Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Oh! Darling

First recorded (as a demo) by Paul McCartney (1969).
Hit album version by The Beatles (1969).

From the wiki: “‘Oh! Darling’ was a song by The Beatles composed by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and appearing as the fourth song on the album, Abbey Road, in 1969. Its working title was ‘Oh! Darling (I’ll Never Do You No Harm)’. McCartney later said of recording the track, ‘When we were recording ‘Oh! Darling’ I came into the studios early every day for a week to sing it by myself [on the piano] because at first my voice was too clear. I wanted it to sound as though I’d been performing it on stage all week.’ McCartney would only try the song once each day; if it was not right he would wait until the next day.

“An early attempt at the song was made by the whole group on 27 January 1969 during the Let It Be sessions. On it, John Lennon can be heard announcing, ‘Just heard that Yoko’s divorce has just gone through’, after which he and the band burst into an improvised version of the song, substituting ‘I’m free at last’ for a part of the lyric. This version also features a keyboard part played by Billy Preston.

“The basic track was finally recorded on 20 April 1969, followed by many overdub sessions. According to Ian MacDonald, the backing vocals were ‘exquisite’, but ‘sadly underplayed in the [final] mix.’ 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 was singing to a live audience.

“Although not issued as a single in either the United Kingdom or the United States, a regional subsidiary of Capitol successfully edited ‘Oh! Darling’ as a single in Central America, having ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ as its B-side. It was also issued as a single in Portugal. Apple Records released ‘Oh! Darling’ in Japan as the B-side to ‘Here Comes the Sun’ in June 1970.”

The Beatles, “Oh! Darling” early rehearsal (1969):

The Beatles, “Oh! Darling” from Abbey Road (1969):

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