“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.
“Baby, You’re a Rich Man” is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and recorded in 1967 by the Beatles. It was released on the B-side of the Beatles’ 1967 single “All You Need Is Love”. New mixes of the song were made available on Magical Mystery Tour and Yellow Submarine Songtrack.
“Baby, You’re a Rich Man” was the result of combining two unfinished songs written by Lennon and McCartney, in a similar fashion to “A Day in the Life”, and “I’ve Got a Feeling”. The verses from “One of the Beautiful People” by John Lennon were combined with Paul McCartney’s previously unaccompanied “Baby, you’re a rich man …” chorus.
That’s a combination of two separate pieces, Paul’s and mine, put together and forced into one song. One half was all mine. [Sings] ‘How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people, now that you know who you are, da da da da.’ Then Paul comes in with [sings] ‘Baby, you’re a rich man,’ which was a lick he had around.
— John Lennon, All We Are Saying, David Sheff
It is thought that McCartney wrote the lyrics of his section of the song about the band’s manager, Brian Epstein. Walter Everett writes that the song “asks an unnamed Brian Epstein what it’s like to be one of the ‘beautiful people.'” Another angle to the song is that the “Beautiful People” verses were meant as a “tip of the hat” to Epstein for finally dropping acid. The questions John raises in the verses, such as, “How often have you been there?” and “What did you see when you were there?” are roughly equivalent to Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?” Lennon claimed, however, that the meaning of the song was that everybody is a rich man, saying, “The point was stop moaning. You’re a rich man and we’re all rich men.”
“Baby, You’re a Rich Man” was initially intended to be used in the Beatles upcoming movie, Yellow Submarine, but was rush-released as the B-side to “All You Need Is Love”.
“Ask Me Why” is a song by English rock group the Beatles originally released in the United Kingdom as the B-side of their hit single “Please Please Me”. It was also included on their first UK album, Please Please Me.
Written in early 1962, “Ask Me Why” is principally a John Lennon composition, but was credited to Paul McCartney and John Lennon, as were all other Lennon–McCartney originals on the first pressings of Please Please Me album. Paul McCartney: “It was John’s original idea and we both sat down and wrote it together, just did a job on it. It was mostly John’s.” (Barry Miles. Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now). It was part of their live act prior to their recording contract, and was one of the songs performed at their first Parlophone recording session in EMI’s Abbey Road studio two on 6 June 1962. The song emulates in style that of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, by whom Lennon was influenced, and draws its opening guitar phrase from the Miracles’ “What’s So Good About Goodbye” (1961).
“Any Time at All” is a song recorded by English rock band the Beatles. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, it was mainly composed by John Lennon, with an instrumental middle eight by Paul McCartney. It first appeared on the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night album.
In his 1980 interview with Playboy, Lennon described the song as “An effort at writing ‘It Won’t Be Long’. Same ilk: C to A minor, C to A minor—with me shouting.”
Lennon’s handwritten lyrics for “Any Time at All” were sold for £6,000 at an auction held at Sotheby’s in London, on 8 April 1988.
Incomplete when first brought into Abbey Road Studios on Tuesday 2 June 1964, Paul McCartney suggested an idea for the middle eight section based solely on chords, which was recorded with the intention of adding lyrics later. But by the time it was needed to be mixed, the middle eight was still without words and that is how it appears on the LP. McCartney sings the second “Anytime at all” in each chorus because Lennon couldn’t reach the notes. “Any Time at All” reprises a George Martin trick from “A Hard Day’s Night” by using a piano solo echoed lightly note-for-note on guitar by George Harrison.
“Another Girl” is a song by the Beatles released in 1965 on the album Help! and included in the film of the same name. The song was written by Paul McCartney but credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song is directed to the singer’s girlfriend who is advised the singer has found “another girl.”
McCartney wrote the song while holidaying in Hammamet, a resort in Tunisia. With an up-tempo swing-beat that the writer favoured (“Can’t Buy Me Love”, “She’s a Woman”) the song opens with a short refrain, powered by block vocal harmonies, that segues straight into the verse, which is constructed on the blues-mode chord changes the group currently favoured. The bridge theme makes a sudden key change up a minor third from A to C (a harmonic strategy also used on the record’s next track “You’re Going to Lose That Girl”) and features more close three-part harmonies as the aggressively sung verse’s apparent threat to a jealous girl turns into a sweet tribute to the “other” girl who “will always be my friend”.
