Today, for a change, all four Beatles were together in one studio, where they recorded six takes of John’s new song. Engineer Geoff Emerick, for one, was not a fan:

I had thought that “Revolution 1” was raucous and unpleasant, but it had nothing on this track. Once again, the Beatles were playing incredibly loud down in the studio, but this time Lennon and Harrison had their volume turned up so high that Paul actually gave up competing with them. Rather than play bass on the backing track, he stood next to Ringo, ringing a huge fireman’s bell, egging his drummer on…. Physically, it was very difficult to pull off – Paul had to take a break after each take because his shoulders were aching so much.

As much as I disliked the song, I had to admit that it was the first time in any of the White Album sessions that there was any energy in their playing. George Harrison’s lead work was crisp and efficient, much more aggressive than his usual style. The bass part Paul overdubbed on was good, too. Clearly, he was still determined to do his best, no matter what was going on between him and John.

Needless to say, by the time the track was completed, I had a splitting headache. That evening, Paul had walked into the control room on his way in and unceremoniously plunked a bottle of Johnnie Walker down on the table saying “This is for you, boys.” … Somehow, though, we restrained ourselves until after everyone had gone home … at which point we drained the entire bottle.

You don’t have to dig much beneath the surface there to conclude that Emerick favored Paul over John — either because he preferred Paul’s more melodic musical style, or because Paul was nicer to the studio crew, or most likely both. And who am I to quibble with him? But I love this song, however “raucous and unpleasant” it may be.

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