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"Old Brown Shoe"
Single by The Beatles
A-side "Ballad of John and Yoko"
Released 30 May 1969 (UK)
04 June 1969 (US)
Format 7"
Recorded 16, 18 April 1969
Abbey Road Studios
Genre Rock
Length 3:16
Label Apple Records
Writer(s) George Harrison
Producer George Martin
The Beatles singles chronology
"Get Back" / "Don't Let Me Down"
"Ballad of John and Yoko" / "Old Brown Shoe"
"Something" / "Come Together"

"Old Brown Shoe" is a song written by George Harrison that was first released by The Beatles as a B-side to "The Ballad of John and Yoko". It is also available on the Beatles' compilation albums The Beatles 1967-1970, Hey Jude and Past Masters, Volume Two.



Harrison commented about this song: "I started the chord sequences on the piano, which I don't really play, and then began writing ideas for the words from various opposites... Again, it's the duality of things – yes no, up down, left right, right wrong, etc."[1] This idea was also prevalent in their earlier single, "Hello, Goodbye".


The Beatles' recording of this song features lead vocals from Harrison, and backing vocals from John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The unusual bass sound was achieved by tracking McCartney's bass with Harrison's lead guitar. Although Lennon did play guitar on the track, this was removed and replaced by the organ sound.

The song was recorded during the sessions for the Abbey Road album. The group had previously performed it a number of times over three days during the Let It Be sessions at Apple Studios in January 1969, which have been widely bootlegged.[2] Harrison made a solo demo on electric guitar at EMI Studios on 25 February 1969 (along with "Something" and "All Things Must Pass"), which was released on Anthology 3 in 1996.


Personnel per Ian MacDonald[3]

Cover versions



External links

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