- Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the The Beatles (Mono) LP.
- EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road
More from year 1968
Some songs from this session appear on:
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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 only two Beatles – Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney – even if John Lennon was also in the studio on this day.
The ‘White Album’ sessions were full of surprises for me. Usually, a Beatles album project would begin with the recording of one of John’s songs, and this was no exception. But the second song was always one of Paul’s – after all, they were the main songwriters in the band. Ringo would be allocated one song per album, and it was usually done almost as an afterthought, near the end…But this time around, they decided to do Ringo’s song right away…and, even more surprisingly, it was actually a song he’d written.
No explanation was given, and George Martin and I were flabbergasted. The only thing we could come up with was that, behind the scenes, the others must have known that Ringo was getting a bit fed up, and they were trying to keep him happy. That seemed like the only possible reason why time and energy was being expended on a Ringo song so early on…After all, the ‘Pepper’ sessions had begun with ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and ‘Penny Lane’ – a stark contrast… Obviously, tensions and intrigue were already in play, right at the beginning of these sessions.Geoff Emerick – From “Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles“, 2006 – Quoted in beatlesebooks.com
“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 this 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 By” on the following day, with more overdubs added to take 5.
Last updated on September 19, 2021
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 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.