Recording "Old Brown Shoe", "All Things Must Pass", "Something"

Tuesday, February 25, 1969 • For The Beatles

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the The Ballad Of John And Yoko / Old Brown Shoe (UK - 1969) 7" Single.
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Songs recorded


1.

Old Brown Shoe

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 1


2.

Old Brown Shoe

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 2 (with overdubs)

Album Officially released on Anthology 3


3.

All Things Must Pass

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 1


4.

All Things Must Pass

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 2 (with overdubs)

Album Officially released on Anthology 3


5.

Something

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Take 1

Album Officially released on Anthology 3


6.

Something

Written by George Harrison

Recording • Piano overdubs onto take 1

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

Staff

Musicians on "Something"

George Harrison:
Guitar, Vocal, Piano

Musicians on "Old Brown Shoe"

George Harrison:
Vocal, Piano, Guitars

Musicians on "All Things Must Pass"

George Harrison:
Guitars, Vocals

Production staff

Brian Gibson:
Engineer

About

On the day of his 26th birthday, George Harrison went to Abbey Road Studios to record demos of three of his recent compositions, “Old Brown Shoe“, “All Things Must Pass” and “Something“.


Old Brown Shoe” had been rehearsed by The Beatles during the “Get Back” sessions on January 27, January 28 and January 29, 1969. On this day, George recorded a basic track with vocal and piano. He then added an electric rhythm guitar overdub throughout the song. An electric guitar solo was then added during the instrumental verse. The basic track with those overdubs was released on “Anthology 3” in 1996.

Of the three demos created by George Harrison on 25 February 1969 this is the most elaborate: after a live vocal along with a piano track he then overdubbed electric guitar and, rolling the tape from the top for a third time, further guitar passages for the bridge and coda.

From the “Anthology 3” liner notes

The second demo of the day was “All Things Must Pass“, a song George would release on his first solo album and eponym album in 1970. Like “Old Brown Shoe“, this song has been rehearsed during the “Get Back” sessions, first brought to consideration on January 3, 1969.

For this demo, George recorded a basic track with vocals and guitar. A guitar overdub was then added, and his vocals were double-tracked. The end result was released on “Anthology 3” in 1996.

During the Beatles’ January 1969 Get Back sessions George Harrison frequently suggested this new composition as a contender, but it wasn’t until he took time out to record a solo demo of the song a month later that it was first put on to multi-track tape. It was then another year and a half before George taped the definitive studio recording, the song going on to grace – and give the title to – his first post-Beatles work, a triple-album issued at the end of 1970.

This charming demo – guitar and vocal, with a second guitar passage overdubbed – is one of three that the artist recorded on the occasion of his 26th birthday. The other two (Old Brown Shoe and Something) appear later in this collection.

From the “Anthology 3” liner notes

Something” had also been rehearsed during the “Get Back” sessions on January 28 and January 29. For this third demo of the day, George recorded a basic track with vocal and guitar. This was released on “Anthology 3” in 1996.

The final solo demo recorded by George Harrison on his 26th birthday resulted in the first commitment to tape of the beautiful Something, destined for the album Abbey Road (recording spanned April to August 1969), George’s first A-side composition for the Beatles when it was issued as a single that October, and hundreds of cover versions. The demo is simplicity itself: a live-in-one-take electric guitar/vocal performance that, in addition to definitive lyric, also embraced a counter-melody verse later dropped. Shortly after taping this demo George participated in a session during which Joe Cocker became the first artist – ahead of the Beatles, even – to record this major new composition; his version did not come out until November 1969, however, by which time Abbey Road and the Something single had been issued.

From the “Anthology 3” liner notes

He then overdubbed some piano parts. The basic track with overdubs was released on “Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)” in 2019.

(Mark Lewisohn mentioned Ken Scott as being the engineer for this session ; but Ken Scott in his autobiography explained that he was not in charge: maintenance engineer Brian Gibson tracked this session with George)

Last updated on November 27, 2021

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