There was at least one Beatles session during these days, and possibly two. The Beatles Bible speculatively places an undocumented session where some overdubs were recorded for “Don’t Let Me Down” on the 20th; perhaps this was done on the DL because it violated the no-overdubs rule that had been put in place for the Get Back/Let It Be sessions.

But we know for sure that there was a session on the 22nd at Trident Studios, with The Beatles recording 35 takes of  John’s “I Want You,” which had now acquired its second half — the “(She’s So Heavy)” part — though not its full name. And it is, indeed, Heavy — “I Want You” is loud, direct, repetitious, and unapologetic, building to its own version of an “orgasm of sound” (as George Martin described the end of “A Day in the Life”).

Martin was not on hand for this session, with Glyn Johns serving as producer. And so although this song would end up on Abbey Road — several months and many overdubs later — today’s work cannot officially be considered part of the Abbey Road sessions (it also did not take place at Abbey Road, a.k.a. EMI Studios).

Billy Preston was present for this session, adding organ to the wall of noise; George Harrison’s tonsils were not, having been removed on February 7, with George spending a week in the hospital afterwards. Had that happened in the 21st century, the tonsils no doubt would have been stolen and sold on eBay.

In the days to come a master of “I Want You” would be assembled from three different takes and a rough mix created. But this is a mere detail that need not concern us now, as it still had a long journey ahead of it.

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