The Eurovision Song Contest is an international competition with an annual cycle. It was broadcast first in 1951 and was established by the European Broadcast Union (EBU). The host of the Eurovision Song Contest is usually the former year’s winner’s country. So it’s most likely that the ESC 2017 will be organized in Kiev, Ukraine.
“Lionsong” is the second song by Icelandic singer and musician Björk from her ninth studio album, Vulnicura. It was written and composed by Björk and features beats by Venezuelan musician Arca, who co-produced the track with her.
“Lionsong” was released as a promotional single to radio stations in some territories, including the US, by One Little Indian Records in late 2015 and received limited airplay in a shortened radio version. Vulnicura saw no official commercial singles, digital or physical, the first for a Björk studio album, though several versions of “Lionsong” exist due to the various supplementary projects that accompanied the original Vulnicura album.
“Stonemilker” is a song recorded by Icelandic singer/songwriter Björk for her ninth studio album, Vulnicura, in 2015. It was written and produced by Björk with beats by Venezuelan musician Arca. “Stonemilker” is Vulnicura’s opening track, and the first of a six-part narrative that details the devastating end of Björk’s relationship to American contemporary artist Matthew Barney. Björk wrote the lyrics on the same Icelandic beach where the innovative 360-degree music video was later shot.
“Stonemilker” was released as a promotional single in some territories in 2015 and received very limited airplay in a shorted radio edit. Unlike all of her previous studio albums, Vulnicura saw no commercially released singles. Despite this fact, several versions of the song have been released across a variety of different media.
“The Comet Song” is a song by Icelandic artist Björk, written by herself and long-time friend and collaborator Sjón as the title theme of the 2010 movie Moomins and the Comet Chase. The song is released as a charity single and all the benefits are donated to the victims of the 2010 Pakistan floods.
Björk had previously declared to be a big fan of Moomins, and had worn clothes featuring characters from the series on several occasions.
“Mutual Core” is a song recorded by Icelandic singer Björk for her eighth studio album Biophilia (2011). It was written and produced by Björk herself, while programming and beats were made in collaboration with Matthew Herbert and the English dubstep band 16bit. “Mutual Core” is an uptempo experimental song. Its music includes Pipe organ, electronica-tinged sounds and features the Choir Graduale Nobili, the choir featured on Biophilia. The song’s lyrics are a metaphor for human relationships, compared to the structure of the Earth and Plate tectonics. The song was well received by contemporary music critics, who praised its production and beats, moreover appreciating Björk’s voice on the track.
As with all the songs on Biophilia, an app was made for the song, which features a video game in which the player have to move geological layers as an accordion to play chords. Though the song wasn’t released as a single, a music video was produced, directed by Andrew Thomas Huang. The video was critically applauded and received further attention when it got projected for one month in Times Square in 2013, and then across the 7 continents. Björk promoted the song by performing it throughout her Biophilia Tour.
Three remixes by Matthew Herbert, 16bit and These New Puritans were released as part of Biophilia Remix Series. The Matthew Herbert’s and the These New Puritans remixes were later included on bastards (2012). In July 2012, the online music store Beatport announced a fan contest in which “Mutual Core” had to be remixed, to be released afterwards on a remix package.
“Virus” is a song by Icelandic artist Björk released as the third single from the album Biophilia. Each song in the album features a theme related to nature. In “Virus”, Björk explores “fatal relationships” such as the one between a virus and a cell, as Björk explained in an interview: “It’s a kind of a love story between a virus and a cell. And of course the virus loves the cell so much that it destroys it.”
“Virus” features a gameleste (a hybrid between a celesta and a gamelan that can be controlled by midi and that was also used in “Crystalline”, built exclusively for these songs) base that plays through the whole song. The gameleste represents the ‘virus’ that continues multiplying until it takes control at the end of the song. Also, Manu Delago plays hang drum. Since Björk wanted the album to break the typical 4/4 time signature, “Virus” has a time signature of 6/4.
The lyrics to “Virus” talk about “dangerous relationships”, symbiotic relationships in which one organism is parasite for the other and takes a benefit, even changing the other’s behaviour. This fact is used as a metaphor between ‘love’ and ‘parasiting’. Björk took inspitation from a McGraw-Hill educative video about mind-controlling parasites and from candidiasis, illness that she suffered:
I’d been fighting this candida issue in my throat and I had to really change my diet and use different medication and it sort of seems to pop up and its kinda hilarious. It’s like I have this new neighbour that I have to sort of learn to live with. And obviously you know this fungus is inside all of us and it’s never about eliminating it. You have to kind of just live with it.
“Crystalline” is a song by Icelandic artist Björk, released as the lead single from her eighth album Biophilia. The song was released as a single on June 28, 2011 accompanied by an iPad app developed exclusively for the song. It was afterward released as part of The Crystalline Series alongside the second single from the album, “Cosmogony”.
“Moon” is a song by Icelandic artist Björk. It is the first track on her album Biophilia and was released as the fourth and final single before the release of the album. Each song in the album features a theme related to nature. In “Moon”, Björk explores the lunar cycles and the effect they have on Earth.
The song “Moon” is based on four different sequences played by four different harpists: Zeena Parkins, Shelley Burgon, Sara Cutler, Carol Emanuel. These sequences repeat throughout the song, resembling the lunar cycles. The song has 17/8 time signature. The lyrics to “Moon” deals with themes such as rebirth, start over and mythology, making reference to the Moon as “adrenalin pearls placed in the gods’ mouths”. About the song, Björk explained: “With each new moon we complete a cycle and are offered renewal —to take risks, to connect with other people, to love, to give. The symbolism of the moon as the realm of imagination, melancholy, and regeneration is expressed in the song”
“Náttúra” is a song written and recorded by Icelandic singer Björk. The track was released as a single promoting the protection of the Icelandic environment. All proceeds from the single will be donated to the Náttúra Foundation, the environmental preservation campaign after which the song is named. The single was initially discovered by Björk’s French language fan website and was later confirmed by the singer’s representatives. It was released on October 20, 2008 as an iTunes Exclusive, and had a wide digital release on October 27. The song was given a physical release on April 20, 2009 with a white label vinyl released by One Little Indian’s web shop. The single was included on the deluxe version of Björk’s 2011 album Biophilia.
“Declare Independence” is a song written and recorded by Icelandic singer Björk. The track was released as the third single from her seventh full-length studio album, Volta. The single was released on January 1, 2008. Björk’s dedication of the song to various independence causes at live performances of the song in Shanghai and Tokyo have caused controversy.
The song was originally an instrumental track by British musician and frequent musical collaborator Mark Bell, performed at his live shows as early as November, 2006. Björk later added her vocals and brass arrangement on top. The lyrics are dedicated to the Faroe Islands and Greenland, islands which currently are constituent nations within the kingdom Denmark, as Björk’s home country of Iceland had been.
Declare Independence was originally meant to be released as the second single from Volta in August, 2007, but due to the worldwide success of the album Björk had to perform more international promotion work than her label One Little Indian had originally planned, meaning that the previously-planned video shoot for “Declare Independence” with Michel Gondry in London couldn’t take place. The deadline for the music video contest for “Innocence” (then slated as the third single) was then brought forward a month to June 10, 2007 so as to provide a finished video able to coincide with a July, 2007 release originally planned for Declare Independence.
“Innocence” is a song written and recorded by Icelandic singer Björk. The song was released as the second single from her seventh full-length studio album, Volta. It is co-produced by record producer Timbaland and his protégé Danja. The song was premiered on Björk’s MySpace profile on March 19, 2007 as part of the fan contest to submit ideas for the music video. The single was released exclusively as a digital download on July 23, 2007.
“The Dull Flame of Desire” is a song recorded by Icelandic singer Björk featuring Anohni Hegarty from the band Antony and the Johnsons. The track was released as the fifth and final single from her seventh full-length studio album, Volta, on 29 September 2008. Björk has performed the song 12 times on her global Volta Tour, often with Antony Hegarty onstage. The lyrics to the song are an English translation of a Russian poem by Fyodor Tyutchev, as it appears in the Andrei Tarkovsky film, Stalker.
“Wanderlust” is a song written and recorded by Icelandic singer Björk. The track was released digitally as the fourth single from her seventh full-length studio album, Volta, on 7 April 2008.
White labels of the single were issued in February 2008. The physical single was released on 12 June after an almost two-month delay.
Björk has described “Wanderlust” as being the heart of Volta, and has said that the song is about “the state of looking for something and almost knowing you’re never going to find it” and that it makes fun of her hunger for “something new”. It was released in the UK on 30 June.
As Björk said in an interview for Harp, “Things go in circles. Wanderlust, for example, is a sort of continuity of ‘Hyperballad’.”
“Earth Intruders” is a song written and recorded by Icelandic singer Björk. The song was released as the first single from her 2007 full-length studio album, Volta.
The single was released digitally in the USA on 9 April and 21 April 2007 and in Europe on 28 April 2007. The single was released in a physical box set on 4 February 2008. Due to high digital download sales, it remains Björk’s highest charting single in the United States to date.
“Triumph of a Heart” is the second single from Björk’s album Medúlla. The hip hop-influenced song features beatboxer Rahzel from The Roots, Gregory Purnhagen, and Japanese beatboxer, Dokaka.
The making of the video is documented in a bonus feature that appears on The Medúlla Videos DVD. The feature focuses on the auditions for the bar patrons who had to be able to make the noises and sound effects required for the song.
The single was released on 28 February 2005 in the UK, and peaked at number 31.
The song was first performed live on April 20, 2008 during the Volta Tour at the Hammersmith Apollo in London.
“Oceania” is a song recorded by Icelandic singer Björk for her sixth studio album Medúlla. It was written and produced by Björk, with additional writing by Sjón and production by Mark Bell. The song was written by the singer specially for the 2004 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony, after a request by the International Olympic Committee. “Oceania” was released as a promotional single on 13 August 2004, by One Little Indian Records. The song was written at the ocean’s point of view, from which the singer believes all life emerged, and details the human’s evolution, whilst accompanied by a choir. “Oceania” was generally well received by music critics, who believed it was the best track from Medúlla, although some thought it was not the best choice for a promotional release.
