Recording "Sexy Sadie", "Yer Blues"

Tuesday, August 13, 1968 • For The Beatles

Part of


"The Beatles" (aka the White Album) sessions

May 30 - Oct 15, 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 Two, Abbey Road

Master album


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About

On this day, The Beatles did a second remake of “Sexy Sadie” (the first version was recorded on July 19, 1968 ; they worked on the first remake on July 24, 1968). They recorded eight takes of it, numbered from 100. Take number 107 was considered the best. Four reduction mixdowns were then created (numbered from 108 to 111) and overdubs began on August 21.

This is another of John’s bluesy story ballads and he backs himself on Gibson acoustic guitar. George plays Gibson electric and the pianist is Paul. Sexy Sadie (“the latest and the greatest of them all”) made a fool of everyone.

Mal Evans – From the Beatles Monthly Book, N°64, November 1968

The Beatles also started working on “Yer Blues“, and decided to record it in the annexe of EMI Studios Studio Two !

This is one of the things that makes you play great, when you’re packed together. We knew that in the Beatles. We always used to record in Abbey Road, Studio 2. But for “Yer Blues,” we were talking about this tightness, this packed-in-a-tin thing. So we got in a little cupboard – a closet that had microphone leads and things, with a drum kit, amps turned to the walls, one mic for John. We did “Yer Blues” live and it was really good.

Paul McCartney – from Paul McCartney Looks Back: The Rolling Stone Interview, August 2016

We had to fit all four of them in that tiny room and they literally couldn’t move. They had to find a position with their guitars and not move, or they would hit someone in the face or in the guitar. And that’s where we cut the track. So input came in a lot of different ways, and they were always up to trying anything new.

Ken Scott – from Interview: Ken Scott, Part 1: Recording with The Beatles & Inside the Studio – Premier Guitar, February 25, 2010

From The Beatles Bible:

Fourteen takes were recorded, with Lennon and Harrison on lead guitar, McCartney on Rickenbacker bass guitar, and Starr on drums. Lennon also sang a guide vocal. Following take eight, McCartney took a break while the others recorded a jam in the key of E.

Takes six and 14 of ‘Yer Blues’ were both judged to be good, so reduction mixes were made. Take six was mixed twice, numbered takes 15 and 16, and the single reduction of take 14 was called take 17. These mixes combined the two guitar tracks into one.

Takes 16 and 17 of ‘Yer Blues’ were subsequently edited together, with the edit occurring at 3’16”. The first part of the final version is from take 17, while the guitar solo is abruptly spliced with the beginning of take 16, complete with Lennon’s guide vocals.

The recording of “Yer Blues” continued on the following day.

Last updated on May 27, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 100


2.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 101


3.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 102


4.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 103


5.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 104


6.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 105


7.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 106


8.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 107


9.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 107 into take 108


10.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 107 into take 109


11.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 107 into take 110


12.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 107 into take 111


13.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 1


14.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 2


15.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 3


16.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 4


17.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 5

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


18.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 6


19.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 7


20.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 8


21.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 9


22.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 10


23.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 11


24.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 12


25.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 13


26.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 14


27.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 6 into take 15


28.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 6 into take 16


29.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction extract of take 14 into take 17


30.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Editing • Editing of take 16


31.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Editing • Editing of take 17

Staff

Musicians

Paul McCartney:
Piano (on "Sexy Sadie"), Bass (on "Yer Blues")
Ringo Starr:
Drums (on "Sexy Sadie"), Drums (on "Yer Blues")
John Lennon:
Rhythm guitar (on "Sexy Sadie"), Guide vocal (on "Sexy Sadie"), Vocals (on "Yer Blues"), Lead guitar (on "Yer Blues")
George Harrison:
Lead guitar (on "Yer Blues"), Tambourine (on "Sexy Sadie")

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Ken Scott:
Engineer
John Smith:
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/1968/08/13/recording-editing-sexy-sadie-yer-blues/

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