Recording "Sexy Sadie"

Wednesday, July 24, 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 Two, Abbey Road

Master album


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About

The Beatles had started working on “Sexy Sadieon July 19, but the session was unproductive. On this day, they worked on a first remake, from 7 pm to 2:30 pm, and recorded 23 takes – numbered from 25 to 47.

Before take 39, John encouraged everyone with a Shakespearean exhortation delivered by Hal in Henry V: “Once more unto the breach!”. There is little evidence on tape of tempers becoming frayed during the sessions in 1968, but before take 47, Geroge did snap: “There’s no point in Mr. Martin being uptight, right? We’re all here to do this. I mean, you’re being very negative“. After an unannounced take 48, when their producer suggested they “could do a better one“, Geroge had calmed down: “I’m feeling much better now“, he said.

From “The Beatles” Super Deluxe edition book (2018)

John: It’s killing.

Paul: Yeah, I know. It’s not very good.

John: It’s because we stopped believing in it. We forgot what it’s about.

Paul: […] perhaps it was better that the song was now more sympathetic.

Brief exchange between John and Paul after take 47

Even if take 47 was marked “best”, John Lennon remained unsatisfied with the result, and work on a second “remake” would begin on August 13, 1968.

Nothing from this session was released, neither on “Anthology 3” or on “The Beatles” 2018 reissue.


The Beatles ended the session by recording some sound effects. The tape was taken away at the end of the session and its content remains unknown.


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

Songs recorded


1.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 25


2.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 26


3.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 27


4.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 28


5.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 29


6.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 30


7.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 31


8.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 32


9.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 33


10.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 34


11.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 35


12.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 36


13.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 37


14.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 38


15.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 39


16.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 40


17.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 41


18.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 42


19.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 43


20.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 44


21.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 45


22.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 46


23.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Remake - Take 47


24.

Untitled

Recording • Unnumbered take of sound effects

Staff

Musicians on "Sexy Sadie"

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

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Ken Scott:
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/1968/07/24/recording-sexy-sadie-2/

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