The accompanying music video for the song, directed by Lynn Fox, features Björk as “Mother Oceania”, whilst being jewel-encrusted in dark watery depths, with a colourful sunset and swirling floral creatures above her. A remix of the song, featuring additional lyrics and vocals by Kelis on her point of view of the continents, was featured as a B-side to the “Who Is It” single. A piano version also appeared on the DVD single, and was assisted in its creation by Nico Muhly. The song was premiered during Björk’s performance on the Summer Olympics ceremony, and was later included on the setlist of the Volta Tour (2007–08). At the 47th Grammy Awards in 2005, it was nominated in the category of Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Cover versions of “Oceania” were done six times, while it was sampled once.
“Who Is It (Carry My Joy on the Left, Carry My Pain on the Right)” is a song recorded by Icelandic singer Björk for her 2004 studio album Medúlla. It was released as the first single from the album on 18 October 2004, by One Little Indian Records. The accompanying music video for the song was directed by Dawn Shadforth and shot outdoors in Björk’s native Iceland. The video features the bell choir version of the song, which was re-recorded with the Bústaðakirkja Bell Choir, and is different from the album version.
“Where Is the Line” is a song by Icelandic artist Björk, taken from the 2004 album Medúlla, written by the singer herself and co-produced with longtime collaborator Mark Bell. The track was originally intended to be released as the album’s third commercial single, but its release was cancelled just before Björk released the Drawing Restraint 9 soundtrack, in order to focus all promotional efforts on the film and soundtrack instead. Some promotional white labels vinyls were released around 2005. A music video for the song was made by Icelandic Artist Gabríela Friðriksdóttir. Upon the cancellation of the single, the video was used as part of a video installation project by Friðriksdóttir.
The track is included on a compilation album released by Rough Trade, titled “The Record Shop – 30 Years Of Rough Trade Shops”. The track was chosen by Richard Russell. A remix by Mike Patton of the band Fantômas (who contributed to the original album track) was made available for download on War Child Music in April 2005 and also appeared on a previous White label 12″, as the B-side to the Vitalic remix of Who Is It. Both remixes were suspected to be included with the commercial release of Where Is The Line.
“It’s in Our Hands” is a song by Icelandic recording artist and songwriter Björk, released as the first and only single from her first greatest hits album Greatest Hits (2002). Like her previous work, the song was written by her and co-produced by her along with Matmos. Musically, “It’s in Our Hands” is an electronic song that is influenced by glitch music, abstract sounds, ambient and synthpop. The song received critical acclaim from many music critics.
“Pagan Poetry” is a song by Icelandic singer Björk, released in November 2001 as the second single from her fourth album, Vespertine.
The single peaked at number 38 in the UK and number 12 in Canada.
It was written and produced by Björk with additional production by Marius de Vries and mixed by Mark “Spike” Stent. The music box adaptation, featured in the song, was done by Jack Perron and the full version was later featured as a B-side song on the “Cocoon” single.
“Cocoon” is a song recorded by Icelandic singer Björk for her fourth studio album Vespertine (2001). It was written and produced by Björk and Thomas Knak, and released as the album’s third single on 11 March 2002, by One Little Indian Records. Inspired by her relationship with artist Matthew Barney, Björk set to make a record with a domestic mood. Working with Knak, she wrote “Cocoon”, a glitch song which is lyrically a song about a woman who describes making love with her lover during their post-coital hibernation, and includes frank sexual narrative related both explicitly and through over-sharing and metaphor.
Music critics received “Cocoon” with positive reviews, calling it one of the album’s best moments. The song fared moderately on music charts, peaking at number 35 on the UK Singles Chart, and reaching the top 10 only in Spain. The accompanying music video for “Cocoon” was directed by Eiko Ishioka and was shot in New York City. It premiered at Raindance Film Festival in October 2001, and was made available online through the singer’s official website in February 2002, closer to the song’s release as a single. It depicts Björk as a geisha whose makeup extends over her entire bleached nude body. The video was considerated innapropriate and was banned from prime-time MTV following her music video for “Pagan Poetry”. Björk promoted the song by performing on the Vespertine World Tour and several TV and radio shows.
“Hidden Place” is a song by Icelandic recording artist Björk, taken from her 2001 album Vespertine. It was written and produced by Björk. “Hidden Place” was released as a lead single from Vespertine on August 3, 2001.
In 2000, while Björk worked on the film Dancer in the Dark, she also began producing her next album, writing new music and teaming with new collaborators; she has said “Selmasongs was the day job and Vespertine was the hobby”. Her new relationship with artist Matthew Barney and the tension while filming Dancer in the Dark have been referred to as the two major forces that shaped what would become Vespertine. As the process of filming demanded her to be extroverted, the new music she was creating became hushed and tranquil as a way to escape. Björk commissioned Valgeir Sigurðsson to relocate some of his studio equipment from Iceland to Denmark, where Dancer in the Dark was being filmed. While living in Copenhagen she also contacted the electronic musician Thomas Knak (aka Opiate), after having enjoyed his 1999 album Objects for an Ideal Home. Björk’s musical taste shifted from the “clang and clatter” and “thumping techno that characterized Homogenic, as she “was bored with big beats”.
Björk then set to make a record with a domestic mood featuring “everyday moods and everyday noises translating into melodies and beats,” hence its working title Domestika. As she wanted to write her own songs in music boxes, Björk contacted a music box company, requesting see-through acrylic glass boxes because she wanted it to sound “as hard as possible, like it was frozen.” She also began to use her laptop to write music, and decided to use instruments whose sound wouldn’t be compromised when downloaded from sites such as Napster. Björk completed: “I had loads and loads of beats for ‘Hidden Place’ but it still wasn’t up enough. Matthew Herbert came for a visit in the studio and offered to do it. He ran away to his studio and came back after a few hours later with a DAT”. She explains the song’s title:
‘Hidden Place’ is sort of about how two people can create a paradise just by uniting. You’ve got an emotional location that’s mutual. And it’s unbreakable. And obviously it’s make-believe. So, you could argue that it doesn’t exist because it’s invisible, but of course it does.
“I’ve Seen It All” is a song by Icelandic singer Björk, with lyrics by Sjón and Lars von Trier. It was released as the first promotional single from the Dancer in the Dark soundtrack, Selmasongs. The song features vocals from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Lyrically, it speaks of one coming to terms with the fact that they are going blind.
The album version from the soundtrack album Selmasongs is a duet with Thom Yorke and Björk, whilst the version performed in the film Dancer in the Dark is a duet with actor Peter Stormare and Björk.
“All Is Full of Love” is a song by Icelandic musician Björk taken from her third studio album Homogenic. Written by Björk, the lyrics are inspired by the presence of love in the advent of spring and Norse mythology’s Ragnarök. The more popular version of the track, the original mix solely produced by Björk, was used in the music video but did not appear in the album. The album version is a remix by Howie B and has a minimalist approach and places emphasis on the singer’s vocals. The video features a combination of electronic beats and string instruments. A remix by the German IDM duo Funkstörung was released as a single in the summer of 1998. The song later received a full single release in 7 June 1999 to coincide with the release of its music video.
While some music critics declared that the song was one of the highlights of the Homogenic album, the single performed moderately on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number 24. In the United States, it became a dance hit. The song and music video were released two years after the release of the album for artistic merit rather than promotional purposes. The song was included as the opening track in the compilation album Greatest Hits (2002), whose tracks were selected by fans through a survey. Some regard “All Is Full of Love” as the first DVD single release.
The accompanying music video for “All Is Full of Love” was directed by Chris Cunningham and depicts the assembling of a robot with Björk’s features and her passionately kissing another robot against an ethereal and sterile backdrop. The song’s video garnered acclaim from critics and is commonly regarded as one of the best music videos of all time and a milestone in computer animation. The subject of much analysis and scrutiny, it was on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and has been included in various art exhibitions. Björk has performed “All Is Full of Love” in five of her tours, with the most recent being the Vulnicura Tour. It is one of Björk’s most idiosyncratic songs, and has been covered by various artists.
“Pluto” is a song by Icelandic musician Björk. The song was written and produced by Björk and British producer Mark Bell for Björk’s fourth studio album, Homogenic (1997).
The song is a collaborative effort between Björk and LFO’s Mark Bell, who was credited for the majority of the album’s production. Björk desired to have Mark Bell contribute to her albums Debut and Post, only finding him available for Homogenic. Björk wrote the song in a Nord Lead synthesizer. The final version was a result of Björk and Bell’s improvised jam sessions in Málaga, Spain, where the album was recorded. Björk recalls:
“That was me and Mark having a laugh in Spain. It was a [hot] day like this. We got a little amp outside and a keyboard and I just did all these really punk things, just really thinking heavy metal. Most of the tracks I wrote before Mark started on them, so they’re more like song-songs, and then Mark would work on beats and arrangements with me afterwards.”
The song’s title comes from the astrological concepts of Pluto, the sign ruler of Scorpio. Pluto is sometimes called “the Great Renewer”: it is the planet of rebirth and transformation that comes from experiences of destruction. A Scorpio herself, Björk has said: “having a lot in the planet Pluto, which I do, means you want to cut the crap, throw all the rubbish away. No extra baggage. It’s death and birth.”
On the 7th of May 2015, Björk linked to a video of a woman in a blue morphsuit twerking to the song on both her Twitter and Facebook accounts. In a week, the video had amassed 20,000+ views on YouTube. On her Facebook status, she claims that the video was shown to her by a friend. Soon after though, the video and the channel associated with it were taken down for reasons unknown.
“Alarm Call” is a song recorded by Icelandic singer Björk for her third studio album Homogenic (1997). It was released as the fourth single from the album, peaking at number 33 in the UK.
The sped-up “radio version” of the song (which was also featured in the video) was used in the 1999 film The Mod Squad.
