Another Girl

Help! album artworkWritten by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 15, 16 February 1965
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Released: 6 August 1965 (UK), 13 August 1965 (US)

Paul McCartney: vocals, bass, lead guitar
John Lennon: harmony vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar
George Harrison: harmony vocals, electric rhythm guitar
Ringo Starr: drums

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Help!

Another Girl, released on the soundtrack to The Beatles’ second film Help!, was written by Paul McCartney while on holiday in Tunisia.

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The day before recording began for Help!, McCartney returned to England from Hammamet, a Tunisian resort where he was the guest of the British government. The embassy owned a secluded villa on the coast, which was discreet enough for someone as famous as a Beatle.

The villa had a bathroom decorated with Islamic tiles. McCartney composed Another Girl there, with its acoustics perfect for songwriting.

You’d be sitting there having a cup of tea when the Russian delegation would be shown through by the government. You didn’t have any control over that. ‘This is one of our cultural guests.’ ‘Hello, how are you?’
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

Although little more than a filler on the album, McCartney has rightly claimed that very few Beatles songs were so cynically recorded.

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. If anyone didn’t like one of our songs it was vetoed. It could be vetoed by one person. If Ringo said, ‘I don’t like that one,’ we wouldn’t do it, or we’d have to really persuade him.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

In the Help! film, the group performed Another Girl in the Bahamas, while standing on coral reef on Balmoral Island, near New Providence Island. In the sequence McCartney held a woman in a bikini like a guitar, pretending to play her.

Featuring unusually harsh, occasionally smug lyrics (“She’s sweeter than all the girls and I’ve met quite a few”), Another Girl may have been about McCartney’s relationship with Jane Asher. As noted in Ian MacDonald’s book Revolution In The Head, throughout their relationship McCartney kept a secret flat in London which he used for encounters with other women.

In the studio

The Beatles began recording Another Girl on 15 February 1965, the same day they also worked on Ticket To Ride and I Need You. They recorded just one take of the song, after which George Harrison taped 10 edit pieces of a guitar flourish to end the song.

The next day McCartney overdubbed a lead guitar part. Harrison’s ending, meanwhile, was dropped during the mixing stage.

8 responses on “Another Girl

  1. Michael B.

    Few folks would mistake this for one of their most cutting-edge, profound or even most musically impressive efforts, but I marvel at how these “fillers” are still SO dang catchy. What other group has throways that can immediately make you tap your feet and sing along with gusto?!

    I like Pauls’s sort of unhinged lead guitar fills. Sounds like a kid who will never get another chance to play lead, so he’s making the most of it. Especially the ending.

    I dunno, this songs is just a great guilty pleasure of mine.

  2. Bill

    One of the best songs from “Help!”, in my opinion. Actually, the guitar work was quite advanced for early 1965. Didn’t hear too many licks like this on Top 40 radio back then. This (like “I’ve Just Seen A Face”) is a song that could be worked up with a very credible C&W arrangement also. Just imagine the guitar licks being replaced by a steel guitar…

  3. Jose Rocha

    In the Beatles’s movie, “Help!” made in 1965, Paul plays a woman as if she’s a guitar during the “Another Girl” song sequence. Who is that woman?! I don’t want to be creepy or anything, I just want to know. Like, send her a postcard saying, “Good job 43 years ago!” or something.

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