A Guide to 12 Acoustic Guitar-Based Tracks on The Beatles' 'White Album'
Guitar World takes a look at the acoustic guitar-based songs on the "White Album" -- how they were written and the process they went through to become finished tracks.
Recorded September 16 & 17, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Progress on the "White Album" proceeded at such a leisurely pace that nearly all of the September 16 session was devoted to recording this deceptively simple Paul McCartney love song. During the 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. session, "I Will" was subjected to 67 takes, with McCartney playing acoustic guitar and singing, John Lennon tapping a rhythm with wood on metal and Ringo Starr playing maracas and cymbals; George Harrison was not present.
Grueling though it was, the session was anything but tiresome, with McCartney spicing things up by occasionally slipping a few ad-libbed songs into the proceedings.
The impromptu moments included a brief performance of "Step Inside Love," a song he wrote for British pop vocalist Cilia Black; "Los Paranoius," a spontaneous composition in which the word "paranoius" rhymes with "come and join us"; and "The Way You Look Tonight," whose lyric is derived almost entirely from "I Will."
Of these fragments, only one has been released, an untitled and uncopyrighted song with the lyrics "Can you take me back where I came from, can you take me back?" Two minutes and 21 seconds long, the track was edited and inserted into the master tape of the "White Album" between "Cry Baby Cry" and "Revolution 9."
As for "I Will," after determining Take 65 as the "best," McCartney completed the track on September 17 by overdubbing a second acoustic guitar track and a clever baritone backing vocal that impersonates the sound of a bass guitar.
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