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Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 24, 1968

Today George Harrison produced "Is This What You Want? by Jackie Lomax at Sound Recorders Studio.

Meanwhile, Stereo mixing and editing the B side of `Yellow Submarine'. 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 23, 1968

The Beatles "Hey Jude" was playing world wide and Paul McCartney was enjoying a 10-day holiday with Linda Eastman. 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 22, 1968

Studio 1. The George Martin Orchestra (41 musicians directed by Martin), re-records the B-side of `Yellow Submarine' LP.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 21, 1968

Hey Jude is Number One!

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 20, 1968

Paul and Linda went to New York for a break after the White Album was completed.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 19, 1968

`Hey Jude' is number 1 for the 4th week and 8th week in the Top 30 (Billboard).

Meanwhile, John and Yoko appear at the Marylebone Magistrate's Court. They are remanded on bail until a further hearing. Cover photograph of `Unfinished Music Number 2-Life With The Lions' taken. Hours later, Yoko is taken to the Queen Charlotte's Maternity Hospital.  

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 18, 1968

John and Yoko are arrested for drug possession at their home near Montagu Square in London, England. The arrests came at a tempestuous time for the couple. Only days earlier, an announcement was made that Ono was pregnant, creating a scandal because both Lennon and Ono were still married to other people. Her pregnancy ended in a miscarriage a few days after the arrest.

Detective Sergeant Norman Pilcher, the instigator behind the raid on Lennon and Ono, was an anti-drug zealot who would later arrest George Harrison and his wife on similar charges. While Lennon was frantically trying to get rid of the evidence, the police read a warrant through a bedroom window and then broke down the front door. Drug-sniffing dogs found 200 grams of hashish, a cigarette rolling machine with traces of marijuana, and half a gram of morphine. However, the couple denied that the drugs belonged to them.

When the matter finally approached trial, Lennon pleaded guilty because he was worried that Ono would be deported. He was fined £150 and warned that another offense would bring a year in jail.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 17, 1968

EMI Studios in London

George and Ringo were on a Holiday, leaving John, Paul and George Martin to complete "The White Album".

All the studio rooms were used at Abbey Road.

The day began with edits for the mono version, followed by a mono mix of Why Don't We Do It In The Road?, the last song to require a mix.

During the 24-hour session, engineer Ken Scott and tape operator Dave Harries made a copy of It's All Too Much, which had last been worked upon on 12 October 1967. It was not a contender for the White Album, however; it was to be issued in January 1969 on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack.

George Martin took a copy of the stereo master version of the White Album to be sent to Capitol Records in the USA. New copies of the mono mixes of Yer Blues and Don't Pass Me By were added to the mono master on 18 October, after which that version was complete.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 16, 1968

On October 16th, 1968, John, Paul and George Martin met together at EMI Studios with the intention of fully sequencing the 30 songs that encompassed their newly recorded double-album “The Beatles,” popularly known as the “White Album.” This task became so daunting, in fact, that this sequencing session actually lasted a full 24 hours, from 5 pm until 5 pm October 17th – the longest ever Beatles session. With such a wide variety of musical styles among its numbers, it took a lot of thought as to what song would follow nicely after the one previous to it. With engineers Ken Scott, John Smith and Dave Harries to assist, they worked long and hard to turn this plethora of material into a presentable form.

Since the decision was made to simply title the album “The Beatles,” it may have easily been assumed by the general consumer that the album was a cohesive unit put together by four cooperative world-renowned musicians. As history testifies, this was hardly the case! In-house turmoil and bickering was at an all time high, resulting in both long-time engineer Geoff Emerick as well as Ringo himself quitting their association with The Beatles for a time during the album's sessions.

The cohesive illusion was well maintained as far as the general public was concerned, however. Upon listening to the two opening tracks of the album, for instance, what we hear are some stellar performances from all four members of the group working together beautifully. Or do we? As fate would have it, the first two tracks on the album, namely “Back In The U.S.S.R.” and “Dear Prudence,” were primarily performed by John, Paul and George, although you do hear some amazing drum work from Paul on both songs (with a little drumming assistance from John and George on the former song). Both of these tracks happen to have been recorded during a two-week period where Ringo had quit the group. On August 22nd, 1968, during rehearsals for the recording of “Back In The U.S.S.R.,” Ringo stormed off because of Paul's instruction of how to play drums on the song. With the intention of never returning, he remained away until September 4th, when he rejoined his band to film the promotional clips for their newly released single “Hey Jude” and “Revolution.” Also recorded during Ringo's absence was John's beautiful composition “Dear Prudence” which, coupled with the opening track, perfectly conveys a tight cohesiveness and amazing first impression to what has come to be known by many as The Beatles' most loved album.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 15, 1968

Studio Two, EMI Studios in London

A session mixing "Happiness is a warm gun" into stereo and "I'm so tired" and Cry Baby Cry" into mono and stereo.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle