Recording "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"

Wednesday, July 3, 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 The Beatles (Mono) LP.
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Master release


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About

On this day, The Beatles started working on “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da“. The recording of it would prove quite difficult and would create tension within the band. Three versions were worked on:

  • Version 1 was recorded July 3, 4, 5.
  • Version 2 was recorded July 8, 9, 11, 15.
  • Version 3 was recorded July 9.

The session lasted from 8 pm to 3:15 am the following morning. George Martin was mentioned as the producer for this session on EMI sheets, but it might have been Chris Thomas acting as producer on this day, according to engineer Geoff Emerick:

George happened to be absent on the first night The Beatles started running down ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,’ so Chris was the de facto producer. Initially, we all enjoyed doing the track because of its lighthearted up-tempo feel.

Geoff Emerick – From “Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles“, 2006 – Quoted in beatlesebooks.com

Seven takes of “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” were recorded with Paul McCartney on acoustic guitar and guide vocals, John Lennon and George Harrison on acoustic guitars, and Ringo Starr on drums. In between takes, George announced, “I’m standing up this time,” then adding, in reference to a Duane Eddy instrumental hit, “I’m ‘Movin’ ‘n’ Groovin’!“. Sometime during the recording, they apparently also played “Bye Bye Love“, an early Everly Brothers’ hit.

Take 7 was considered the best one, and overdubs of a proper lead vocal and another acoustic guitar were added. But McCartney had a change of mind and considered the basic rhythm of take 4 to be superior. An acoustic guitar was then added to take 4. Vocals would be worked on the day after.

Last updated on September 4, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 1


2.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 2


3.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 3

Album Officially released on The Beatles (50th anniversary boxset)


4.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 4


5.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 5

Album Released on bootleg White Album Sessions Volume 1


6.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 6


7.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 7


8.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 3


9.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 7


Staff

Musicians on "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"

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

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Richard Lush:
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


The Beatles Recording Reference Manual: Volume 4: The Beatles through Yellow Submarine (1968 - early 1969)

The fourth book of this critically acclaimed series, "The Beatles Recording Reference Manual: Volume 4: The Beatles through Yellow Submarine (1968 - early 1969)" captures The Beatles as they take the lessons of Sgt. Pepper forward with an ambitious double-album that is equally innovative and progressive. From the first take to the final remix, discover the making of the greatest recordings of all time. Through extensive, fully-documented research, these books fill an important gap left by all other Beatles books published to date and provide a unique view into the recordings of the world's most successful pop music act.

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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THIS IS THE BEST McCARTNEY WEBSITE FOR DATA RESEARCH - THANK YOU!


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Thanks a lot, londonlou54 :)


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