The song speaks of re-awakening through music and is rumoured to be about Michael Jackson as it was originally labelled “Jacko” on the Homogenic demo tape. Björk explained “I think that music has the power to change the things, and that’s what I wanted to show on Alarm Call”. It is the only single from Homogenic that was not included on Greatest Hits.
“All Neon Like” is a song by Icelandic musician Björk. The song was written by Björk and produced by the singer and British producer Mark Bell for Björk’s fourth studio album, Homogenic (1997).
Snippets of the lyrics from “All Neon Like” were first released in the form of a poem entitled Techno Prayer, which Björk published in the July, 1996 edition of Details magazine. It featured thematic ideas that she would later explore in her 2001 studio album Vespertine, such as cocooning and thread-weaving. Björk confirmed the production and title of the track in an AOL chat interview in early 1997.
The song’s production is a collaborative effort between Björk and LFO’s Mark Bell, who was credited for the majority of the album’s production. Björk had wanted Mark Bell to contribute to her albums Debut and Post, but he was only available for Homogenic. Like the rest of the album, it was recorded at El Cortijo Studios in Málaga, Spain.
“Bachelorette” is a song by Björk, released as the second single from her 1997 album Homogenic. Released on 8 December 1997, the song was originally written for a film by Bernardo Bertolucci, but the project was withdrawn. The lyrics for “Bachelorette” were written by Sjón, a friend and collaborator of the singer. The music video was noted for its surrealistic art direction, leading to a win at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards.
“Unravel” is the third song on the album Homogenic by Björk, which was released in 1997. The song features a prominent example of Björk’s use of a half-singing, half-speaking technique which, according to folklore specialist Njall Sigurason, is comparable to that of Old Icelandic choirmen. Structurally, the song is made up of a slowly sweeping melody, saxophones, a church organ, and distant-sounding electronic beats.
“Jóga” is a song by Björk, released as the first single from her 1997 album Homogenic.
An electronic song, “Jóga” fuses these elements with baroque and classical styles. The track’s sound was partially inspired by Icelandic music, containing what have been described as “volcanic beats”. Lyrically, the piece is an ode to Björk’s native land and her best friend, while containing subtexts relating to emergency. “Jóga” has been critically acclaimed ever since its release, with reviewers praising her powerful vocal performance, as well as the track’s composition and overall production. Commercially, the song was a moderate success, charting in several international markets.
“Hunter” is a song by Icelandic musician Björk from her 1997 album Homogenic. The lyrics of “Hunter” explore the pressure Björk felt to write music after realising the workforce that depended on her, following the success she found as a solo artist with her previous studio albums. The first time the song saw the light of day was at the 1997 Tibetan Freedom Concert and later with the online promotional release of Homogenic; the track was subsequently released as the third single for the album as three different CD releases in October 1998. A collaborative effort between Björk and Mark Bell, “Hunter” features a dark combination of strings and layered synths, a militaristic electronic beat, and enigmatic lyrics about the heading towards a mission.
Most commentators were enticed by “Hunter”, which they declared one of the highlights of the Homogenic album. The single performed poorly at the music charts, it peaked at number forty-four on the UK Singles Chart and number fifty-five on the French Singles Chart. The song was included in the compilation album Greatest Hits (2002), whose tracks were selected by fans through a survey.
The accompanying music video of “Hunter” was directed by longtime collaborator Paul White of Me Company and consists of a close-up of a bald Björk as she transforms into an “techno-bear” while singing. Seeking to convey the music’s fusion of organic and technological, the polar bear was animated in a non-naturalistic fashion; the bear also embodies the ferocious hunter the lyrics represent. The song’s video garnered acclaim from critics. Björk has performed “Hunter” on Later… with Jools Holland and in five of her tours, the most recent being the Vulnicura Tour.
“I Miss You” is a song by Björk, the sixth and final single release from her 1995 album Post. It is amongst her least-well performing singles in the UK, but it hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play.
The B-side “Karvel”, was recorded in one of Björk’s first sessions with Graham Massey in 1991; on which two other tracks were also recorded: “Army of Me” and “The Modern Things”.
“Possibly Maybe” is a song by Björk, released as the fifth single from her 1995 album Post. It is a song with deep electronic tones and soft beats that reflects on potential love.
There were three different single releases, this was the first Björk single to be released in three parts. Two of these three parts are rarities in the music world in that their A-side is not the first track. The first CD came with a slipcase that could also house the other two.
The song was covered at least 12 times by the other artists.
“Hyperballad” (also known as “‘Hyper-Ballad”) is the fourth single from the studio album Post by Icelandic recording artist Björk. Like the rest of her songs, the song was written by Björk and co-produced by long-time collaborator Nellee Hooper. The recording sessions of Post and hence “Hyperballad” were set in Compass Point Studios, The Bahamas, to save tax money. “Hyperballad” infuses several music genres, such as classical, IDM, electronica and ambient music. The lyrical content discusses a dream that Björk experienced, in which she wakes early before her lover and throws small objects off a cliff, watching them smash. She imagines her body in their place, which makes her feel better about returning to her safe home and the arms of her lover.
“Hyperballad” was heavily lauded from contemporary music critics, who stated that it was the best song of Björk’s career. The song’s lyrical content, vocal performance and experimentation in its production and composition were also highly praised. The song was moderately successful in the countries it charted in, including Finland, Australia, United States, Sweden and the United Kingdom (where it was the last of three top-10 hits, after “Army of Me” and “It’s Oh So Quiet”). A music video was shot for the single, featuring a digitalized Björk running through a field.
Björk performed the song at the 1997 Tibetan Freedom Concert in New York, which was recorded by Sylvia Massy for Capitol Records. This live version was subsequently included on the second disc of the Tibetan Freedom Concert album released later that year.
“Army of Me” is a song by Icelandic recording artist Björk. It was released on April 21, 1995 by One Little Indian as the lead single from her 1995 solo album Post. The song was written and produced by Björk and Graham Massey, who helped her in producing and writing the majority of her third album. “Army of Me” was a commercial success, and the first single from Björk to enter in the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart. Lyrically, the song was inspired by the damaging behavior of Björk’s brother, and in the lyrics she tells him to stand up and to regain control of his life. The song was well received by music critics, who noted its darkness and praised Björk’s energy.
Björk premiered the song on some gigs during the Debut Tour before the release of the album. She performed it in a series of TV appearances, and notably, for the first time on Top of the Pops with Skunk Anansie. Additionally, the song was performed on every date of the Post Tour. The song was featured on Björk’s compilation album, Greatest Hits (2002).
The song’s music video was the product of another collaboration between Björk and Michel Gondry. It features Björk driving an enormous vehicle through a city, and includes Björk fighting with a gorilla for re-obtaining a diamond, and putting a bomb in a museum to free a boy.
In 2004, Björk, to help the UNICEF, released a charity benefit compilation entitled Army of Me: Remixes and Covers, which featured a series of covers and remix by artists from all over the world.
“Play Dead” is a song by Icelandic singer Björk, and was released as the only single from the soundtrack of the 1993 crime drama The Young Americans. The song wasn’t included in the first edition of Debut but was later included as a bonus track, and the album was re-issued October 11, 1993. The song was written by Jah Wobble, Björk featuring David Arnold, and was produced by Cannon, Arnold, receiving additional production and mixing by Tim Simenon. The song, inspired by the main character of the film, was released in October 1993.
A mainly trip hop-influenced track, the song charted in the top 20 in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. An accompanying music video was released, featuring images from the film. “Play Dead” was included in Björk’s 2002 greatest hits album Greatest Hits.
“Violently Happy” is a song by Icelandic singer Björk, released as the fifth and final single from her album Debut in 1994. The song was written by Björk and Nellee Hooper, who helped her in writing and producing most of the album. The lyrics speak of Björk feeling a love so intense that it is actually dangerous, requesting that her lover return to “calm her down”. Musically, it’s an upbeat song. “Violently Happy” peaked at #13 in the UK and reached #4 on the US dance charts.
The song was released in March 1994 and received positive reviews from music critics, which praised its musicality and its dance-pop appeal. The song received an accompanying music video which was shot by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, in which Björk and many guest appearances dance frantically in a kind of asylum while they’re cutting out their hair or parts of dolls. Björk performed the song live on TV a few times, including on Top of the Pops.
“Big Time Sensuality” is a song by Icelandic recording artist Björk, released as the fourth single from her 1993 album Debut (1993). Written by Björk and staple collaborator Nellee Hooper and produced by Hooper, “Big Time Sensuality” is a house-influenced song that helped boost Björk’s popularity worldwide, particularly the U.S., where she charted for the first time.
“Big Time Sensuality” lyrics deals with her relation with her friends and Hooper. The song features house grooves and electronic bass-sounds. The single release was actually the “Fluke Minimix”, which is a mix by Fluke, and the song was performed in this version in various occasions, including the inaugural MTV Europe Music Awards. Critics praised the song and the remix calling them “saucy” and commenting on their house and pop flavors.
A different edit of the Fluke remix was featured in the music video for the song, directed by Stéphane Sednaoui, in which Björk dances and sings on a truck throughout New York City. The video was praised by critics and fans and received heavy rotation on MTV channels.
The video edit of the Fluke remix was also featured in Björk’s Greatest Hits.
“Venus as a Boy” is a song by Icelandic musician Björk. It was released as the second single from her 1993 album Debut. The song was written by Björk and was produced by Nellee Hooper, who produced the majority of her debut album. The single was released in August 1993, a month after the release of the album. The song was inspired by a boy who saw everything from a “beauty point of view”.
“Venus as a Boy” features a musical ensemble made up of Indian instruments like tablas. The song received mixed reviews from critics, who discussed Björk’s musical shift. The song did not chart well in any nation but managed to enter the UK Singles Chart Top 30.
The accompanying music video was directed by the British music video director Sophie Muller. The clip shows Björk in a kitchen while she’s cooking some eggs and was inspired by the singer’s favorite book Story of the Eye. Björk performed the song on different TV appearances, including Top of the Pops, and sang it during the course of her Debut Tour.
