Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Octopus’s Garden

First recorded (as a rehearsal demo) by Ringo Starr with George Harrison (1969).
Hit album version by The Beatles (1969).

From the wiki: “The idea for ‘Octopus’s Garden’ came about when Ringo Starr was on a boat in Sardenia belonging to comedian Peter Sellers in 1968. Starr ordered fish and chips for lunch, but instead of fish he got squid (it was the first time he’d eaten squid, and he said, ‘It was OK. A bit rubbery. Tasted like chicken.’) Then, the boat’s captain told Starr about how octopuses travel along the sea bed picking up stones and shiny objects with which to build gardens. The Let It Be film included a scene in which Harrison is shown helping Starr work the song out on piano.

“The basic instrumental track was recorded by the group on 26 April 1969, with the typical Beatles lineup of two electric guitars (Harrison, Lennon), bass guitar (McCartney) and drums (Starr). Starr also provided a temporary guide vocal. In the absence of George Martin, the Beatles themselves were listed as producer, with Martin’s apprentice, Chris Thomas, present in the control room to assist. Thirty-two takes were required before the Beatles were satisfied with the track as released on the album Abbey Road.

“The backing vocals by McCartney and Harrison during the guitar solo were put through compressors and limiters to create a gurgling sound. Harrison added the sound of bubbles being blown through a straw into a glass of milk.”

The Beatles, “Octopus’s Garden” early studio mix (1969):

The Beatles, “Octopus’s Garden” from Abbey Road (1969):

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