- Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Abbey Road LP.
- Trident Studios, London, UK
More from year 1969
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On this day, February 22, 1969, The Beatles were joined at London’s Trident Studios by producer George Martin and engineer Glyn Johns to start the recording of “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”. They felt that they needed more material recorded to release an LP from those “Get Back” sessions. But, retrospectively, this session turned out to be the first session for their “Abbey Road” album.
The three-week break between the last day of the “Get Back” sessions (January 31) and this day is explained by the unavailability of Ringo Starr, who was filming “The Magic Christian“, George Harrison being hospitalized and engineer Glyn Johns being in Los Angeles to record the Steve Miller Band.
While the second half of the “Get Back” sessions were held in The Beatles’ own Apple Studio, they couldn’t return to it for this session, as the EMI equipment they had borrowed had been returned, and EMI Studios were unavailable at that time, hence why this session was held at Trident.
The Beatles arrived at 8 pm for this session and recorded 35 takes of “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”, even if a limited number were complete takes. John Lennon was on guitar (track one) and vocals (track seven), Paul McCartney on bass (track five), George Harrison on guitar (track four) and Ringo Starr on drums (tracks two and three). From Abbey Road Anniversary Editions OUT NOW! – The BEATLES:
With their amps turned up high, The Beatles received a noise complaint from one of the studio’s neighbors in the Soho area of the city. The take starts with Lennon exclaiming, “My boys are ready to go!,” before the band is told about the complaint. Lennon replies, “What are they doing here at this time of night?,” then lays it down: “Well, we’ll try it once more very loud. And then if we don’t get it, we’ll try it quiet, like it might do it the other way. OK. The loud one, last go. Last chance to be loud!”
Glyn Johns: John?
John Lennon: Yes, what?
Glyn Johns: John, is it possible without affecting yourselves too much to turn down a little? Apparently, there’s been a complaint
John Lennon: From who?
Glyn Johns: From somebody outside the building.
John Lennon: What are they doing here at this time of night? What guy?
Paul McCartney: It’s his own fault for getting a house in such a lousy district.
John Lennon: Well, we’ll try it once more very loud, and then if we don’t get it, we’ll try it quiet, like it might do it the other way. Ok. The loud one, last go. Last chance to be loud.
The day after, a master take would be assembled from takes 9, 20 and 32 recorded on this day.
Last updated on January 1, 2022
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!
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.
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.