The song was later chosen by fans to be included in her greatest hits album, Greatest Hits and also appeared in her Family Tree Box Set which contained a “greatest hits” disc on which the songs were chosen by Björk.
Cover versions of “Venus as a Boy” were done more than 30 times by other artists.
“Human Behaviour” is a song by Icelandic recording artist Björk from her album Debut (1993). The song was released in June 1993. The song was produced by Björk’s longtime collaborator Nellee Hooper. “Human Behaviour” is an alternative song with lyrics reflecting upon human nature and emotion from a non-human animal’s point of view. The song and music video were inspired by British broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough.
Critics praised “Human Behaviour” and deemed it a highlight of the album. The song was an underground smash, which peaked at number two on the dance charts and reached number 36 in the UK Singles Chart.
The music video was directed by Michel Gondry and is the first time the two collaborated. The video, as the song, is a story about the relation between humans and animals, from the animal point of view.
“Irresistible Force” is a song by the Bee Gees, released in March 1997 on their album Still Waters, this song was written by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb.
It was written in 1995, and was recorded in 1996 as a demo and then this song was recorded with “Miracles Happen.” This track was one of the highlights in that album with its guitar and synth rock sound. The keyboards were played by Maurice and Robbie Kondor (Robbie also played on other songs in their 1987 album E.S.P..), the guitars were played by Waddie Watchtel and Carlos Alomar (who also worked with David Bowie, Mick Jagger, John Lennon and others), The bass was played by Pino Palladino (A Welsh session player who worked with Simon & Garfunkel, The Who, Eric Clapton, Joe Walsh, Jeff Beck, Paul Young and others). The drums were played by Steve Jordan.
“Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?” is a song by the Beatles released on their 1968 album The Beatles, commonly referred to as The White Album. It was written and sung by Paul McCartney, but credited to Lennon–McCartney. “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?” is short and simple; 1:42 of twelve-bar blues that begins with three different percussion elements (a hand banging on the back of an acoustic guitar, handclaps, and drums) and features McCartney’s increasingly raucous vocal repeating a simple lyric with only two different lines.
McCartney wrote the song after seeing two monkeys copulating in the street while on retreat in Rishikesh, India, with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He marvelled in the simplicity of this natural scenario when compared to the emotional turmoil of human relationships. He later said:
A male [monkey] just hopped on the back of this female and gave her one, as they say in the vernacular. Within two or three seconds he hopped off again and looked around as if to say “It wasn’t me!” and she looked around as if there’d been some mild disturbance … And I thought … that’s how simple the act of procreation is … We have horrendous problems with it, and yet animals don’t.
“This Boy” is a song by English rock band the Beatles, written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon–McCartney). It was released in November 1963 as the B-side of the British Parlophone single “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. It also appears as the third track on side one of the 1964 U.S album Meet the Beatles!. The Beatles performed it live on 16 February 1964 for their second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. “This Boy” was remastered for compact disc by George Martin and released in 1988 on the Past Masters, Volume One compilation. On 9 September 2009 it was re-released on the two CD set Past Masters, as part of the remastering of the original Beatles’ catalogue, and was included in The Beatles Stereo Box Set and in The Beatles in Mono box set.
“Thank You Girl” is a song recorded by the Beatles, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney (Lennon–McCartney), and issued as the B-side of the single “From Me to You”, which was recorded on the same day (5 March 1963). While not released on an LP in the United Kingdom until Rarities in 1978, the song was the second track on The Beatles’ Second Album in the United States. As the B-side of the single “Do You Want to Know a Secret”, it hit No. 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1964.
“Strawberry Fields Forever” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. The song was written by John Lennon and credited to the Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership. It was inspired by Lennon’s memories of playing in the garden of Strawberry Field, a Salvation Army children’s home near where he grew up in Liverpool.
The song was the first track recorded during the sessions for the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), and was intended for inclusion on the album. Instead, with the group under record-company pressure to release a single, it was issued in February 1967 as a double A-side with “Penny Lane”. The combination reached number two in the United Kingdom, breaking the band’s four-year run of chart-topping singles there, while “Strawberry Fields Forever” peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 in America.
Lennon considered the song his greatest accomplishment. The track incorporates reverse-recorded instrumentation and tape loops, and was created from the editing together of two separate versions of the song – each one entirely different in tempo, mood and musical key. The song was later included on the US Magical Mystery Tour LP (although not on the British double EP package of the same name).
“Strawberry Fields Forever” is one of the defining works of the psychedelic rock genre and has been covered by many artists. The Beatles made a promotional film clip for the song that is similarly recognised for its influence in the medium of music video. The Strawberry Fields memorial in New York’s Central Park is named after the song.
“Revolution 9” is a recorded composition that appeared on the Beatles’ 1968 eponymous LP release (popularly known as The White Album). The sound collage, credited to Lennon–McCartney, was created primarily by John Lennon with assistance from George Harrison and Yoko Ono. Lennon said he was trying to paint a picture of a revolution using sound. The composition was influenced by the avant-garde style of Ono as well as the musique concrète works of composers such as Edgard Varèse and Karlheinz Stockhausen (whom Paul McCartney had been listening to in 1966, inspiring his ideas for “Tomorrow Never Knows” on the Beatles’ album Revolver).
The recording began as an extended ending to the album version of “Revolution.” Lennon then combined the unused coda with numerous overdubbed vocals, speech, sound effects, and short tape loops of speech and musical performances, some of which were reversed. These were further manipulated with echo, distortion, stereo panning, and fading. At over eight minutes, it is the longest track that the Beatles officially released (see Carnival of Light).
“You’ll Be Mine” is a short song, composed by Lennon–McCartney in the Beatles’ early years, then known as The Quarrymen. It was a humorous parody of the Ink Spots. It consists of Paul McCartney singing in a deep baritone, offset with shrill falsetto backing vocals by John Lennon, and guitar strumming. The lead vocal sings, in rather confused lyrics, about his determination of making a woman his; while the falsettos wail the last word of each sentence. About halfway through the song, Lennon gives a mock-bass voice spoken interlude about how, when the woman brought him toast one morning, he looked into her eyes and saw a “National Health Eyeball”, then proceeded to love her like he has never done before. The song rises to a crescendo of wailing and bellowing, then fades out in laughter. To add to the confusion, the song is very difficult to understand; clicks, buzzes, fuzz, giggling, and the baritone voice obscure the lyrics.
Recorded in the McCartney family bathroom in 1960, it is the earliest song attributed to the Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership to be officially released. Along with the other songs recorded on that day, it is one of the few known Beatles recordings to feature Stuart Sutcliffe on bass. Lennon’s spoken section provides insight into his love of wordplay.
“You Won’t See Me” is a song by the Beatles, from the album Rubber Soul. Though credited to Lennon–McCartney, it was written by Paul McCartney. The song is a rare instance of McCartney singing a lower harmony to John Lennon and George Harrison’s higher harmonies.
Canadian singer Anne Murray covered “You Won’t See Me” in 1974 and had a big hit, reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, number 1 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart, and number 5 on the RPM Top Singles chart.
“You Never Give Me Your Money” is a song by the Beatles, appearing on their 1969 album Abbey Road. It was written by Paul McCartney (though credited to Lennon–McCartney) and documented the financial and personal difficulties facing the band. The track is the first track of the medley on side two of Abbey Road and was recorded in stages between May and August 1969.
The song was the first one to be recorded for the medley, which was conceived by McCartney and producer George Martin as a finale for the Beatles’ career. The backing track was recorded at Olympic Sound Studios in Barnes, London, but the remainder of overdubs occurred at Abbey Road Studios. Musically, the song is made up of a suite of various segments, ranging from a piano ballad at the beginning through to guitar arpeggios at the end.
“Yellow Submarine” is a 1966 song by the Beatles, written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney), with lead vocals by Ringo Starr. It was included on the Revolver (1966) album and issued as a single, coupled with “Eleanor Rigby”. The single went to number one on every major British chart, remained at number one for four weeks, and charted for 13 weeks. It won an Ivor Novello Award “for the highest certified sales of any single issued in the UK in 1966”. In the US, the song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became the most successful Beatles song to feature Starr as lead vocalist.
It became the title song of the animated United Artists film, also called Yellow Submarine (1968), and the soundtrack album to the film, released as part of the Beatles’ music catalogue. Although intended as a nonsense song for children, “Yellow Submarine” received various social and political interpretations at the time.
“What Goes On” is a song by the Beatles, featured as the eighth track on their sixth British album Rubber Soul. The song was later released as the B-side of the US single “Nowhere Man”, and then as the tenth track on the North America-only album Yesterday and Today. It is the only song by the band credited to Lennon–McCartney-Starkey.
The original version of the song was written by John Lennon in the Quarrymen days and considered as a follow-up to “Please Please Me” in early 1963. The song was not used until 1965 as Ringo Starr’s vocal piece for Rubber Soul. According to Lennon, “it was resurrected with a middle eight thrown in, probably with Paul’s help” for Rubber Soul. Barry Miles also claimed that McCartney and Starr combined for the middle eight. There is no formal middle eight in the song, though one chorus and one verse are extended; Ian MacDonald believes those longer sections were written by McCartney. Starr contributed to the lyrics, his first-ever composing credit on a Beatles song. However, when asked what his contribution was to the song, Starr jokingly stated, “About five words, and I haven’t done a thing since.” To his chagrin, the first pressing of the single accidentally omitted “Starkey” in the song-writing credit.
An early version was considered as a follow-up to “Please Please Me”, and the Beatles hoped to record it on 5 March 1963, but there was only time for the other songs recorded that night: “From Me to You”, “Thank You Girl”, and an early version of “One After 909”.
The Rubber Soul version was recorded in one take, with overdubs, on 4 November 1965. In the verse before the lead break after Starr sings “tell me why,” Lennon can be heard saying “We already told you why!” in reference to the Beatles’ “Tell Me Why” from the previous year. During this session the Beatles recorded a long (6:36) instrumental tune called “12-Bar Original” for lack of a better name. “12-Bar Original” was not included on Rubber Soul, and was not commercially available until 1996 when an edited version of take 2 of this song was included on the Anthology 2 album.
