Recording "Yer Blues", recording and mixing "Mother Nature's Son", "Wild Honey Pie"

Tuesday, August 20, 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
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Master album


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About

About “Mother Nature’s Song“, from Wikipedia:

McCartney recorded overdubs of timpani, another guitar, and drums on 20 August, when George Martin’s orchestral contributions were also added. The drums were put halfway down an uncarpeted corridor with the microphones at the far end, resulting in a bongo-like staccato sound. John Lennon did not play on the recording, but McCartney said he contributed some words to the song in India. When Lennon (who hated it whenever McCartney recorded without the rest of the band) and Ringo Starr walked into the studio after McCartney had finished, “you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife”, recalled engineer Ken Scott.

Paul was downstairs going through the arrangement with George [Martin] and the brass players. Everything was great, everyone was in great spirits. It felt really good. Suddenly, half way through, John and Ringo walked in and you could cut the atmosphere with a knife. An instant change. It was like that for ten minutes and then as soon as they left it felt great again. It was very bizarre.

Ken Scott – The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

About “Wild Honey Pie“, from Wikipedia:

“Wild Honey Pie” was recorded on 20 August 1968 at the end of the recording session for “Mother Nature’s Son“. Like “Mother Nature’s Son”, McCartney is the sole performer on the recording. At the time, John Lennon and Ringo Starr were working on other White Album songs, and George Harrison was on holiday in Greece. McCartney also recorded the unreleased song “Etcetera” during this session.

McCartney said of this song: “We were in an experimental mode, and so I said, ‘Can I just make something up?’ I started off with the guitar and did a multitracking experiment in the control room or maybe in the little room next door. It was very home-made; it wasn’t a big production at all. I just made up this short piece and I multitracked a harmony to that, and a harmony to that, and a harmony to that, and built it up sculpturally with a lot of vibrato on the [guitar] strings, really pulling the strings madly. Hence, ‘Wild Honey Pie’, which was a reference to the other song I had written called ‘Honey Pie‘.”

Much later on, at the beginning of October, the fellows recorded “Honey Pie” at Trident. This is NOT the same thing. “Wild Honey Pie” is a very short “link” track on the LP, under a minute in playing time. Paul did this more or less on his own, almost a McCartney ad-lib in fact. He sings and plays both guitar and bass drum, double-tracking the whole thing so that he finishes up sounding like a couple of singers and a quarter of guitarists!

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

About “Etcetera“, from Wikipedia:

The song was recorded as a demo during the same session that produced other “White Album” songs “Mother Nature’s Son” and “Wild Honey Pie“. McCartney recorded one take of the song while waiting for session musicians to arrive. After the take was recorded, the tape was taken away by George Martin’s assistant, Chris Thomas. The recording is said to have lyrics, a bridge, and an introduction that is reminiscent of “Here, There and Everywhere“.

This was a very beautiful song. I recall it was a ballad and had the word ‘etcetera’ several times in the lyric. I only heard it twice: when he recorded it and when we played it back to him. The tape was taken away and I’ve never heard of it since.

Alan Brown, engineer – The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

Last updated on June 20, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 1


2.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Editing • Editing of remix mono 3 and edit piece take 1


3.

Revolution 9

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Mono copy 1, from edit of remix stereo 2


4.

Mother Nature's Son

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 24


5.

Mother Nature's Son

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Tape copying • Tape reduction take 24 into take 26


6.

Mother Nature's Son

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • SI onto take 26


7.

Etcetera

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording • Take 1


8.

Wild Honey Pie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording • Take 1


9.

Mother Nature's Son

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 1 from take 26


10.

Mother Nature's Son

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 2 from take 26


11.

Mother Nature's Son

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 3 from take 26


12.

Mother Nature's Son

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 4 from take 26


13.

Mother Nature's Son

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 5 from take 26


14.

Mother Nature's Son

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 6 from take 26


15.

Mother Nature's Son

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 7 from take 26


16.

Mother Nature's Son

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 8 from take 26


17.

Wild Honey Pie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 1 from take 1


18.

Wild Honey Pie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 2 from take 1


19.

Wild Honey Pie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 3 from take 1


20.

Wild Honey Pie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 4 from take 1


21.

Wild Honey Pie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 5 from take 1


22.

Wild Honey Pie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Mono mixing - Remix 6 from take 1

Album Released on bootleg Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 4 (1968)

Staff

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/1968/08/20/recording-mixing-editing-yer-blues-mother-natures-son-etcetera-wild-honey-pie/

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