Blackbird - Reviews

Quoted from Recording Sessions: p.137

Tuesday 11 June 1968. Fortunately, it is only a short walk from the control room of Abbey Road studio two to three. Because that's what George Martin, Geoff Emerick and Phil McDonald had to do throughout this evening, in keeping an eye on John Lennon in studio three and Paul McCartney in studio two, both busy on separate ideas for the White Album. In theory, that is, and as detailed on the recording sheets. In reality, the triumvirate production team would hav more or less left John Lennon to look after his own unique requirements in his own - similarly unique - way, although Chris Thomas remembers going with John to find sound effects tapes and helping him make up loops.

While John was busy experimenting with sounds, Paul started and finished the recording of BLACKBIRD, a lovely new composition which featured his own lead vocal, double-tracked inplaces via an overdub, accompanied by his acoustic guitar an a metronome gently ticking away in the background. It was a straightforward recording - no reduction necessary - and was perfected by the 32nd run through, just 11 of which were complete.

There was another addition to the four-track tape: chirruping blackbirds, courtesy of "Volume Seven: Birds of Feather", from the Abbey Road taped sound effects collection, the doors of the trusty green cabinet already being open during this evening for raidings by John Lennon. "I taped that on one of the first portable EMI tape-recorders, in my back garden in Ickenham, about 1965," recalls Stuart Eltham. "There are two recordings, one of the bird singing, the other making an alarm sound when I startled it." Six mono remixes of the song were made before the session in studio two ended, the sixth being 'best'.

Posted: 20 sep 2009

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