Released: 3 December 1965 (UK), 6 December 1965 (US)
First recorded and left off the Help! album, Wait was exhumed during the final day’s recording for Rubber Soul, nearly five months later.
It was written while The Beatles were filming Help! in the Bahamas, and was originally intended for inclusion in the soundtrack. Paul McCartney recalled writing the song in the presence of actor and former child star Brandon de Wilde.
He was a nice guy who was fascinated by what we did. A sort of Brat Pack actor. We chatted endlessly, and I seem to remember writing Wait in front of him, and him being interested to see it being written. I think it was my song. I don’t remember John collaborating too much on it, although he could have.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
Why Wait was unused for Help! is unclear. It’s possible that it was omitted in favour of Dizzy Miss Lizzy, which had been recorded specifically for the North American market, when The Beatles decided that the Help! album required a suitably rousing finale.
When the group found themselves needing a fourteenth song for Rubber Soul, they added extra percussion, vocals and guitar to make it sound more like a late-1965 Beatles recording.
In the studio
The Beatles recorded four takes of Wait on 17 June 1965, only the last of which was complete. They recorded guitars, drums and bass, along with the lead vocals, shared by Lennon and McCartney.
On 11 November they added more vocals, plus extra guitar (played with a volume pedal), tambourine and maracas, with which it was ready for release on Rubber Soul.