The Esher recordings

Late May 1968 • For The Beatles

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Anthology 3 Official album.
Timeline More from year 1968
Studio:
George Harrison's Home, Kinfauns, Esher, Surrey, UK

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About

In February – March 1968, The Beatles stayed in Rishikesh, India, to take part in a Transcendental Meditation (TM) training course at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. During that time, they wrote around 40 new compositions. In late May, they met for one day at Kinfauns, property of George Harrison, to record 26 of those new songs in demo form. Most of those songs would be properly recorded for their next album, “The Beatles”, which recording started on May 30, 1968.

We are going in with clear heads and hoping for the best. We had hoped this time to do a lot of rehearsing before we reached the studios rather than rehearse actually on the instruments but, as it happens, all we got was one day.

Paul McCartney, 1968

From Wikipedia:

Kinfauns was a large 1950s deluxe bungalow in Esher in the English county of Surrey, on the Claremont Estate. From 1964 to 1970 it was the home of George Harrison, lead guitarist of the Beatles. It was where many of the demo recordings for the band’s 1968 self-titled double album (also known as the “White Album”) were made. The bungalow has since been demolished, and another house built in its place.

Beatles gatherings

Kinfauns was probably the home the Beatles gathered at most, as it was only a short drive from the homes of John Lennon (Kenwood) and Ringo Starr (Sunny Heights), both in St George’s Hill. It was where Harrison, Lennon and their wives retreated during their first LSD experience in 1965, and in May 1968 it was where many of the demo recordings for the White Album were made, on Harrison’s Ampex four-track tape recorder. These demos have been released on various bootleg albums; seven of them appear on the Beatles’ Anthology 3 compilation album, and 27 appear on The Beatles (album) (the ‘White Album’) 50th Anniversary Edition as the Esher Demos CD.

Harrison was the first Beatle to own or use a Moog synthesizer, and he recorded “Under the Mersey Wall” with his Moog at Kinfauns. The track filled one side of his Electronic Sound album, released in May 1969.

Kinfauns was where police arrested Boyd and Harrison in March 1969, for hashish possession, as Lennon and Yoko Ono had been months earlier while staying at Starr’s flat at Montagu Square in London. Both couples insisted the drugs found had been planted on the premises.

Last updated on June 26, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

Back In The U.S.S.R.

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


2.

Dear Prudence

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


3.

Glass Onion

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on Anthology 3


4.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


5.

The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


6.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Written by George Harrison

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


7.

Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on Anthology 3


8.

I'm So Tired

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


9.

Blackbird

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


10.

Piggies

Written by George Harrison

Recording

Album Officially released on Anthology 3


11.

Rocky Raccoon

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


12.

Julia

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


13.

Yer Blues

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


14.

Mother Nature's Son

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)



16.

Sexy Sadie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


17.

Revolution

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


18.

Honey Pie

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on Anthology 3


19.

Cry Baby Cry

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


20.

Sour Milk Sea

Written by George Harrison

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


21.

Junk

Written by Paul McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


22.

Child of Nature

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


23.

Circles

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


24.

Mean Mr. Mustard

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on Anthology 3


25.

Polythene Pam

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on Anthology 3


26.

Not Guilty

Written by George Harrison

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)


27.

What's The New Mary Jane

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Recording

Album Officially released on The Beatles (2018)

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/1968/05/24/demo-recordings-for-the-white-album/

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