- Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Abbey Road LP.
- Olympic Sound Studios, London
More from year 1969
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This was the second of four days spent at Olympic Sound Studios. On this day, Paul McCartney brought “You Never Give Me Your Money“, the first song recorded for the album “Abbey Road” that had not been rehearsed during the “Get Back” sessions in January 1969. The recording session started at 3 pm and went on until 4 am the next morning.
“You Never Give Me Your Money” would become the first song of “The Long One”, the medley that would occupy the entire Side 2 of “Abbey Road“. As explained to the New Musical Express by John Lennon in its May 3rd edition, the idea of making a medley was already there when The Beatles started the recording of “You Never Give Me Your Money” on this day:
I suppose the next Great Beatle Event will be the next LP, in about eight weeks. A lot of the tracks will be likeJohn Lennon – From New Musical Express, May 3, 1969
“Get Back,” and a lot of that we did in one-take kind of thing. We’ve done about 12 tracks, some of them still to be re-mixed, and Paul and I are now working on a kind of song montage that we might as one piece on one side. We’ve got two weeks to finish the whole thing, so we’re really working on it.
“You Never Give Me Your Money” was in itself a medley of three songs or segments which can be named “You Never Give Me Your Money“, “Out Of College” and “One Sweet Dream“. The studio documentation for this day gave the name “You Never Give Me Your Money – Part I” to the song.
They recorded 36 takes of the basic track on this day onto an eight-track tape, with Paul on guide vocals (track one) and piano (track two), John Lennon on distorted electric guitar (track five), George Harrison on electric guitar fed through a Leslie speaker (track six) and Ringo Starr on drums (track three).
It’s exactly half-past two and it’s ’36’ and here we go!Paul McCartney
The final take of the night, take 36, was included in the “Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)” released in 2019, but take 30 was selected as the best, and was made into a rough stereo mix.
As heard on bootlegs, take 30, like take 36, included extended jamming toward the end. This would be faded out during mixing, but this shows that, at this stage, they had yet to imagine how to introduce the next song of the medley.
Contrary to what John said to the New Musical Express, The Beatles didn’t continue working on the medley or the new album after those four days at Olympic Sound Studios. Instead, they would take a break from the studios and enjoy some holidays (Paul went to Corfu with his now-wife Linda for a month). They would start recording again in early July, even if Paul was alone on July 1 to add the first overdubs to “You Never Give Me Your Money“.
Last updated on December 28, 2021
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!
Acclaimed Beatles historian Kenneth Womack offers the most definitive account yet of the writing, recording, mixing, and reception of Abbey Road. In February 1969, the Beatles began working on what became their final album together. Abbey Road introduced a number of new techniques and technologies to the Beatles' sound, and included "Come Together," "Something," and "Here Comes the Sun," which all emerged as classics.
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.