“Wait” is a song released by the Beatles, on their 1965 album Rubber Soul. The songwriting credit is Lennon–McCartney, and the song is usually said to be a joint effort between the two, although in the 1997 book, Many Years from Now, McCartney recalls it as entirely his. This is supported by a 1970 interview with John Lennon by Ray Connolly. John could not remember writing it. “That must be one of Paul’s,” he said. The middle eight section is similar to “Autumn Leaves” (one example being the line “I know that you” matches “old winter’s song” from Autumn Leaves).
“Tell Me Why” is a song by English rock band the Beatles from their album A Hard Day’s Night. In North America, it was released on both the American version of A Hard Day’s Night and the album Something New. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, it was written by John Lennon in either Paris or New York and recorded in eight takes on 27 February 1964.
Paul McCartney said:
“I think a lot of these [Lennon’s] songs like “Tell Me Why” may have been based in real experiences or affairs John was having, or arguments with Cynthia [Lennon’s wife] or whatever, but it never occurred to us until later to put that slant on it all. ”
Lennon described the song as resembling “a black New York girl-group song”. Its basic structure of simple doo-wop chord changes and block harmonies over a walking bass line “creates an illusion of sincerity through its sheer attack.”
“Tell Me Why” was performed in the Beatles’ debut feature film, A Hard Day’s Night. The song was part of the ‘studio performance’ sequence, which was filmed at the Scala Theatre, London, on 31 March 1964.
The song is in the key of D major. John, Paul, and George sing a three-part harmony. Unusually, Paul sings a lower harmony to John’s lead during the chorus.
“Tell Me What You See” is a song by the Beatles that first appeared in 1965 on their album Help! in the United Kingdom and on Beatles VI in the United States. As with all Beatles compositions by either of the two, the song is credited to Lennon–McCartney. Regarding the song’s authorship, Paul McCartney said, “I seem to remember it as mine. I would claim it as a 60-40 but it might have been totally me.” Lennon said, in his interviews with Playboy (1980) and Hit Parader (1972), that “Tell Me What You See” was written completely by McCartney.
“P.S. I Love You” is a song composed principally by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and recorded by English rock group the Beatles, with McCartney on lead vocal. It was released on 5 October 1962 as the B-side of their debut single “Love Me Do” and is also included on their 1963 album Please Please Me. It was later included on the 1977 Beatles compilation Love Songs.
The version featured on the single and album was recorded in ten takes on 11 September 1962 at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios, London. Producer George Martin had booked session drummer Andy White as a replacement for Pete Best, whom he considered not technically good enough for recording purposes (Martin had been unaware that the other Beatles had already replaced Pete Best with Ringo Starr, who attended the session and plays maracas on the song). White was a freelance show band and session drummer, and gave the recording a lightweight cha cha treatment.
Martin was not present at the session, which was run by Ron Richards in his absence. Richards told the group that the song could not be the A-side of their single because of an earlier song of the same title: “I was originally a music publishing man, a plugger, so I knew someone had done a record with that title. I said to Paul ‘You can have it as B-side, but not an A-side'” (despite other titles having been used for multiple hit songs without legal difficulties).
With Starr playing drums, the Beatles recorded this song at the BBC on 25 October 1962, 27 November 1962 and 17 June 1963 for subsequent broadcast on the BBC radio programmes Here We Go, Talent Spot and Pop Go the Beatles, respectively.
“Rain” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles first released in June 1966 as the B-side of the “Paperback Writer” single. Both songs were recorded during the sessions for the album Revolver though neither appears on that album.
Written by John Lennon although credited to Lennon–McCartney, “Rain” has been called the Beatles’ finest B-side, noted for its slowed-down rhythm track and backwards vocals, both of which were a hint of things to come on Revolver, released two months later.
Three promotional films were made for the song “Rain”. These videos, along with other Beatles videos at the time, sparked George Harrison to say during the Beatles Anthology, “So I suppose, in a way, we invented MTV.”
“Real Love” is a song written by John Lennon, and recorded with overdubs by the three surviving Beatles in 1995 for release as part of The Beatles Anthology project. To date, it is the last released record of new material credited to the Beatles.
Lennon made six takes of the song in 1979 and 1980 with “Real Life”, a different song that merged with “Real Love”. The song was ignored until 1988 when the sixth take was used on the documentary soundtrack Imagine: John Lennon.
“Real Love” was subsequently reworked by the three surviving former members of the Beatles (Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr) in early 1995, an approach also used for another incomplete Lennon track, “Free as a Bird”. “Real Love” was released as a Beatles single in 1996 in the United Kingdom, United States and many other countries; it was the opening track on the Beatles’ Anthology 2 album. It is the last “new” credited Beatles song to originate and be included on an album. To date, it is the last single by the group to become a top 40 hit in the US.
The song reached number four and number 11, respectively, in the UK and US singles charts, and earned a gold record more quickly than a number of the group’s other singles. The song was not included on the BBC Radio 1 playlist, prompting criticism from fans and British members of parliament. After the release of “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love”, Starr commented, “Recording the new songs didn’t feel contrived at all, it felt very natural and it was a lot of fun, but emotional too at times. But it’s the end of the line, really. There’s nothing more we can do as the Beatles.”
“Revolution” is a song by the Beatles, written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. Two versions of the song were recorded in 1968: a hard rock version, released as the B-side of the “Hey Jude” single, and a slower, bluesier arrangement (titled “Revolution 1”) for the Beatles’ self-titled double album, commonly known as “the White Album”. Although the single version was issued first, it was recorded several weeks after “Revolution 1”, as a re-make specifically intended for release as a single. A third connected piece, written by Lennon, is the experimental track “Revolution 9”, based on the latter parts of the same performance that produced “Revolution 1”, and which also appears on the White Album.
Inspired by political protests in early 1968, Lennon’s lyrics expressed doubt in regard to some of the tactics. When the single version was released in August, the political left viewed it as betraying their cause. The release of the album version in November indicated Lennon’s uncertainty about destructive change, with the phrase “count me out” recorded differently as “count me out, in”. In 1987, the song became the first Beatles recording to be licensed for a television commercial, which prompted a lawsuit from the surviving members of the group.
In the same year Nina Simone recorded her single “Revolution” with some structural similarities (some lyrics are also the same) to the Beatles’ song, but credited to her and Weldon Irvine.
“One After 909” (sometimes titled “The One After 909” in early recordings) is a song by the Beatles, written by John Lennon, with input from Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney), and originally released in 1970 on the album Let It Be. The album version is the live performance from the rooftop concert which took place on 30 January 1969. This performance is also included in the Let It Be film. The song was written no later than spring 1960 and perhaps as early as 1957, and is one of the first Lennon–McCartney compositions. “One After 909” is perhaps more reminiscent of early American rock ‘n’ roll than any of the other songs from the rooftop show, and as a joke for the rooftop chatter, Lennon sings a variant on the opening line of “Danny Boy” after the song is finished.
“Oh! Darling” is a song by The Beatles composed by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and appearing as the fourth song on the album Abbey Road in 1969. Its working title was “Oh! Darling (I’ll Never Do You No Harm)”. Although not issued as a single in either the United Kingdom or the United States, a regional subsidiary of Capitol successfully edited it as a single in Central America, having “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” as its B-side. It was also issued as a single in Portugal. Apple Records released “Oh! Darling” in Japan with “Here Comes the Sun” in June 1970.
“Octopus’s Garden” is a song by The Beatles written and sung by Ringo Starr (credited to his real name Richard Starkey) from The Beatles’ 1969 album Abbey Road. George Harrison, who assisted Starr with the song, commented: “‘Octopus’s Garden’ is Ringo’s song. It’s only the second song Ringo has ever written, mind you, and it’s lovely.” He added that the song gets very deep into your consciousness “…because it’s so peaceful. I suppose Ringo is writing cosmic songs these days without even realising it.” It was the last song released by the Beatles featuring Starr on lead vocals.
“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” is a song by the Beatles from their 1968 album The Beatles (often called “the White Album”). Although credited to Lennon–McCartney, the song was written solely by Paul McCartney. It was released as a single that same year in many countries, but not in their native United Kingdom, nor in the United States until 1976.
Paul McCartney wrote the song around the time that highlife and reggae were beginning to become popular in Britain. The starting lyric, “Desmond has a barrow in the market-place”, was a reference to the first internationally renowned Jamaican ska and reggae performer Desmond Dekker who had just had a successful tour of the UK. The tag line “ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah” was an expression used by Nigerian conga player Jimmy Scott-Emuakpor, an acquaintance of McCartney.
The song is in the key of B-flat major and written in 4/4. The alternative version issued on Anthology 3 is in the key of A major.
“Nowhere Man” is a song by the Beatles, from the British version of their album Rubber Soul. The song was written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon–McCartney).
Recorded on 21 and 22 October 1965, “Nowhere Man” is one of the first Beatles songs to be entirely unrelated to romance or love, and marks a notable instance of Lennon’s philosophically oriented songwriting. It was released as a single (although not in the United Kingdom) on 21 February 1966, and reached number 1 in Australia and Canada and number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Similarly to what had happened a year earlier (“Eight Days a Week” and “I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party” were on Beatles for Sale but not on Beatles ’65), “Nowhere Man” and “What Goes On” were not on the U.S. version of Rubber Soul (released in December around the same time as the British version), but were back-to-back on a subsequent single and later (in June) on an album (Yesterday and Today).
Lennon, McCartney, and George Harrison sing the song in three-part harmony. The song appears in the film Yellow Submarine, where the Beatles sing it about the character Jeremy Hillary Boob after meeting him in the “nowhere land”.
George and John play identical “sonic blue” Fender Stratocasters—John plays in the verses and George on the solo.
