Carry That Weight
"Carry That Weight" is a song by The Beatles. Released on Abbey Road and part of the long, climactic medley that closes the album, it has vocals from all four of the Beatles (a rarity in their songs). It is after "Golden Slumbers", and transitions into "The End".
|"Carry That Weight"|
|Song by The Beatles|
|from the album Abbey Road|
|Released||26 September 1969|
|Recorded||2 July-15 August 1969|
|Abbey Road track listing|
The middle bridge, featuring brass instruments, electric guitar and vocals, repeats the beginning of "You Never Give Me Your Money", but with different lyrics. The ending also repeats the arpeggiated guitar motif from the end of that song, similar to the figure featured in the George Harrison written songs "Here Comes the Sun" and "Badge" (co-written by Harrison and Eric Clapton).
Music critic Ian MacDonald said that the lyrics were an acknowledgment by the group that nothing they would do as solo artists would equal what they had achieved together, and they would always carry the weight of their Beatle past. McCartney said the song was about the Beatles' business difficulties and the atmosphere at Apple at the time. In the film Imagine: John Lennon, Lennon says that McCartney was "singing about all of us."
The Beatles began recording "Golden Slumbers"/"Carry That Weight" as one piece on July 2, 1969. McCartney, Harrison and Starr recorded 15 takes of the two songs while Lennon was in the hospital recovering from a car accident in Scotland.
The rhythm tracks featured McCartney on piano, Harrison on bass guitar and Starr on drums. The best were takes 13 and 15, which were edited together on July 3rd. That day and the next, McCartney overdubbed his lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Harrison added lead guitar, and all three sang the chorus.
On July 30, they added more vocals, including Lennon, who had rejoined the sessions on July 9. More vocals, timpani and drums were overdubbed on 31 July. The orchestra was recorded on August 15.
- Paul McCartney – vocal, chorus vocal, piano, rhythm guitar
- George Harrison – chorus vocal, lead guitar, six- string bass
- Ringo Starr – chorus vocal, drums
- John Lennon – chorus vocal
- George Martin – producer, arranger
- Uncredited – twelve violins, four violas, four cellos, one double bass, four horns, three trumpets, one trombone, one bass trombone
- In 1976, The Bee Gees covered the song for the musical documentary All This and World War II. Two years later, they did the same for the movie version of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
- Les Fradkin has an instrumental version included in his 2005 release "While My Guitar Only Plays".
- In 2009, Cheap Trick released Sgt. Pepper Live, which includes the song.
- Orange Bicycle covered this song interloping it with You Never Give Me Your Money.
- Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 0-517-57066-1.
- MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 1-844-13828-3.
- Miles, Barry (1997). Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0-8050-5249-6.