Recording "Revolution", recording and mixing "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"

Thursday, July 11, 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.
Timeline More from year 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Master album


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About

Work on “Revolution” had started on the previous day, and further overdubs were added on this day to what would become the B-side of the next Beatles single.

The first session of the day (from 4pm to 7pm) was mostly spent overdubbing an electric piano, played by Nicky Hopkins, onto take 15. On June 25, during the recording session of “Sour Milk Sea” for the Apple artist Jackie Lomax, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr had worked with this session player – and somehow he was brought in for this Beatles session.


For the second session of the day (from 7pm to 3:45pm), The Beatles returned to “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da“. Three saxophones were added onto take 22. The names of the saxophonists were not documented, but two of them are thought to be Rex Morris and Ronnie Scott. Two tape reductions (named take 23 and take 24) were done, and Paul McCartney overdubbed another bass track, played with an acoustic guitar, onto take 23:

And then I put the bass on after [sings bassline] and then double-tracked it with an acoustic guitar. That’s a cool idea, an octave up from the bass, playing exactly the same. And acoustic.

Paul McCartney – From Interview: Paul McCartney on His Life as a Bassist | | Reverb News – interview with Tony Bacon, 1994

Additional work on “Revolution” was then done. A tape reduction was made, take 15 becoming take 16. Paul then added his bass guitar part.

At the end of this day, two rough mono mixes of “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” had been done, and “Revolution” was near completion. The Beatles would continue working on those two songs on the following day.

Last updated on September 4, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

Revolution

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 15


2.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 22


3.

Revolution

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 15 into take 16


4.

Revolution

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 16


5.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 22 into take 23


6.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 22 into take 24


7.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 23


8.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 1 from take 23


9.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 2 from take 23

Staff

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

Paul McCartney:
Bass part on distorted acoustic guitar
Rex Morris:
Saxophone ?
Ronnie Scott:
Saxophone ?
?:
Saxophone

Musicians on Revolution

Paul McCartney:
Bass
Nicky Hopkins:
Electric piano

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Phil McDonald:
Second Engineer
Richard Lush:
Second Engineer

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.

Have a look at https://www.beatlesbible.com/1968/07/11/recording-mixing-revolution-ob-la-di-ob-la-da/

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