“Misery” is a song performed by English rock band the Beatles on their album Please Please Me. It was co-written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. According to Lennon, “It was kind of a John song more than a Paul song, but it was written together.” McCartney was to say: “I don’t think either one of us dominated on that one, it was just a hacking job.”
A 1963 single by Kenny Lynch made “Misery” the first Beatles’ song to be covered by another artist.
“Lovely Rita” is a song by the Beatles performed on the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, written and sung by Paul McCartney, although as with all McCartney or Lennon-written Beatles’ songs, it is credited to Lennon–McCartney. It is about a female traffic warden and the narrator’s affection for her.
Recording began on 23 February 1967. Using a four-track recorder, this first performance featured Harrison’s guitar on track 1, Lennon’s guitar on track 2, Ringo’s drums on track 3, and McCartney’s piano set on track 4. Once those tracks were “bounced,” the band later added lead vocal, bass, and a three-part backing vocal section featuring George, John, and American session musician Shawn Phillips. Engineer Geoff Emerick noted McCartney’s vocal arrangements were directly inspired by Brian Wilson’s work for the Beach Boys. A second piano, played by George Martin and processed electromechanically to wobble in and out of tune was added for the distinctive solo. By 21 March, the final mono mix was completed and a month later, the stereo mix was done. During mixdown the tape machine ran at 48.75 Hz instead of the standard 50 Hz, so that the pitch on the released recording is nearly a quarter-tone flat from the key of E in which the song was performed.
The unusual noises during the song after the lines “and the bag across her shoulder/ made her look a little like a military man” were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison playing comb and paper.
Pink Floyd watched the Beatles recording “Lovely Rita”. Later, Pink Floyd took the effects of “Lovely Rita” for recording their instrumental compostition, “Pow R. Toc H.” from their debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
“Love of the Loved” is a song written mainly by Paul McCartney, credited to Lennon–McCartney. It is one of his earliest compositions and featured in the Beatles live act in their early days. The group recorded the song at their 1962 audition for Decca Records, but never issued it on any of their official releases. Instead, Cilla Black recorded it for her debut single, which was produced by George Martin. It was not a big hit for her, reaching #35 on the UK Singles Chart.
The Beatles audition version was left off Anthology 1, even though the other Lennon–McCartney originals from the same session, “Hello Little Girl” and “Like Dreamers Do”, were included.
Recordings of “Love of the Loved” as the Beatles may have performed it were released as singles by US band The Poppees (1975) and Dutch band RollerCoaster (1980). Other cover versions are available on the 1989 album by Bas Muys entitled Secret Songs: Lennon & McCartney and on the 1998 release It’s Four You by the Australian tribute band The Beatnix. It has also been covered by Seattle-based Beatles cover band Apple Jam on their album Off The Beatle Track.
The original Decca audition version, along with 10 other tracks from the 1962 Decca session, is now available on the CD I Saw Her Standing There.
“Little Child” is a song by English rock group the Beatles from their album With the Beatles. It was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney for Ringo Starr, but Starr was instead given “I Wanna Be Your Man” as his album song.
McCartney describes “Little Child” as being a “work song”, or an “album filler”. He admits to taking the line “I’m so sad and lonely” from the song “Whistle My Love” by British balladeer and actor Elton Hayes. The phrase “sad and lonely” also appears in the song “Act Naturally”, which the Beatles covered (with Starr singing) for the album Help!.
The song was recorded in three different sessions, with the first on 11 September 1963, where the Beatles recorded two takes. They later came back to it the next day, where they recorded 16 takes, including overdubs of piano from McCartney, and harmonica from Lennon. They later returned to it on 3 October, where they recorded three more takes. According to the stereo mix, the harmonica pans from left to right for the solo. Then it pans back from right to left after the solo. The song’s solo follows a “twelve-bar blues format that does not appear in the rest of the [song].”
“Lady Madonna” is a song by the Beatles, written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. In March 1968, it was released as a single, backed with “The Inner Light”. The song was recorded on 3 and 6 February 1968 before the Beatles left for India. This single was the last release by the band on Parlophone in the United Kingdom, where it reached number 1 for the two weeks beginning 27 March, and Capitol Records in the United States, where it debuted at number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending 23 March and reached number 4 from the week ending 20 April through the week ending 4 May. All subsequent releases, starting with “Hey Jude” in August 1968, were released on their own label, Apple Records, under EMI distribution, until the late 1970s, when Capitol and Parlophone re-released old material.
The song, which was recorded in five takes, made its first album appearance on the 1970 collection Hey Jude. The recording began with three takes of the basic rhythm track, with McCartney on piano and Starr playing the drums with brushes.
“I’m Looking Through You” is song by The Beatles written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon-McCartney). The song first appeared on 1965 album Rubber Soul. It was written about Jane Asher, McCartney’s girlfriend for five years, “You don’t look different, but you have changed,” the lyrics declare, reflecting his dissatisfaction with her and their relationship. The lyrics also reference his changing emotional state, “Love has a nasty habit of disappearing overnight”.
“I’m a Loser” is a song by the Beatles, originally released on Beatles for Sale in the United Kingdom, later released on Beatles ’65 in the United States. Written by John Lennon, (though credited to Lennon–McCartney), it was considered for release as a single until Lennon wrote “I Feel Fine”.
According to music critic Richie Unterberger, while the lyrics tell a story of romantic rejection, “I’m a Loser” is one of the first Beatles compositions that “goes beyond young love,” including “the hypocrisy of keeping up a happy face when your world’s falling down”.
“I’ll Follow the Sun” is a song by the Beatles. It is a melancholy ballad written primarily and sung by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was released in 1964 on the Beatles for Sale album in the United Kingdom and on Beatles ’65 in the United States, but was written long before that year: a version recorded in 1960 can be found on the bootleg record You Might As Well Call Us the Quarrymen. The song is somewhat of a cult favourite; it was released as a mono extended play 45 in 1964 on Parlophone/EMI (and in 1995 as a B-side to Baby It’s You).
“If You’ve Got Trouble” is a song written by Lennon–McCartney and recorded by the Beatles on 18 February 1965 with Ringo Starr singing the lead vocal. The song was intended to be Starr’s vocal appearance on the Help! album and the Help! film, but the Beatles were not happy with the recording and later chose “Act Naturally” (which is not in the film) instead. “If You’ve Got Trouble” remained unreleased until Anthology 2 in 1996.
“If I Fell” is a song by English rock band the Beatles which first appeared in 1964 on the album A Hard Day’s Night in the United Kingdom and on the North American album Something New. It was written by John Lennon, and credited to Lennon–McCartney. “That’s my first attempt at a ballad proper….It shows that I wrote sentimental love ballads way back when”, Lennon stated in his 1980 Playboy interview.
“I Will” is a song by the Beatles that was released on The Beatles. It was written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and features him on lead vocal, guitar, and “vocal bass”.
“I Will” was one of the songs worked on by the Beatles and their associates while in Rishikesh, India. Although the music came together fairly easily, the words were worked on in India, and remained unfinished even as recording began back in London.
This quiet song required 67 takes, and George Harrison did not play (during The Beatles sessions, the Beatles often recorded in separate studios). However, the reason for Harrison’s absence from the session has never been clarified.
During take 19 of “I Will”, McCartney ad-libbed an untitled and uncopyrighted song (referred to as “Can you take me back?” by author Ian MacDonald), a 28-second segment of which ended up on side 4 of the album The Beatles as what MacDonald described as “a sinister introduction to “Revolution 9″”. Also ad-libbed by McCartney was “Los Paranoias”, released, together with take 1 of “I Will”, in 1996 on Anthology 3.
The picture shown above features Apple Records’ 45 rpm record. It was manufactured by Dyna Products Inc (today’s Dyna Music Entertainment Corporation) of the Philippines, 1968.
“I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party” is a song by the Beatles, written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was released on the album Beatles for Sale in the United Kingdom in 1964. “I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party” was also released on the Beatles for Sale (No. 2) EP. In the United States, Capitol released the song as the B-side of the single “Eight Days a Week”, and later on the Beatles VI album, both in 1965. The single peaked at number one in the US (it was not released in the UK); “I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party” charted as a B-side, reaching number thirty-nine on Billboard.
“Here, There and Everywhere” is a song written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney), released on the Beatles’ 1966 album Revolver. McCartney includes it among his personal favourites of all the songs he has written. The composition has received similar praise from the Beatles’ producer, George Martin, and McCartney’s former bandmate John Lennon. In 2000, Mojo ranked it 4th in the magazine’s list of the greatest songs of all time.
The Beatles recorded “Here, There and Everywhere” in June 1966, toward the end of the sessions for Revolver. Having recently attended a listening party for the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album, McCartney was particularly inspired by Brian Wilson’s song “God Only Knows”.
“I Just Don’t Understand” is a song released by Swedish born singer and American citizen Ann-Margret. It charted at No. 17 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1961. It was one of the first records to feature a fuzz-tone guitar. It was later recorded by The Beatles on 16 July 1963 at the BBC Paris Studio, London for the Pop Go The Beatles radio show and appeared on their 1994 compilation album Live at the BBC, with lead vocals by John Lennon.
In 1965, Australian pop star Normie Rowe presented a rockier version. This proved popular in its own right and appeared on the B-side of his Australian top 10 hit, “I (Who Have Nothing)”.
American indie rock band Spoon included a cover of the song on their 2014 album They Want My Soul.
“I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party” is a song by the Beatles, written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was released on the album Beatles for Sale in the United Kingdom in 1964. “I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party” was also released on the Beatles for Sale (No. 2) EP. In the United States, Capitol released the song as the B-side of the single “Eight Days a Week”, and later on the Beatles VI album, both in 1965. The single peaked at number one in the US (it was not released in the UK); “I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party” charted as a B-side, reaching number thirty-nine on Billboard.
