67. 'Oh! Darling'
Main Writer: McCartney
Recorded: April 20 and 26, July 17, 18 and 22, August 11, 1969
Released: October 1, 1969
Not released as a single
Harrison described this doo-wop-style rocker to Rolling Stone as "a typical 1955 song. . . . We do a few ooh-oohs in the background, very quietly, but mainly it's Paul shouting." That belting, which took McCartney back to the Little Richard throat-shredding of his early days, did not come easily. "I ended up trying each morning as I came into the recording session," he said. "I tried it with a hand mic, and I tried it with a standing mic, I tried it every which way and finally got the vocal I was reasonably happy with. If it comes off a little bit lukewarm then you've missed the whole point." Engineer Geoff Emerick recalled that McCartney sang while the backing track played over speakers, instead of headphones, because he wanted to feel as though he were singing to a live audience.
Lennon liked the song but thought that he was better suited to take the lead. "It was more my style than his," Lennon argued. "If he'd had any sense, he would have let me sing it."
Appears On: Abbey Road
• The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: 'Abbey Road'
• The Real Story Behind the Beatles' Last Days
• Photos: The Art of Music: Paintings and Photos By Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Patti Smith