Recording "Her Majesty", "Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight"

Wednesday, July 2, 1969 • For The Beatles

Part of


"Abbey Road" sessions

Feb 22 - Aug 25, 1969 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Abbey Road

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

Master release


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About

On July 1, 1969, John Lennon was on holiday in Scotland and got involved in a car accident along with his wife Yoko, his son Julian, and Yoko’s daughter, Kyoko. He was hospitalised and stayed at this hospital till July 6. He would rejoin The Beatles’ sessions on July 9, missing five days of work.


On this day, Paul McCartney was the first one to arrive at the studio at 3 pm. Waiting for George Harrison and Ringo Starr, he decided to record “Her Majesty“, the 23-second track which would end up the “Abbey Road” album.

Paul had demoed “Her Majesty” during the “Get Back” sessions, on January 9 and January 24. On this day, he recorded three complete takes of it, playing acoustic guitar and singing. Take three was deemed the best. The three takes were released on the “Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)” in 2019.

[The Beatles] hadn’t got a tape op, and Allan Stagge, then studio manager, called me to his office to ask if I might like to help out. He said that he wouldn’t pressurize me into doing it. I was extremely nervous on the session and my mind went completely blank. Paul sat down and did ‘Her Majesty’ and I couldn’t for the life of me think how to spell Majesty on the tape box. I rang upstairs, all around the building, asking people how to spell Majesty!

Chris Blair – Second engineer ​ – From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn

Once George and Ringo arrived, the three Beatles began work on “Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight“.

Like “Her Majesty“, those two songs had been rehearsed during the “Get Back” sessions in January 1969. If “Carry That Weight” was considered as a standalone song when first played on January 6, Paul changed his mind the day after, attaching it to another song fragment, “Golden Slumbers“.

On this day, they recorded “Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight” as one track (under the working title “Golden Slumbers” even if, on the “Abbey Road” LP, the two names would be mentioned).

They recorded 15 takes of the backing track, with Paul on piano (track three) and guide vocal (track eight), George on bass (track two) and Ringo on drums (take one).

Takes 1 to 3 were incomplete takes and were included on the “Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)” in 2019.

The session ended at 9:30 pm, and work on “Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight” would continue the following day.

Last updated on December 23, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

Her Majesty

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 1

Album Officially released on Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)


2.

Her Majesty

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 2

Album Officially released on Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)


3.

Her Majesty

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 3

Album Officially released on Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)


4.

Golden Slumbers

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 1

Album Officially released on Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)


5.

Golden Slumbers

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 2

Album Officially released on Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)


6.

Golden Slumbers

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 3

Album Officially released on Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)


7.

Golden Slumbers

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 4


8.

Golden Slumbers

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 5


9.

Golden Slumbers

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 6


10.

Golden Slumbers

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 7


11.

Golden Slumbers

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 8


12.

Golden Slumbers

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 9


13.

Golden Slumbers

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 10


14.

Golden Slumbers

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 11


15.

Golden Slumbers

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 12


16.

Golden Slumbers

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 13


17.

Golden Slumbers

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 14


18.

Golden Slumbers

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 15


19.

Carry That Weight

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Takes 1-15 (recorded along with "Golden Slumbers" as one track, under the working title "Golden Slumbers")

Staff

Musicians on "Carry That Weight"

Paul McCartney:
Vocals, Piano
Ringo Starr:
Drums
George Harrison:
Bass

Musicians on "Golden Slumbers"

Paul McCartney:
Piano, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
George Harrison:
Bass

Musicians on "Her Majesty"

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Vocals

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Phil McDonald:
Engineer
Chris Blair:
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


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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