Lady Madonna (Lennon/McCartney)

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Lady Madonna (Lennon/McCartney)

The exact opposite of what was expected from them after the incredible Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and I Am The Walrus, the Beatles released Lady Madonna as a classic rock n’ roll track after releasing two albums full of studio tricks and lush overdubs. The tune is from a recording titled Bad Penny Blues by Humphrey Lyttelton, and bootlegs from this era reflect the frequent rehearsal of that song during Lady Madonna sessions. In an interview with the magazine Musician in 1986, Paul said the song was a celebration of motherhood, and the idea came from a photo in an African magazine.

Quotes

“Maybe I helped him on some of the lyrics, but I’m not proud of them either way.” – John

Recording dates

  • February 3, 1968 (5 takes, basic track)
  • February 6, 1968 (four-man brass overdub)

Personnel

  • Paul McCartney – lead vocal, piano, bass guitar, handclaps
  • John Lennon – backing vocal, lead guitar, handclaps
  • George Harrison – backing vocal, lead guitar, handclaps
  • Ringo Starr – drums, drums (with brushes), handclaps
  • Ronnie Scott – tenor saxophone
  • Bill Povey – tenor saxophone
  • Harry Klein – baritone saxophone
  • Bill Jackman – baritone saxophone

Release history

Chart performance

  • #1, March 27 – April 3, 1968 (2 weeks), Record Retailer (UK)

Notable covers

  • Fats Domino (from Fats Is Back)
  • Tom Jones (from At His Best)
  • Elvis Presley (from Walk A Mile In My Shoes)
  • Booker T & The MGs (from Time Is Tight)