The Beatles recorded the song on 15 February 1965, having also worked on “Ticket to Ride” and “I Need You”. The backing track was quickly recorded in a single take. George Harrison added a guitar “flourish” at the end which was omitted from the final mix: McCartney added lead guitar the next day. This is one of several Beatles songs recorded at the time on which McCartney played lead guitar in addition to his usual bass. Four-track recording allowed the group to refine songs’ arrangements in the studio and McCartney often had clear ideas about the guitar lines he wanted. He also contributed lead guitar to “Ticket to Ride” and played an electric guitar duet with Harrison on “The Night Before”. The song was mixed down on 18 February and again on 23 February.
McCartney said of this song and other album tracks, “It’s a bit much to call them fillers because I think they were a bit more than that, and each one of them made it past the Beatles test. We all had to like it.”
“And Your Bird Can Sing” is a song by the Beatles, released on their 1966 album Revolver in the United Kingdom and on Yesterday…and Today in the United States. The song was written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. Paul McCartney claims to have helped on the lyrics, however, estimating the song to be “80–20” to Lennon. The working title was “You Don’t Get Me”. Lennon was later dismissive of the track, as he was of many of his compositions at the time, referring to it as “another of my throwaways … fancy paper around an empty box”.
“Anna (Go to Him)”, or simply “Anna”, is a song written and originally recorded by Arthur Alexander. His version was released as a single by Dot Records on September 17, 1962. A cover version was performed by English rock group The Beatles and included on their 1963 debut album Please Please Me.
According to Richie Unterberger, music critic for Allmusic:
‘Anna’ was one of the great early soul ballads, even if its loping groove was closer to a mid-tempo song than a slow ballad. Like several of Alexander’s songs, it would come to be more famous in its cover version than through its original release. And it was actually a small hit when it first came out in 1962, getting to #68 in the pop charts and #10 in the R&B listings.
Critic Dave Marsh rates Alexander’s “Anna (Go to Him)” as one of the top 1001 singles of all time. He praises the “gently swinging rhythm,” the tough, syncopated drumming, and Alexander’s vocal, particularly at the beginning of the refrain, suggesting that John Lennon may have learned to sing ballads like “In My Life” by listening to Alexander’s performance.
Despite the title, throughout the song the lyric is “go with him” rather than “go to him”.
“And I Love Her” is a song recorded by English rock band the Beatles, written mainly by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney). Being the fifth track on their third album, A Hard Day’s Night, it was released 20 July 1964 with “If I Fell” as a single by Capitol Records in the United States, reaching No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Beatles performed “And I Love Her” just once outside Abbey Road Studios; on 14 July 1964 they played it for an edition of the BBC’s Top Gear radio show, which was broadcast two days later.
“All You Need Is Love” is a song by the Beatles that was released as a non-album single in July 1967. It was written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The Beatles performed the song as Britain’s contribution to Our World, the first live global television link. Watched by over 400 million in 25 countries, the program was broadcast via satellite on 25 June 1967.
“All Together Now” is a song by the Beatles written primarily by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song was recorded during the band’s Magical Mystery Tour period, but remained unreleased until it was included on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack. It was released as a single in 1972 in European countries such as France and Germany, backed by “Hey Bulldog”.
McCartney described the song as a children’s sing-along with the title phrase inspired by the music hall tradition of asking the audience to join in. He also described a “subcurrent” in the song, a dual-meaning where “we are all together now.” According to music critic Tom Maginnis of AllMusic, McCartney created the song “to match the same light-hearted spirit” of “Yellow Submarine”.
“All Together Now” appears in an animated sequence in the film Yellow Submarine, and is also introduced by the Beatles themselves in a final live-action scene of the film. During the latter scene, translations of “All Together Now” into various languages appear written on-screen.
“All Things Must Pass” is a song by English musician George Harrison, issued in November 1970 as the title track to his triple album of the same name. Billy Preston released the song originally – as “All Things (Must) Pass” – on his Apple Records album Encouraging Words (1970), after the Beatles had rejected it for inclusion on their Let It Be album in January 1969. The composition reflects the influence of the Band’s sound and communal music-making on Harrison, after he had spent time with the group in Woodstock, New York, in late 1968, while Timothy Leary’s poem “All Things Pass”, a psychedelic adaptation of the Tao Te Ching, provided inspiration for his song lyrics.
The subject matter deals with the transient nature of human existence, and in Harrison’s All Things Must Pass reading, words and music combine to reflect impressions of optimism against fatalism. On release, together with Barry Feinstein’s album cover image, commentators viewed the song as a statement on the Beatles’ break-up. Widely regarded as one of Harrison’s finest compositions, its rejection by his former band has provoked comment from biographers and reviewers. Music critic Ian MacDonald described “All Things Must Pass” as “the wisest song never recorded by The Beatles”, while author Simon Leng considers it “perhaps the greatest solo Beatle composition”. The recording was co-produced by Phil Spector in London; it features an orchestral arrangement by John Barham and contributions from musicians such as Ringo Starr, Pete Drake, Bobby Whitlock, Eric Clapton and Klaus Voormann.
