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Oh! Darling

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"Oh! Darling"
Song by The Beatles
Album Abbey Road
Released 26 September 1969
Recorded 20 April – 11 August 1969
Genre Swamp pop, R&B
Length 3:26
Label Apple Records
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
Abbey Road track listing
'Oh! Darling' was a great one of Paul's that he didn't sing too well. I always thought that I could've done it better-- it was more my style than his. He wrote it, so what the hell, he's going to sing it. If he'd had any sense he should have let me sing it.

—John Lennon, 1980

It was around this time that Paul started getting in the habit of coming in early every afternoon, before the others arrived, to have a go at singing the lead vocal to 'Oh Darling.' Not only did he have me record it with fifties-style tape echo, he even monitored the backing track over speakers instead of headphones because he wanted to feel as though he were singing to a live audience. Every day we'd be treated to a hell of a performance as McCartney put his all into singing the song all the way through once and once only, nearly ripping his vocal cords to shreds in the process.

George Martin would frequently announce triumphantly, "That's it; that's the one," but Paul would overrule him, saying, "No, it's not there yet; let's try it again tomorrow. ... Frnkly, I think the reason Paul did those vocals each day before the other Betles arrived was so he wouldn't have to face their disapproval or withering remarks — he wouldn't even play them each day's attempt to solicit their opinion. ... There was one other factor, and that was pride. Paul's ego prevented him from ever giving John a stab at singing the lead on "Oh Darling," despite fact that it was a song that was probably better suited to Lennon's voice. ... Paul was determined to give a Lennon performance all by himself.

—Geoff Emerick,Here, There and Everywhere, 2006

'Oh Darling', to me, is another Paul song, which is a typical 1950s to 1960s period type of song. The chord structure is, sort of, very nice. It's typical of a 1955-type song. This is more really just Paul singing, and we do a few 'Oohs' in the background, very quietly. It's mainly Paul shouting.

—George Harrison, 1969

I mainly remember wanting to get the vocal right, wanting to get it good, and I ended up trying each morning as I came into the recording session. I tried it with a hand mike, and I tried it with a standing mike, I tried it every which way, and finally got the vocal I was reasonably happy with. It's a bit of a belter and if it comes off lukewarm then you've missed the whole point. It was unusual for me-- I would normally try all the goes at a vocal in one day.

—Paul McCartney, Many Years From Now, 1997


 

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