“I Am the Walrus” is a song by the Beatles that was released in November 1967. It was featured in the Beatles’ television film Magical Mystery Tour (MMT) in December of that year, as a track on the associated British double EP of the same name and its American counterpart LP, and was the B-side to the number 1 hit single “Hello, Goodbye”. Since the single and the double EP held at one time in December 1967 the top two slots on the British singles chart, the song had the distinction of being at number 1 and number 2 simultaneously.
“Honey Pie” is a song by the Beatles, from their 1968 eponymous album The Beatles, also known as “the White Album”. The song was written entirely by Paul McCartney, but is credited to Lennon–McCartney.
The song is a direct homage to the British music hall style. It concerns a famed actress, called only by the term of endearment “Honey Pie”, who becomes famous in the United States, and her old lover, who wishes for her to rejoin him in England. The premise – a humble admirer yearning for the return of his lover – is not unlike a typical music hall plot. In order to establish an appropriate, old-timey sound, ‘crackles’ were added to the third line, “Now she’s hit the big time!”, from a 78 rpm record.
Recording began for “Honey Pie” on 1 October 1968, with the Beatles at Trident Studios in London’s Wardour Street. Only one take was recorded on the first day, although it is likely that a number of rehearsal attempts had previously been recorded and wiped. The next day, McCartney taped his lead vocals, and a lead guitar part was added. According to George Harrison, John Lennon played the guitar solo. However, Barry Miles in his: “The Beatles, a diary: an intimate day by day history” [Omnibus Press 1998] says: “Paul added the lead vocal and guitar to ‘Honey Pie’.” [p.275, entry for October 2]. The guitar playing is very reminiscent of McCartney’s guitar playing (as is evidenced by his two later solo albums). Moreover, McCartney’s father was also known to be a jazz bandleader before McCartney was born (many members of Harrison’s own entourage have said that his autobiography had many errors).
“Good Night” is a song by the Beatles on their 1968 album The Beatles (also known as the White Album). It is the last song on the album. It is sung by Ringo Starr, the only Beatle to appear on the track. The music is provided by an orchestra arranged and conducted by George Martin.
John Lennon wrote the song as a lullaby for his five-year-old son Julian.
George Martin’s arrangement is lush, and intentionally so. Lennon is said to have wanted the song to sound “real cheesy”, like a Gordon Jenkins-esque Old Hollywood production number. The musicians play the following instruments: twelve violins, three violas, three cellos, one harp, three flutes, one clarinet, one horn, one vibraphone, and one string bass. The Mike Sammes Singers also took part in the recording, providing backing vocals.
Starr became the third member of the group (after Paul McCartney and George Harrison) to record a song credited to the group without the other members performing (Lennon was the fourth with “Julia”). The song ends with Starr whispering the words: “Good night… Good night, everybody… Everybody, everywhere… Good night.”
“Every Little Thing” is a song by the English rock group the Beatles from their 1964 album Beatles for Sale. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, it was written by Paul McCartney, although John Lennon is the more prominent lead vocalist on the recording. Rather than include the track on the North American version of Beatles for Sale (which was titled Beatles ’65), Capitol Records first issued the song on the June 1965 release Beatles VI. The track is an early example of the Beatles’ use of non-rock instrumentation on a recording, through the addition of timpani drum over the choruses.
“Etcetera” is an unreleased song recorded as a demo by Paul McCartney on 20 August 1968, during a session for The Beatles (also known as the White Album).
Paul McCartney recalls in his authorized biography, Many Years from Now, that he had written the song, intending to give it to Marianne Faithfull to record, but she passed on recording it; The Beatles did as well.
The song was recorded as a demo during the same session that producing White Album songs, “Mother Nature’s Son” and “Wild Honey Pie”. McCartney recorded one take of the song while waiting for session musicians to arrive. After the take was recorded, the tape was taken away by George Martin’s assistant, Chris Thomas. The recording is said to have lyrics, a bridge, and an introduction that’s reminiscent of “Here, There and Everywhere”.
McCartney himself has not spoken well of the song. He has stated that “it’s a bad song” and that he’s “glad it died in a tape bin”. On the other hand, engineer Alan Brown called it “a very beautiful song.” Brown described the song as a “ballad and has the word ‘etcetera’ several times in the lyric.”
“The End” is a song by the Beatles composed by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney) for the album Abbey Road. It was the last song recorded collectively by all four Beatles, and is the final song of the medley that comprises the majority of side two of the album.
McCartney said, “I wanted [the medley] to end with a little meaningful couplet, so I followed the Bard and wrote a couplet.” In his 1980 interview with Playboy, John Lennon acknowledged McCartney’s authorship by saying, “That’s Paul again … He had a line in it, ‘And in the end, the love you get is equal to the love you give,’ which is a very cosmic, philosophical line. Which again proves that if he wants to, he can think.” Lennon misquoted the line; the actual words are, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
“Eight Days a Week” is a song by The Beatles written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon based on McCartney’s original idea. The song was issued in the United Kingdom in December 1964 on the album Beatles for Sale. In the United States, issued in February 1965 as a single with the B-side “I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party”, it went to No. 1 for two weeks on 13–20 March 1965. The song was also issued in June 1965 on the U.S. album Beatles VI and reissued worldwide in 2000 on the Beatles number one compilation album 1. WLS ranked the song at #8 for all of 1965.
“Don’t Pass Me By” is a song by the Beatles from the double album The Beatles (also known as the White Album). Lead vocals were performed by Ringo Starr. It was Starr’s first solo composition.
The song debuted at No. 1 in Denmark in April 1969. It stayed in the Top 10 for a month.
Starr first played his song for the other Beatles soon after he joined the group in August 1962. Its earliest public mention seems to have been in a BBC chatter session introducing “And I Love Her” on the radio show Top Gear in 1964. In the conversation, Starr was asked if he had written a song and Paul McCartney mocked him soon afterwards, singing the first line “Don’t pass me by, don’t make me cry, don’t make me blue, baby.”
“Don’t Let Me Down” is a song by the Beatles (with Billy Preston), recorded in 1969 during the Let It Be sessions. It was written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney.
Written by Lennon as an anguished love song to Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney interpreted it as a “genuine plea”, with Lennon saying to Ono, “I’m really stepping out of line on this one. I’m really just letting my vulnerability be seen, so you must not let me down.” Lennon’s vocals work their way into screams, presaging the primal scream stylings of the following year’s John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album.
The song is in the key of E and is in 4/4 time during the verse, chorus and bridge, but changes to 5/4 in the pick-up to the verse. It grew (like “Sun King”) from the F♯m7- E changes from Fleetwood Mac’s “Albatross” (“like she does” [F♯m7] “yes she does” [A, Am] “yes she does” [E]) with McCartney arranging instrumental and vocal parts and Harrison adding a descending two-part lead guitar accompaniment to the verse and a countermelody in the bridge. Pollack states that “the counterpoint melody played in octaves during the Alternate Verse by the bass and lead guitars is one of the more novel, unusual instrumental touches you’ll find anywhere in the Beatles catalogue.”
“Don’t Ever Change” is a 1961 popular song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. It is one of their lesser-known songs, although a version by The Crickets reached the top 5 in the United Kingdom. The Beatles performed the song on their BBC radio show Pop Go the Beatles, which was later released on their 1994 compilation Live at the BBC. It was taped on August 1, 1963, had its first broadcast on August 27, 1963, was produced by Terry Henebery and was a rare harmony duet between Paul McCartney and George Harrison. The song was also covered by Brinsley Schwarz on their Please Don’t Ever Change album in 1973, by Bryan Ferry on his 1973 album These Foolish Things, and by Mud on their 1982 album Mud featuring Les Gray.
“Cry Baby Cry” is a song by the Beatles, written by John Lennon, from their 1968 album The Beatles. The outro of the song is a short segment referred to as “Can You Take Me Back”, written by Paul McCartney, which was actually an outtake from the “I Will” session.
Demos indicate that Lennon composed the song in late 1967. The original lyrics were “Cry baby cry, make your mother buy.” Lennon described to biographer Hunter Davies how he got the words from an advertisement. Some of the lyrics of the song are loosely based on the nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence”.
Engineer Geoff Emerick resigned during the recording of “Cry Baby Cry”, though his departure was precipitated by Lennon and McCartney’s obsessions over the recording of both “Revolution” and “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da”, respectively, and the overall tensions of the White Album sessions. Emerick would not work with the Beatles again until the session for “The Ballad of John and Yoko” nine months later.
After a day-long rehearsal, on 16 July 1968 the basic tracks were laid down for Lennon’s guitar part and his vocal on the introduction, McCartney’s bass, and Starr’s drums, along with Lennon’s piano and George Martin’s harmonium, while all other parts were dubbed in two days later: Lennon’s lead vocal, Lennon/McCartney falsetto backing vocals and tambourines, Martin’s harmonium introduction, sound effects for tea, and Harrison’s guitar, a Gibson Les Paul borrowed from Eric Clapton and soon to be a permanent gift.
“The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill” is a song credited to Lennon–McCartney, but written by John Lennon, and released by the Beatles on their 1968 album The Beatles (also known as the White Album).
This song mocks the actions of a young American named Richard A. Cooke III, known as Rik, who was visiting his mother, Nancy Cooke de Herrera, at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh at the same time that the Beatles were staying with the Maharishi. According to his mother, both she and her son maintained friendly relations with all of the Beatles except for Lennon, who by Cooke de Herrera’s account was “a genius” but distant and contemptuous of the wealthy American Cooke de Herrera and her clean-cut, college-attending son. According to Nancy’s life account, Beyond Gurus, the genesis of the song occurred when she, Rik, and several others, including guides, set out upon elephants to hunt for a tiger (allegedly presented by their Indian guide as a traditional act). The pack of elephants was attacked by a tiger, which was shot by Rik. Rik was initially proud of his quick reaction and posed for a photograph with his prize. However, Rik’s reaction to the slaying was mixed, as he has not hunted since. Nancy claims that all present recognised the necessity of Rik’s action, but that Lennon’s reaction was scornful and sarcastic, asking Rik: “But wouldn’t you call that slightly life-destructive?” The song was written by Lennon as mocking what he saw as Rik’s bravado and unenlightened attitude.
