The Beatles -- ‘Ob La Di Ob La Da’

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (3.08)

Paul McCartney: Lead vocal, bass guitar; John Lennon: Backing vocal, piano; George Harrison: Backing vocal, acoustic guitar; Ringo Starr: Drums, bongos, percussion; Saxophone: Unknown player

This was based on an old catchphrase that conga-drummer Jimmy Scott used to chant down Soho. In Africa it’s supposed to be an everyday phrase that means ‘life goes on’, but when he heard Paul singing it he tried to pretend that he’d invented it himself, and asked The Beatles for a cut. Paul gave him the brush off saying “Come on Jimmy, it’s just an expression. If you’d written the song, then you could have had the cut.” Paul eventually let him play congas at the session (although they were later edited out), and this early version can be heard on ‘Anthology 3’.

When Scott was later arrested for not paying his alimony he got in touch with Paul again and asked him to bail him out. Alistair Taylor was promptly dispatched to the nick with eight hundred quid on the proviso that …

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Take 5 Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (2.56)

Paul McCartney: Lead vocal, acoustic guitar, bass guitar; John Lennon: Backing vocal; George Harrison: Backing vocal; Ringo Starr: Drums; Saxophone: Unknown player, Unknown player, Unknown player; Bongos: Jimmy Scott

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Appears on singlesOb-La-Di, Ob-La-DaAppears on albumsThe Beatles The Beatles / 1967-1970 Anthology 3Appears in box-‌setsThe Beatles Collection The Beatles Deluxe Box-Set The Beatles In Mono The Beatles Stereo Box-Set
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