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Published on Aug 7, 2012
SOTD for Saturday, September 8, 2012
"Back in the U.S.S.R." is a 1968 song by The Beatles (credited to the songwriting partnership Lennon--McCartney but written by Paul McCartney) which opens the double-disc album The Beatles, also known as The White Album. It segues into the next song on the album, "Dear Prudence".
The White Album sessions allowed the four members to work on separate projects at the same time and, as a result, kept tensions to a minimum. However, tempers flared during the recording session on 22 August 1968, and Ringo Starr walked out and announced that he had quit.
"Back in the U.S.S.R." and "Dear Prudence," the first two tracks of the album, were recorded without Starr, with McCartney primarily responsible for the drum parts. McCartney's drums are most prominent in the mix, but both John Lennon and George Harrison recorded drum tracks for "Back in the U.S.S.R."; these are audible in the left channel of the stereo mix. The Beach Boys played "Back in the U.S.S.R." when Ringo Starr joined them for a live show. It is the only time he is known to have performed the song. However, Starr appeared in the animated song clip shown on The Beatles: Rock Band.
After the other Beatles urged him to return, Starr rejoined the group almost two weeks later on 4 September 1968 when he participated in the filming of a promotional video for "Hey Jude." The other Beatles covered his drum kit in flowers to welcome him back.  During a break in the filming of the "Hey Jude" video, Marc Sinden (who appears in the film) recalls Lennon playing a song on his acoustic guitar. "Everyone went 'Wow'... Filming started before we could ask what it was. When it was later released, we realised it was Back in the USSR. - Wikipedia