- Ringo Starr – lead vocals, drums, percussion, sound effects
- Paul McCartney – backing vocals, bass, piano
- George Harrison – backing vocals, lead guitar, synthesizer
- John Lennon – rhythm guitar
Octopus's Garden was written by Ringo Starr for the Beatles and was produced for their album, Abbey Road, which came out in 1969. Harrison worked with Ringo on the song in January of 1969 during the Get Back sessions. In the Let It Be film there is a scene showing this collaboration. George said: "It's only the second song Ringo has ever written, mind you, and it's lovely." Because Paul and John were often dismissive of the compositions of their two other colleagues, George probably had an extra incentive to work with Ringo on his creation. The idea for the song came to Ringo when in Sardinia in 1968. The skipper of the boat he was on explained how octopi build gardens in the sea bed.
Of all the Beatles' songs, only a few are thought of as being for or about kids. This is one of them. (Other well-known examples are Yellow Submarine and All Together Now. Bill Henson's Muppets sang Octupus's Garden three times between 1969 and 1978: on Sesame Street, Ed Sullivan and The Muppet Show.
The base track was recorded on April 26. 1969 with 32 takes. George played lead guitar and synthesizer, Paul the bass and piano, John played fingerstyle electric guitar, and Ringo added bubble sound effects and drums. George Martin was not present, so the producer was listed as "The Beatles." Starr provided a guide vocal. George and Paul provided backing vocals that were processed to generate an underwater sound. The recording was continued on April 29 with lead vocal overdubs, and completed on July 17-18, 1969 with sound effects, the bass, and backing vocals the first day and a re-recording of the lead vocals on the second day. Take two (including the guide vocal) can be heard on Anthology 3.