Although the Beatles failed to formally record the song, a 1969 solo demo by Harrison appears on their compilation Anthology 3 (1996). An early version from the All Things Must Pass sessions was released on Harrison’s posthumous compilation Early Takes: Volume 1 in 2012. Paul McCartney performed “All Things Must Pass” at the Concert for George tribute in November 2002, a year after Harrison’s death. Jim James, the Waterboys, Klaus Voormann and Yusuf Islam, and Sloan Wainwright are among the other artists who have covered the song.
“All My Loving” is a song by English rock group the Beatles, written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney), from the 1963 album With the Beatles. Though it was not released as a single in the United Kingdom or the United States, it drew considerable radio airplay, prompting EMI to issue it as the title track of an EP. The song was released as a single in Canada, where it became a number one hit. The Canadian single was imported into the US in enough quantities to peak at number 45 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1964. It was the first song most Americans ever heard the group sing as it was the opening song on their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show on 9 February 1964.
“All I’ve Got to Do” is a song written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and performed by English rock group the Beatles on their second British album, With the Beatles. In the United States, “All I’ve Got to Do” originally appeared on Meet the Beatles!. According to Dennis Alstrand, this song is the first time in rock and roll or rock music where the bass player plays chords as a vital part of the song.
In the UK, “All I’ve Got to Do” was released on With the Beatles which also includes the Beatles’ cover of “You Really Got a Hold on Me” by the Miracles, the most direct connection between the album and Robinson’s music. In the US, Capitol Records pulled “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” off Meet the Beatles!, releasing it later on The Beatles’ Second Album.
“Ain’t She Sweet” is a song composed by Milton Ager (music) and Jack Yellen (lyrics) and published in 1927 by Edwin H. Morris & Co., Inc./Warner Bros., Inc. It became popular in the first half of the 20th century, one of the hit songs that typified the Roaring Twenties. Like “Happy Days Are Here Again” (1929), it became a Tin Pan Alley standard. Both Ager and Yellen were elected to membership in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Milton Ager wrote “Ain’t She Sweet” for his daughter Shana Ager, who in her adult life was known as the political commentator Shana Alexander.
“Act Naturally” is a song written by Johnny Russell and Voni Morrison, originally recorded by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, whose version reached number 1 on the Billboard Country Singles chart in 1963, his first chart-topper. In 2002, Shelly Fabian of About.com ranked the song number 169 on her list of the Top 500 Country Music Songs.
The song has been covered by many other artists, including Loretta Lynn, Dwight Yoakam, Mrs. Miller and the Beatles.
“Across the Universe” is a song recorded by the Beatles. It was written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song first appeared on the various artists’ charity compilation album No One’s Gonna Change Our World in December 1969, and later, in different form, on Let It Be, the group’s final released album.
One night in 1967, the phrase “words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup” came to Lennon after hearing his then-wife Cynthia, according to Lennon, “going on and on about something”. Later, after “she’d gone to sleep – and I kept hearing these words over and over, flowing like an endless stream”, Lennon went downstairs and turned it into a song. He began to write the rest of the lyrics and when he was done, he went to bed and forgot about them.
“12-Bar Original” is an instrumental 12-bar blues by the Beatles. It was recorded in 1965, but was not commercially available until 1996 when an edited version of take 2 of the song was included on the Anthology 2 album. Prior to editing, the length of take 2 was 6:36.
It is one of the few songs credited to Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starkey and published by Lenono Music, Inc., MPL Communications Ltd, Harrisongs Ltd., and Startling Music Ltd. Other songs credited to all four Beatles include “Flying” from Magical Mystery Tour, “Dig It” from Let It Be and “Christmas Time (Is Here Again)”, the B-side to the 1995 single “Free as a Bird”.
Of the Beatles, only John Lennon and Ringo Starr ever commented on the song. During some US radio interviews, Lennon was asked if there were any unissued Beatles recordings, he replied that all he could recall was “some lousy 12 bar”. Starr told journalist Peter Palmiere that “we all wrote the track and I have an acetate of one of the versions”. The quote was later used by Palmiere in a Ringo Starr cover interview/story in DISCoveries magazine in 1993 and by Jim Berkenstadt and Belmo in their book Black Market Beatles.
“12-Bar Original” was the Beatles’ first instrumental after signing for EMI, and was produced by George Martin at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios, London. Four other instrumentals by the group are the aforementioned “Flying”, an outtake version of that song called “Aerial Tour Instrumental”, “Cayenne” and “Cry for a Shadow”.