The next song on side one of the fabulous Apple LP/CD "Abbey Road" is an original Lennon/McCartney composition written mainly by Paul entitled "Oh! Darling". This tune was written in the old style 1950s 6/8 timing. The song was rehearsed earlier in the year as part of the "Get Back" project before it's official recording for "Abbey Road".
A loose working version of "Oh! Darling" from January 27 1969 at Apple Studios in London can be heard on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 3". This working version features Billy Preston on the electric piano.
The basic track for the commercial version of "Oh! Darling" took place on April 20 1969 at EMI studio three with Paul on bass and guide vocal, John on the piano, Ringo on the drums and George Harrison on guitar. There were 26 takes of the song and the last take was deemed as the bed for which overdubs would be added. A hammond organ was added to take 26 at this session although it would later be wiped off the track. At this point the title of the song was "Oh! Darling (I'll Never Do You No Harm)". It would be shortened thereafter.
On April 26 1969 at EMI studio two, the hammond organ was taken off the track and Paul re-did his lead vocal and harmonized with himself. This version of "Oh! Darling" can be heard on the vinyl bootleg "No. 3 Abbey Road".
On May 01 1969, "Oh! Darling" was given three stereo mixes which took place in the control room of EMI studio three. None of the mixes were used on the commercial version.
Paul was not satisfied with his lead vocal and overdubbed a new vocal onto take 16 (unknown why he would not use the bed track but rather a previous take) on July 17 1969 in EMI studio three.
The next day on July 18 1969 Paul entered EMI studio three once again to try another attempt at the lead vocal for "Oh! Darling".
The next attempt at a lead vocal for "Oh! Darling" took place on July 22 1969 at EMI studio three.
The final attempt at a lead vocal for "Oh! Darling" took place on Wednesday July 23 1969 at EMI studio three. This was the released version. This is an example of what a perfectionist McCartney had become.
On Friday August 08 1969, Paul McCartney overdubbed a lead guitar and a tambourine onto the master tape of "Oh! Darling". This all took place at EMI studio two. These overdubs eventually were not used on the final version.
The song was completed on Monday August 11 1969 at EMI studio two with the final overdub onto "Oh! Darling": the vocal harmonies by John, Paul and George.
The song was mixed for stereo the next day on August 12 1969 from the control room of EMI studio two. Five attempts were completed with the fifth being used for the commercial release.
"Oh! Darling" can be found on the Apple LP/CD "Abbey Road".