Recording "Not Guilty"

Wednesday, August 7, 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 Anthology 3 Official album.
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

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About

On this day, The Beatles were back at Abbey Road, after four days spent working on “Hey Jude” at Trident Studios. A copy of the previous day’s rough mono mix was made, this was the first transfer of the recordings to Abbey Road.

The Beatles then started working on George Harrison’s “Not Guilty“. In total, they would record more than 100 takes of the song over three days (but only 21 were complete takes). Despite all those efforts, “Not Guilty” didn’t make it on the release of “The Beatles”, and remained unreleased until its inclusion on Anthology 3 in 1996.

This is one of two August recordings you WON’T hear on the new album because they were dropped at the last minute in favour of more recent numbers. Written and sung by George. Interesting note – he used Lucy for the first time on this session. Lucy is the fantastic solid red Gibson guitar which was given to George at the beginning of August by Eric Clapton.

Mal Evans – From the Beatles Monthly Book, N°64, November 1968

On this day, they recorded 46 takes, featuring George Harrison on electric guitar, John Lennon on electric piano, Paul McCartney on bass and Ringo Starr on drums. The first 18 takes were for the introduction only. Only takes 26, 30, 32, 36 and 41 were complete.

There were 46 takes in the first session, but many were false starts, breakdowns or rehearsals of different sections of the song. What was called ‘the waltz bit’, when the rhythm switches briefly from 4/4 to 3/4 needed careful working out. ‘Without the waltz, it’s easier,’ George noted. ‘Yeah, I always find that,’ John replied. Around five in the morning, after take 41 of the instrumental backing track, John remarked, ‘I don’t mind if we keep doing it, but I don’t think it’s going anywhere.’ Soon afterwards, they stopped.

The Beatles continued working on “Not Guilty” on the following day.

The session which started at 8:45 pm ended at 5:30 am. Paul McCartney and his American girlfriend Francie Schwartz decided to do a controversial marketing operation for the upcoming release of the “Hey Jude / Revolution” single, before heading home.

Last updated on September 12, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

Hey Jude

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape copying of remix mono 1


2.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 1


3.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 2


4.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 3


5.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 4


6.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 5


7.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 6


8.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 7


9.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 8


10.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 9


11.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 10


12.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 11


13.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 12


14.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 13


15.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 14


16.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 15


17.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 16


18.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 17


19.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 18


20.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 19


21.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 20


22.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 21


23.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 22


24.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 23


25.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 24


26.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 25


27.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 26


28.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 27


29.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 28


30.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 29


31.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 30


32.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 31


33.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 32


34.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 33


35.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 34


36.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 35


37.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 36


38.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 37


39.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 38


40.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 39


41.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 40


42.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 41


43.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 42


44.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 43


45.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 44


46.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 45


47.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 46

Staff

Musicians on "Not Guilty"

Paul McCartney:
Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Electric piano
George Harrison:
Vocals, Guitar

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Ken Scott:
Engineer
John Smith:
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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