Recording "Sexy Sadie"

Friday, July 19, 1968 • For The Beatles

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the The Beatles (Mono) LP.
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Songs recorded


1.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 1


2.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 2


3.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 3

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


4.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 4


5.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 5


6.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 6

Album Officially released on Anthology 3


7.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 7


8.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 8


9.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 9


10.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 10


11.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 11


12.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 12


13.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 13


14.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 14


15.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 15


16.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 16


17.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 17


18.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 18


19.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 19


20.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 20


21.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 21


22.

Summertime

Written by George Gershwin

Recording


23.

Brian Epstein Blues

Recording • A John Lennon improvisation about Brian Epstein and his brother Sam, bootlegged as "Brian Epstein Blues"

Staff

Musicians on "Sexy Sadie"

Paul McCartney:
Piano, Organ
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Lead vocal, Acoustic guitar
George Harrison:
Electric guitar

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Ken Scott:
Engineer
Richard Lush:
Second Engineer

About

From 7:30 pm to 4 am on this day, The Beatles started recording John Lennon’s song “Sexy Sadie“. 21 takes were formally recorded, but overall this was more a rehearsal session, as the band searched for a successful arrangement. In the end, nothing was used from this session.

Take 3 was released on the 2018 re-release of the White album, and Take 6 on Anthology 3:

Recorded a month earlier and at a slower tempo than the master (which was numbered 117, although nowhere near as many takes had been recorded), this is Take 6 of Sexy Sadie, featuring the basic line-up of electric guitar, drums, organ, and a vocal from the composer John Lennon. The recording is faded out at the end because, at this point, the coda had not been finalised.

About Take 6 – From Anthology 3 liner notes

During this session, The Beatles also jammed, for instance recording a six-minutes long instrumental version of George Gershwin’s “Summertime“. John Lennon improvised a tune with pretty rude lyrics about the Beatles’ former manager, Brian Epstein:

What about Brian Epstein and his brother Sam?
They was workin’ in a coal mine, doing what I am.
And what about brother Andy, he’s shuttin’ down the fire.
But if you tell the time about his brother Sam,
Wah dap, a wah dap bop
Wah dup, a ba ba bow…

About his brother Clive, he’s a dirty old man,
Well what about Brian Epstein, he’s god damned in jail.
He’s working in the coal mine sittin’ dead as a fail (?).
His mother’s dirty Queenie, well she’s the queen of them all.

Sexy Sadie” was initially titled “Maharishi“. When in India to take part in a Transcendental Meditation training course, John Lennon had become disillusioned with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who allegedly made a sexual advance on Mia Farrow. At some point during the session, John sang to Paul McCartney some crude alternative lyrics to “Sexy Sadie“:

Sexy Sadie, you little twat
Who the fuck do you think you are?
Who the fuck do you think you are?
Oh, you cunt.

The Beatles would continue working on “Sexy Sadieon July 24.


Recording the Beatles was a wonderful experience, but while there were times when their creative juices were flowing and it was incredibly exciting, there were others when it was as boring as hell. For instance, I remember it took three days just to get the basic track of ‘Sexy Sadie’. Primarily, they were down in the studio, figuring out the different parts, and all we had to do was make sure the tape was constantly running. What got me through those times was the firm belief that, in the end, it would turn into something amazing, and generally that was the case. But then, I didn’t have to work on ‘Revolution 9’.

Ken Scott – From The Beatles ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ (soundonsound.com)

Last updated on September 11, 2021

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