- Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the The Beatles (Mono) LP.
- Timeline More from year 1968
- EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road
Some songs from this session appear on:
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Having spent the three past days recording “Glass Onion“, The Beatles moved on and started working on the next track, Paul McCartney’s ballad “I Will“. George Harrison didn’t take part in this recording and may not have been present at the session. As George Martin was on holiday for most of September 1968, Chris Thomas produced this session.
The three Beatles recorded 67 takes of the basic track, with Paul on vocals and acoustic guitar and Ringo Starr and John Lennon on percussions.
Without hearing the tapes, that high number might lead to a conclusion that recording Paul’s song was a laborious and frustrating process. Far from it. The audio on the tapes reveals this session to be extremely good-natured with many humorous moments, as on take 29, and several excursions into other songs, just for fun. As usual, the logged total of takes includes many false starts and breakdowns. […]
Ringo and John provide percussion. Ringo tapes out a rhythm with rim shots on a snare drum and uses cymbals, kick drum and tom toms sparingly. John alternates between shaking maracas and beating time on a kind of wood block called a skull. […]From “The Beatles” Super Deluxe edition book (2018)
Take 1 was released on “Anthology 3” in 1996:
From the same session as the Step Inside Love and Los Paranoias jams, this is Take 1 of I Will, in which Paul sang and played acoustic guitar while John and Ringo added a percussive accompaniment. Paul would have realised quite early on – if not beforehand, indeed – that this performance would not be the master (which turned out to be Take 67) but as a first run-through it captures all the essential ingredients.From the “Anthology 3” liner notes
Take 12 (a false-start which ended in laughter), Take 13 and Take 29 were released on The White Album’s 50th anniversary re-release in 2018. In take 29, Paul, as an ad-lib, sings “won’t” in place of “will” during the first verse before John Lennon replies, “Yes you will”. Paul chuckles after this ad-lib and then the song ends at this point.
The session turned into a jam on a few occasions. Take 19 was not “I Will“, but was identified as “Jam – Unidentified” on the tape box. It lasted two minutes and twenty-one seconds. Later referred to as “Can you take me back”, a 28-second segment of this ended up on side four of The Beatles, at the end of “Cry Baby Cry“.
Before take 28, Paul sang the oldie “Blue Moon“. Just after take 35, when reels were being changed, the Beatles played “Step Inside Love” – written by Paul in 1967 for Cilla Black. A Latin-inspired jam was named “Los Paranoias“. All those ad-lib songs were released on either “Anthology 3” in 1996, or on The White Album’s 50th anniversary re-release in 2018.
During a light-hearted recording session for I Will, Paul frequently slipped into “jamming” mode, sometimes at the behest of John and Ringo who were sitting close at hand providing the percussion that augmented his acoustic guitar track. On of the off-the-cuff pieces was Step Inside Love – written by Paul in 1967 expressly for Cilla Black to sing as the theme tune for her first TV series, Cilla, that began on the BBC on 30 January 1968. The Beatles never recorded a formal studio recording of the song, and this version, performed by the composer many months after Cilla’s recording, was simply an ad-lib re-acquaintance with the piece. Then, prompted by one of John’s comments, and preserving the frivolity of the moment, Paul led the other Beatles into a jam, Los Paranoias.From Anthology 3 liner notes
Out of the 67 takes, take 65 was considered to be the best. The recording was then transferred to an eight-track tape and numbered take 68.
The work on “I Will” would continue the day after.
At the end of the session, they briefly returned to “Glass Onion” and added an overdub in the form of a brief phrase on recorders played by Paul McCartney and producer Chris Thomas. The final overdubs for “Glass Onion” would be recorded on October 10.
Last updated on September 24, 2021
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!
The Beatles Bible
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.
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