Don’t forget to check out Beatles Tribute Cruise 2011 “The Eight Days A Week Cruise” setting sail from Miami on 3/5/11 with Laurence Juber, former Wings lead guitarist, Tony Bramwell and Joe Johnson of Beatle Brunch and much more.
As the Beatles grew up, their compositions started to mature. Combine that with the incredible succes they were having, allowing them a little more freedom and control over their songs, and you can see and feel the growth in the Beatles songs.
- There was the first song written that was not about Love, “Help.”
- They had new instruments in their songs
- New Influences like Bob Dylan
- The introduction of a 4-Track Tape Recorder
In this section you’ll read Paul’s words and thoughts on the creation of some of the Beatles most memorable songs.
John’s Bob Dylan inspired “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” was recorded on February 18th 1965 at EMI’s Studio #2. With the exception of Andy White, who played drums on the 9/11/62 recording of “Love Me Do”, EMI arranger, Johnnie Scott appeared as the first outside musician on a Beatles song.
He remembers it this way: “They told me roughly what they wanted, ¾ time, and the best way of fulfilling their needs was to play both tenor and alto flutes, the 2nd as an overdub. As I recall, all 4 of them were there and Ringo was full of marital joys as he had just returned from his honeymoon.” Ringo had married Maureen Cox on 2/11/65.
Also recorded that busy day was one of the Beatles unreleased songs, “If You’ve Got Trouble.” It was not one of John & Paul’s best compositions and it only required one take to figure that out. The take is pretty funny as you can hear Ringo pleading “Aaah, rock on…anybody” during the song’s middle eight instrumental break.
“We Can Work It Out” was released in December of 1965 and reached #1 for 3 weeks. It was written by Paul at Rembrandt, the five bedroom house he bought for his father in July of 1964 in Heswall, Cheshire.
There was a piano in the dining room where Paul often tinkered with new tunes. Here is Paul on his recollections of writing and recording “We Can Work it Out”: “I wrote it as a more up-tempo thing, country and western. I had the idea, the title, had a couple of verses and the basic idea for it, then I took it to John to finish it off and we wrote the middle together. Which is very nice. ‘Life is very short. There’s no time for fussing and fighting my friend’. Then it was George Harrison’s idea to put the middle into waltz time, like a German waltz. That came on the session; it was one of those cases of the arrangement being done on the session. The other thing that arrived on the session was we found an old harmonium hidden away in the studio, and said, “oh, this’d be a nice color on it.” We put the chords on with the harmonium as a wash, just a basic held chord. The lyrics might have been personal. It is often a good way to talk to someone or to work out your thoughts. It saves you going to the psychiatrist, you allow yourself to say what you might not say in person”.
On June 14th 1965 Paul McCartney had one of his most productive days as a Beatle. Working in EMI’s Studio #2 from 2:30 PM – 10:00 PM, with a break for dinner the Beatles and Paul recorded three of his songs, “I’ve Just Seen a Face”, “I’m Down” & “Yesterday.” This day is further illustration of the depth, scope and variety of song styles that Paul was capable of coming up with on a regular basis.
Let’s start this days’ exploration at the beginning (I like things orderly) with the first song recorded that day, “I’ve Just Seen a Face”, it took the Beatles 6 Takes to get it the way Paul wanted it and was recorded using just three acoustic guitars and maracas. It was another song composed in the Asher’s music room on 57 Wimpole Street in London. This one has become a favorite of Paul’s and he started doing it in concert in 1975
Paul on “I’ve Just Seen a Face “: “I think of this one as totally by me. It was slightly country and western from my point of view. It was faster, though, it was a strange up-tempo thing. I was quite pleased with it. The lyric works: it keeps dragging you forward, it keeps pulling you to the next line, there’s an insistent quality to it that I liked.”
The next song recorded that day (why this one, with its voice shredding vocal, was recorded before “Yesterday” I don’t understand) was also written at Jane’s house on Wimpole Street. The Little Richard inspired “I’m Down” was an instant classic that was played live at Shea Stadium and all throughout the Beatles 1965 summer tour of America.
Paul on “I’m Down”: “I could do Little Richard’s voice, which is a wild, hoarse, screaming thing it’s like an out of body experience. You have to leave your current sensibilities and go about a foot above your head to sing it. You have to actually go outside of yourself. It’s a funny little trick and when you find it, it’s very interesting. A lot of people were fans of Little Richard so I used to sing his stuff but there came a point when I wanted one of my own, so I wrote “I’m Down.”.
I’m not sure if John had any input on it, in fact I don’t think he did. But not wishing to be churlish, with most of these I’ll always credit him 10 per cent in case he fixed a word or offered a suggestion. But at least 90 per cent of that was mine. It’s really a blues song. We weren’t raised in the American South, so we don’t know about Route 66 and the levee and the stuff in all the blues songs. We know about the Cast-Iron Shore and the East Lancs Motorway but they never sounded as good to us, because we were in awe of the Americans. Even their Birmingham, Alabama sounded better than our Birmingham.
So “I’m Down” was my rock ‘n’ roll shouter. I ended up doing it at Shea Stadium. It worked very well for those kind of places, it was a good stage song, in as much as they are hard to write, I’m proud of it. Those kind of songs with hardly any kind of melody, rock ‘n’ roll songs, are much harder to write than ballads, because there’s nothing to them.”
You all know the story of Paul’s most popular song “Yesterday”, so I won’t bore you with the details of its recording…what?…Oh, Ok I can hear you all screaming…”Are you crazy of course we want to hear it.” So here is that story.
Paul woke up one morning with this tune in his head that he had dreamed. It was a beautiful melody but he was pretty sure that he had not written it just dreamed it. He asked around, starting with George Martin, to see if anyone recognized it and no one did. So, months later he started putting words to it.
In the beginning it went “Scrambled eggs oh my baby how I love your legs.” According to Paul he found the right words while on vacation with Jane Asher, in town called Albufiera on the southern coast of Spain, in late May of 1965.
“It was a long, hot, dusty drive. Jane was sleeping but I couldn’t, and when I’m sitting that long in a car I either manage to sleep or my brain starts going. I remember mulling over the tune and suddenly getting these little one-word openings to the verse. I started to develop the idea: Scram-ble-d eggs, da-da da, I knew the syllables had to match the melody, obviously: da-da da, yes-ter-day, sud-den-ly, fun-il-ly, mer-il-ly, and Yes-ter-day, that’s good. All my troubles seemed so far away. It’s easy to rhyme those ‘a’s: say, nay, today, away, play, stay, there’s a lot of rhymes and those fall in quite easily, so I gradually pieced it together from that journey. Sud-den-ly, and ‘b’ again, another easy rhyme: e, me, tree, flea, we and I had the basis of it.”
Good Golly Miss Molly…he makes it sound so easy, doesn’t he?
On June 14th Paul brought “Yesterday” into the recording studio and played it. PAUL: “I played it for George and Ringo and they said, “Lovely, nice one.” Ringo said “I don’t think I can really drum on that” George said “Well, I’m not sure I can put much on it either.” And John said “I can’t think of anything, I think you should just do it yourself. It’s very much a solo thing.”
“So I did it, just me and my guitar. Then George Martin had the idea to put the string quartet on it and I said “No, I don’t think so.” He said, “I’ve got a feeling for it. I can hear it working.” So I said, “Oh a string quartet, it’s very classical, I’m not interested really…” But he cleverly said, “Let’s try it,” and I thought that’s fair enough. If we hate it we can just take it off”.
With Paul’s guidance George Martin created the score and the rest is…well…Yesterday’s history as it became one of the most recorded and played songs in music history.