In 1968 The Beatles were working hard on their ninth record, The White Album. It was released on November 22, 1968, and followed their hugely successful Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The triple-album included some incredibly iconic tracks, including Back in the USSR, Helter Skelter and Savoy Truffle.
While many of the album’s songs were written and recorded by the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership, Paul McCartney took on one all by himself when George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon were working on other tracks.
Starr and Harrison were putting the finishing touches to Savoy Truffle at the time on October 4, 1968, leaving McCartney with more recording time than he needed.
Before long, he had started composing a brand new track: Martha My Dear.
Martha My Dear was famously written about McCartney’s sheepdog, Martha.
With an entire recording booth at Trident Studios in London to himself, McCartney did what he did best and started working on the song that would become, essentially, a solo track.
Macca played every instrument on the track – except for the orchestral arrangements – as well as writing and singing the lyrics.
However, some reports suggest Harrison was involved in recording a lead guitar part for the track, but he was never credited on the song.
This was one of the first tracks McCartney took hold of throughout the band’s career.
McCartney later mused that the recording sessions for The White album were quite strained between the band members.
McCartney said: “There was a lot of friction during that album. We were just about to break up, and that was tense in itself.”
But, despite these tensions, and despite being released just a few years before Abbey Road and Let It Be, The White Album is the most successful album the band ever released.
The White Album was certified 24x platinum and reached number one in nine countries.
Two years later, in 1970, McCartney released his first solo album (McCartney) where he would, once again, write and perform every piece of music on the record.
He said at the time he needed to record the album to stop himself from going “crazy” without a band to funnel his creativity.
McCartney said at the time: “I nearly had a breakdown. I suppose the hurt of it all, and the disappointment, and the sorrow of losing this great band, these great friends.”
Speaking about recording the album, he said: “I was like a professor in his laboratory. Very simple [set-up], as basic as you can get … Even now that album has an interesting sound. Very analogue, very direct.”
He has since gone on to do the same again two more times, with McCartney II in 1980, and McCartney III in 2020.
Published at Wed, 05 Jan 2022 18:12:12 +0000