Recording "Good Night"

Friday, June 28, 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

Master release


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About

The Beatles started the recording of “Good Night” on this day.

At the very next session John surprised us all with the unveiling of his lush ballad ‘Good Night.’ Like ‘Across The Universe,’ the song showed his softer side, a stark contrast to the screamer he had belted out just the night before (“Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey”)…There was another surprise: John had decided to have Ringo sing the lead vocal. We were all totally caught off guard by that because we’d already recorded what we presumed was going to be the sole Ringo song on the album (“Don’t Pass Me By”). It’s hard to imagine that John actually thought Ringo could do a better job on it than he could – he knew as well as anyone that Ringo was no singer. Perhaps it was that he was embarrassed at singing such a gentle lullaby – maybe it wasn’t macho enough for him – or perhaps he made the decision just to keep Ringo happy because he sensed some disquiet in the usually placid drummer. […]

John had made a demo for Ringo to take home and practice to, and it was played back a couple of times that night…It’s a shame that this particular tape has been lost to the world, and that nobody will ever hear the gorgeous way John sang his tender little song.

Geoff Emerick – From “Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles“, 2006 – Quoted in beatlesebooks.com

Paul McCartney in "Many Years From Now", by Barry Miles:

I think John felt it might not be good for his image for him to sing it but it was fabulous to hear him do it, he sang it great. We heard him sing it in order to teach it to Ringo and he sang it very tenderly. John rarely showed his tender side, but my key memories of John are when he was tender, that’s what has remained with me; those moments where he showed himself to be a very generous, loving person. I always cite that song as an example of the John beneath the surface that we only saw occasionally… I don’t think John’s version was ever recorded.

They first worked on a number of rehearsals; one of them was released on Anthology 3:

On the evidence of this eavesdrop into song’s first session, the transferral of composition to tape was very much a united effort, with all four Beatles and producer George Martin pitching in ideas and opinions. The performance was not numbered “take” but, rather, a rehearsal that happened to be recorded.

From the liner notes of Anthology 3

Five proper takes of “Good Night” were then recorded during this session, with John Lennon on guitars.

[John] was happy with take five so added two more guitar parts to tracks two and three on the four-track tape. The guitar on track two was recorded at half-speed so when played back at normal speed was heard an octave higher.

From “The Beatles” Super Deluxe edition book (2018)

Work would continue on “Good Nighton July 2. Ultimately, the work done during those two sessions would be scrapped in favour of a remake with only an orchestral arrangement (which would be recorded on July 22).

From Facebook – 28 June 1968 Photo © Apple Corps Ltd. (https://www.thebeatles.com/)
From Facebook – 28 June 1968 Photo © Apple Corps Ltd. (https://www.thebeatles.com/)
From Facebook – 28 June 1968 – Photo © Apple Corps Ltd. (http://www.thebeatles.com/)

Last updated on September 11, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

Good Night

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 1


2.

Good Night

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 2


3.

Good Night

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 3


4.

Good Night

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 4


5.

Good Night

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 5

Staff

Musicians on "Good Night"

John Lennon:
Guitars

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Richard Lush:
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.

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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

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