"Dear Prudence" was a John Lennon composition written about Mia Farrow's sister, who was constantly meditating in India during the Beatles' 1968 spring visit in that area of the world.
On August 29 1968, The Beatles entered Trident Studios in London to record the song. The studio had an eight track machine at the ready whereby EMI Studios still relied on four track for the moment. After 14 hours of work, take 1 was used for the basic track and all other instruments and voices could be added without any reductions in tracks. Ringo was absent for this session and it was Paul McCartney who handled the drums on this track as well as adding backing vocals and percussion. John and George handled the electric guitars while Paul played piano and backing vocals were done with all involved including a visiting Jackie Lomax (Apple artist) and roadie Mal Evans amongst others. Bass guitar by Paul was also overdubbed on to take 1.
The next day August 30 1968, mono and stereo mixes were created at Trident Studios. There are two alternate mono mixes that have seen the light of day and are available on bootleg. The first alternate mix may have come from John Lennon's collection as this was aired on the radio series "The Lost Lennon Tapes" in the late 1980's/early 1990's. The mix contains a round of applause at the end of the song along with John Lennon asking "Should I Just Do The Last Verse?", a blast of a horn and a drum roll. It can be found on the vinyl bootleg "The Lost Lennon Tapes, Volume Six" as well as a bonus track on the Retro-man version of a bootleg CD entitled "Gone Tomorrow, Here Today".
The second alternate mix of "Dear Prudence" has some extra bass guitar notes occurring during the opening verse and the last verse of the song. There is also a round of applause contained at the end and the extension of the tune includes the horn blast, drum roll, some extra guitar and a voice saying "OK. Rolling". This version is contained within the Midnight Beat version of a bootleg CD entitled "Gone Tomorrow, Here Today" (an earlier version of the above) as well as being available on the bootleg CD "Mythology, Volume 3".
The commercial mixes for the "White Album" were completed at EMI Studios on October 13 1968. The vocals on the song have less reverb (drier) than the alternate mixes listed above.