Lennon later told his version of the story in a Playboy interview, stating that: “‘Bungalow Bill’ was written about a guy in Maharishi’s meditation camp who took a short break to go shoot a few poor tigers, and then came back to commune with God. There used to be a character called Jungle Jim, and I combined him with Buffalo Bill. It’s sort of a teenage social-comment song and a bit of a joke.” Mia Farrow, who was also at the ashram during the period, supports Lennon’s story in her autobiography; she writes, “Then a self-important, middle-aged American woman arrived, moving a mountain of luggage into the brand-new private bungalow next to Maharishi’s along with her son, a bland young man named Bill. People fled this newcomer, and no one was sorry when she left the ashram after a short time to go tiger hunting, unaware that their presence had inspired a new Beatles song – ‘Bungalow Bill.'”
“Clarabella” is a pop song composed by Frank Pingatore and recorded by the Jodimars (a group made of former members of Bill Haley & His Comets) in 1956. Today, it is best known for being recorded by the Beatles for the radio programme “Pop Go the Beatles” on 2 July 1963, which was broadcast on the 16th of that month. It was released commercially on compact disc much later, on the 1994 compilation album Live at the BBC, although years earlier a similar rendition by Billy Preston (who would later work with the Beatles on their later recordings) was performed on a 1965 episode of Shindig!. In 2003 the White Stripes recorded a performance of the song live in concert.
“Come Together” is a song by the Beatles written by John Lennon but credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song is the opening track on the album Abbey Road and was released as a double A-sided single with “Something”, their 21st single in the United Kingdom and 26th in the United States. The song reached the top of the charts in the US and peaked at number four in the UK.
“Christmas Time (Is Here Again)” (Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starkey) is a Christmas song recorded by the Beatles for their 1967 fan club Christmas record. After being slated for inclusion in the planned (but ultimately scrapped) Sessions compilation album in 1985, the song finally saw official re-release in 1995 on the “Free as a Bird” single (issued in conjunction with the Anthology series), for which it was edited from its original 6:17 to a shortened version of 3:03. The song opens with a light-hearted tune from all four of the Beatles and occasionally cuts to a tale of the Beatles arriving at the fictional BBC house. This part of the song was cut from the 1995 single version. The song then closes with a Christmas greeting from all four of the Beatles. At the end, “Auld Lang Syne” is played on the organ as Lennon reads one of his original nonsense free verse poems.
“Cayenne” is an instrumental track by the Beatles. It was recorded in 1960, when they were still known as The Quarrymen, and was not officially released until its inclusion on the 1995 album Anthology 1.
According to Paul McCartney, the recordings were made in the McCartney family bathroom in April 1960. while they were rehearsing. The song is not credited to Lennon–McCartney but to McCartney alone, indicating that at this stage Lennon and McCartney had not agreed on the joint writing credit that they used for all of the band’s professional recording career. The track is an instrumental jam similar in style to that of The Shadows. Stuart Sutcliffe plays bass with what critic Richie Unterberger described as an “artless thump”. “Cayenne” is a 12-bar blues composition in the key of d-minor.
“Cayenne” and two other homemade Quarrymen recordings, “Hallelujah, I Love Her So” and “You’ll Be Mine”, were included in Anthology 1, a collection of Beatles rarities and alternate tracks from 1958 to 1964. They are the only officially released Beatles recordings to feature Stuart Sutcliffe on bass. Sutcliffe, John Lennon’s close friend from art college, joined the band in 1960 as the bass player and played with them in Hamburg in 1960 and 1961 before leaving to concentrate on his art studies. Sutcliffe died of a brain haemorrhage in 1962. Although the tape was made in 1960, the tape was not discovered until much later by the McCartney’s neighbors on 20 Forthlin Road.
The recording which appeared on Anthology 1 was edited and made faster, giving it a length of 1 minute and 1 seconds while the original was 2 minutes and 24 seconds.
The song was in the instrumental rock style, which was becoming popular in the early sixties with bands such as the shadows. Another song the band did in the instrumental style was Cry for a Shadow in 1961.
“Carnival of Light” is an unreleased experimental piece by the Beatles. It was recorded on 5 January 1967, after the vocal overdubbing sessions for the song “Penny Lane”. The track was created for “The Million Volt Light and Sound Rave”, an event held at the Roundhouse Theatre on 28 January and 4 February 1967. The track was confirmed by Paul McCartney to be in his possession in 2008, but his attempt to release it to the public has been unsuccessful.
“Birthday” is a song written by Lennon–McCartney and performed by the Beatles on their double album The Beatles (commonly known as The White Album). It is the opening track on the third side of the LP (or the second disc in CD versions of the record). The song is an example of the Beatles’ return to more traditional rock and roll form, although their music had increased in complexity and it had developed more of its own characteristic style by this point. Surviving Beatles McCartney and Ringo Starr performed it for Starr’s 70th birthday at Radio City Music Hall on 7 July 2010.
“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” is a song from the 1967 album by the Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was primarily written and composed by John Lennon, although Paul McCartney claims that he also contributed to it. The song is credited to Lennon–McCartney.
One of the most musically complex songs on Sgt. Pepper, it was recorded by the Beatles on 17 February 1967 with overdubs on 20 February (organ sound effects), 28 March (harmonica, organ, guitar), 29 March (more organ sound effects), and 31 March. Lennon wanted the track to have a “carnival atmosphere”, and told producer George Martin that he wanted “to smell the sawdust on the floor.” In the middle eight bars, multiple recordings of fairground organs and calliope music were spliced together to attempt to produce this request. In a 1968 interview, Martin recalled that he achieved “this by playing the Hammond organ myself and speeding it up.”In addition to the Hammond organ, a 19th century steam organ was found for hire to enhance the carnival atmosphere effect. After a great deal of unsuccessful experimentation, Martin instructed recording engineer Geoff Emerick to chop the tape into pieces with scissors, throw them up in the air, and re-assemble them at random.
Before the start of the first take, Lennon sings the words “For the benefit of Mr. Kite!” in a joke accent, then Emerick announces, “For the Benefit of Mr. Kite! This is take 1.” Lennon immediately responds, “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!”, reinforcing his title preference from a phrase lifted intact from the original Pablo Fanque poster. The exchange is recorded in The Beatles Recording Sessions (slightly misquoted) and audible on track 8 of disc 2 of Anthology 2. The original recording can also be heard during the loading screen for the song if it is downloaded in the video game The Beatles: Rock Band.
Although Lennon once said of the song that he “wasn’t proud of that” and “I was just going through the motions,” in 1980 he described it as “pure, like a painting, a pure watercolour.”
It was one of three songs from the Sgt. Pepper album that was banned from playing on the BBC, supposedly because the phrase “Henry the Horse” combined two words that were individually known as slang for heroin. Lennon denied that the song had anything to do with heroin.
“Because” is a song written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and recorded by the Beatles in 1969. It features a prominent three-part vocal harmony by Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, overdubbed twice to make nine voices in all. It first appeared on Abbey Road (1969), immediately preceding the extended medley on side two of the record.
“The Ballad of John and Yoko” is a song written by John Lennon, attributed to Lennon–McCartney as was the custom, and released by the Beatles as a single in May 1969. The song, chronicling the events surrounding Lennon’s marriage to Yoko Ono, was the Beatles’ 17th and final UK number one single.
Authored by Lennon while on his honeymoon in Paris, it tells of the events of his marriage, in March 1969, to Ono, and their publicly held honeymoon activities, including their “Bed-In” at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel and their demonstration of “bagism”.
Lennon brought the song to McCartney’s home on 14 April 1969, before recording it that evening. “Paul knew that people were being nasty to John, and he just wanted to make it well for him,” said Ono. “Paul has a very brotherly side to him.”
“Bad to Me” is a song John Lennon wrote (credited to Lennon–McCartney) for Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas while on holiday in Spain. Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas released their recording of the song in 1963 and it became their first number 1 in the UK Singles Chart. Paul McCartney was present during the recording session at Abbey Road Studios. The single would be released in the US the following year, and become a top-ten hit there, reaching number 9. It became one of the first occasions a Lennon–McCartney composition made the US Top 40 recorded by an artist other than the Beatles (the first being “A World Without Love” by Peter & Gordon, and another example is Goodbye by Mary Hopkin).
Bootlegs exist of Lennon’s original demo of the song, which was recorded on 31 May 1963. An acoustic demo from the same era was released on iTunes in December 2013 on the album The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963.
Terry Black released a version of the song on his 1965 debut album, Only 16.
Graham Parker recorded a version of the song for the 2003 album Lost Songs of Lennon & McCartney, new versions of 17 Lennon–McCartney songs that were originally released by other artists. Leif Garrett also recorded a version of the song for his self-titled debut album. Finnish rock band Hurriganes covered this song in their third album, Crazy Days.
Recordings of “Bad to Me” as the Beatles may have performed it are available on the 1989 album by Bas Muys entitled Secret Songs: Lennon & McCartney and on the 1998 release It’s Four You by the Australian tribute band The Beatnix.
“Baby’s in Black” is a song by the Beatles, co-written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The song appears on the United Kingdom album Beatles for Sale and in North America on Beatles ’65.
“Baby’s in Black” is performed at a 6/8 time signature with a moderate tempo that makes it sound like 3/4 (waltz-time). AMG described the song as “a love lament for a grieving girl that was perhaps more morose than any previous Beatles’ song.” Musicologist Alan W. Pollack notes that the song is relatively complex in format, with a refrain, bridge, and a guitar solo. He describes the song as having “mishmash” of stylistic elements—among them, “bluesy” chords and country music-inspired vocals.
They performed “Baby’s in Black” live during their appearances from late 1964 until their last tour in 1966. McCartney said they introduced the song by saying, “‘And now for something different.’ … We used to put that in there, and think, ‘Well, they won’t know quite what to make of this, but it’s cool.'” In 1996, a live version of “Baby’s in Black” was released as a B-side to “Real Love”, the second single from their Anthology project.