45 Years Ago: Paul McCartney Records ‘Mother Nature’s Son’
On Aug. 9, 1968, the Beatles were in the middle of the recording sessions that would yield ‘The Beatles,’ the double LP better known as ‘The White Album.’ One song that got finished that day was Paul McCartney‘s ‘Mother Nature’s Son.’
Earlier in the day, the band worked on George Harrison‘s ‘Not Guilty,’ but eventually everyone else cleared out and McCartney stayed behind to begin work on his newest song. Twenty-five takes were attempted at the session, but according to Mark Lewishon’s essential book ‘The Beatles Recording Sessions,’ ‘Mother Nature’s Son’ was “barely altered from the very first take,” as McCartney performed take after take to get the right feel. The arrangement and approach remained practically unchanged throughout.
The song was one of many that grew out of the Beatles’ visit to Rishikesh earlier in the year. The final version of ‘Mother Nature’s Son’ would add other instruments to the mix, but the track was originally conceived as a stark, acoustic ballad, much like another McCartney ‘White Album’ composition, ‘Blackbird.’
Aside from producer George Martin’s arrangement of the brass section, McCartney was the only Beatle to appear on the version of ‘Mother Nature’s Son’ — which was eventually completed on Aug. 20 — that ended up on ‘The White Album’ released later in the year.