Recording "Here Comes The Sun"

Monday, July 7, 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, the three other Beatles recorded the backing track of a new George Harrison song, “Here Comes The Sun“. The first part of the session saw George teaching the new song to Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

[George] said, ‘Oh, I’ve got this song. It’s like seven-and-a-half time.’ ‘Yeah, so?’ You know, he might as well have talked to me in Arabic, you know what I mean?… I had to find some way that I could physically do it and do it every time so it came off on the time. That’s one of those Indian tricks. I had no way of going, ‘one, two, three, four, five, six, seven…’ It’s not in my brain. So as long as I go (demonstrates), ‘OK, that’s seven. Got it!’

Ringo Starr – From the “Living In The Material World” documentary – Quoted from beatlesebooks.com

They then started the recording of 13 takes of the backing track, with George on acoustic guitar (track three) and guide vocals (track eight), Paul on bass (track one) and Ringo Starr on drums (track two).

The original tapes reveal a lighthearted atmosphere. When take one broke down, George exclaimed, sadly, “One of me best beginnings, that!” And at the end of take four, Ringo…called up to the control room “Turn me down a little bit, if you don’t mind” – meaning, reduce the level of the drum sound in his headphones.

From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn

Take 9 was included in the “Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)“.

Take 13 (announced as “Take 12 and a half” for superstitious reasons) was deemed the best. George then spent the last hour of the session re-recording his acoustic guitar part onto track four of the tape.

The session, which started at 2:30 pm, ended up at 11:45 pm. Work on “Here Comes The Sun” would continue the following day.

Last updated on December 24, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

Here Comes The Sun

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 1


2.

Here Comes The Sun

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 2


3.

Here Comes The Sun

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 3


4.

Here Comes The Sun

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 4


5.

Here Comes The Sun

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 5


6.

Here Comes The Sun

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 6


7.

Here Comes The Sun

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 7


8.

Here Comes The Sun

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 8


9.

Here Comes The Sun

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 9

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


10.

Here Comes The Sun

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 10


11.

Here Comes The Sun

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 11


12.

Here Comes The Sun

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 12


13.

Here Comes The Sun

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 13

Staff

Musicians on "Here Comes The Sun"

Paul McCartney:
Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums
George Harrison:
Acoustic guitar, Vocals

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Phil McDonald:
Engineer
John Kurlander:
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


Solid State: The Story of "Abbey Road" and the End of the Beatles

Acclaimed Beatles historian Kenneth Womack offers the most definitive account yet of the writing, recording, mixing, and reception of Abbey Road. In February 1969, the Beatles began working on what became their final album together. Abbey Road introduced a number of new techniques and technologies to the Beatles' sound, and included "Come Together," "Something," and "Here Comes the Sun," which all emerged as classics.

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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