The final song on the Beatles double Apple 2-LP/2-CD set is an original Lennon/McCartney composition written mainly by John entitled "Goodnight". John Lennon had written this tender lullaby for his son, Julian. The song is sung on the commercial version by Ringo Starr.
The recording of the song started on Friday June 28 1968 at EMI studio two with only John Lennon and Ringo Starr going over the song and taping some rehearsal takes. Five proper takes were completed with Ringo giving a differenct spoken intro each time. One of these takes appears briefly on the VHS (in mono) and DVD (in stereo) of "The Beatles Anthology" series.
Next, on July 02 1968 and once again in EMI studio two, Ringo re-did his vocal and added some harmony vocal as well to the existing backing. This consisted of takes 6 to 15. The demo was then complete and given to George Martin who took away a tape copy of take 15 in order to score the orchestra.
Finally, on Monday July 22 1968 at EMI studio one, the recording of "Goodnight" started fresh where 12 takes (takes 22 to 34) were completed with an orchestra consisting of 12 violins, 3 violas, 3 Cellos, a harp, 3 flutes, a clarinet, a horn, vibes and string bass. There were also a backing chorus of 4 girls and 4 boys from the Mike Sammes Singers group - their second appearance on a Beatles recording; the previous being "I Am The Walrus". The orchestra was taped first and then the chorus was overdubbed and finally Ringo Starr sang his lead vocal.
"Goodnight" was mixed for mono the next day on July 23 1968 from the control room of Studio two. Six attempts at a mono mix were completed but none were used for the final commercial version.
Another attempt at a mono mix was done on October 11 1968 from the control room of EMI studio two. There were two remixes and the second was chosen for the commercial release. The stereo mix was also completed at this session. There are subtle differences in the volume of the channels between the mono mix and the stereo mix.
An early demo of "Goodnight" crossfaded onto the commerical stereo mix is available on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 3".
"Goodnight" is available on the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "The Beatles" (White Album).