- Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the The Beatles (Mono) LP.
- EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road
- EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road
More from year 1968
Some songs from this session appear on:
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This was another long day, from 7 pm to 7:15 am, spent at Abbey Road. Overdubs were added to “Piggies“, “Glass Onion” and “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road“. Time was also spent mixing “Glass Onion“, “Rocky Raccoon” and “Long, Long, Long“.
The Beatles had worked on “Piggies” and “Glass Onion” in September when George Martin was on holiday (Chris Thomas was producing during his absence). When he came back and listened to what had been recorded during his absence, he suggested writing some string arrangements for the two songs.
[The] mono mix of Glass Onion, made on 26 September 1968, encompasses sound effects compiled by John Lennon for his song: a telephone, an organ note, the smashing of glass and the then BBC-tv soccer commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme acclaiming “It’s a goal!” over the sound of a roaring crowd. George Martin, on holiday at the time, heard the mix on his return and suggested a different approach: he scored the song for a string arrangement, recorded on 10 October, that rendered this mix and the FX ideas redundant and the tape to the vault shelf labelled “do not use”.From “Anthology 3” liner notes
On this day, eight players on violins, violas, and cellos were in the studio to record those arrangements. The string arrangements were added onto “Piggies” take 12 and “Glass Onion” take 33.
“Glass Onion” was then mixed in stereo and mono – those mixes were released on the White Album. The mixing of “Piggies” would be done the day after, on October 11.
“Rocky Raccoon” had been recorded and mixed in mono on August 15, 1968. On this day, the stereo mix released on the White Album was made.
Four attempts at this stereo mix was done, undoubtedly the fourth try being the one used on the finished album. George’s acoustic guitar on the rhythm track was mixed quite low and the harmony on his lead vocals begins the first time he sings the word “long.” Much oscillator waggling was done on Paul’s organ part during this mix, which presumably was done manually by Chris Thomas as he had done for previous “White Album” mixes.From beatlesebooks.com
Paul McCartney didn’t take part in the overdubs and mixing activities. He was in Studio Three with engineer Ken Townsend, and completed the recording of “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” started the day before.
At the end of the previous day, Take 5 had been recorded with Paul on acoustic guitar and vocals; and a piano overdub had been added. On this day, Paul McCartney added his bass part, and Ringo Starr was invited to play drums. Paul then re-recorded his lead vocals, erasing his original acoustic guitar line in the process, although percussion slaps on the instrument were kept. In the end, not much of the original Take 5 was left.
Handclaps and a second vocal part were then added. A reduction mix was made, numbered Take 6. And Paul finally added an electric slide guitar overdubs.
“Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” would be mixed on October 16.
Last updated on September 11, 2021
Musicians on "Glass Onion"
Musicians on "Piggies"
Musicians on "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?"
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 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.
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.