Mono) LP.
Timeline More from year 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Master album


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About

After three days spent on “Revolution 1“, The Beatles moved on and decided to record the second track of the new album, and the first song written by Ringo Starr, “Don’t Pass Me By“. This song was recorded by Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, even if John Lennon was also in the studio on this day.

Don’t Pass Me By” was long in the making. The earliest public mention of the track seems to have been in a BBC chatter session introducing “And I Love Her” on the radio show Top Gear in 1964. In the conversation, Starr was asked if he had written a song and Paul McCartney mocked him soon afterwards, singing the first line of the refrain, “Don’t pass me by, don’t make me cry, don’t make me blue, baby.” Still, when recording it in June 1968, it was labelled as “Ringo’s Tune (Untitled)” during the June 5 session, then “This Is Some Friendly” on June 6, before getting its final title.

Three takes of the backing track were recorded on this day, with Ringo Starr on piano and Paul McCartney on drums. At the end of the third take, Paul McCartney said “I think that’s got it!” and Ringo Starr shouted to George Martin in the control room, “I think we’ve got something there, George!

Overdubs were then added – a lead vocal by Ringo, a sleigh bell, two separate bass parts. Through the process, several reduction mixes were made. The later one – named take 6 – was discarded, and work continued on “Don’t Pass Me Byon the following day, with more overdubs added to take 5.

Last updated on June 2, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

Don't Pass Me By

Written by Ringo Starr

Recording • Take 1

Unreleased track


2.

Don't Pass Me By

Written by Ringo Starr

Recording • Take 2

Unreleased track


3.

Don't Pass Me By

Written by Ringo Starr

Recording • Take 3

Album Officially released on Anthology 3


4.

Don't Pass Me By

Written by Ringo Starr

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 3 into take 4

Unreleased track


5.

Don't Pass Me By

Written by Ringo Starr

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 3 into take 5

Unreleased track


6.

Don't Pass Me By

Written by Ringo Starr

Recording • SI onto take 5

Unreleased track


7.

Don't Pass Me By

Written by Ringo Starr

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 5 into take 6

Unreleased track

Staff

Musicians on Don't Pass Me By

Paul McCartney:
Drums, Bass
Ringo Starr:
Sleigh bell, Lead vocal, Piano

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Phil McDonald:
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/1968/06/05/recording-dont-pass-me-by/

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