18 October 1964 was a busy day for The Beatles: a nine hour session, recording the a-side of their next single and working on another seven for the Beatles For Sale LP.
The session took place from 2.30-11.30pm. The Beatles began by recording an introduction and coda for ‘Eight Days A Week’, although the intro was never used. They recorded two edit pieces, known as takes 14 and 15.
The second song was a cover of Little Richard’s ‘Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!’, recorded in two takes. The best of these was take one, which was duly selected to appear on the album. Joining The Beatles on piano was producer George Martin.
‘I Feel Fine’ was to be The Beatles’ Christmas 1964 single, and was never intended for Beatles For Sale. The feedback introduction was present right from the first take. The Beatles recorded eight takes of the rhythm track, onto the last of which they overdubbed lead and harmony vocals.
On the record we got Ringo to tap his knees. We were thinking in terms of singles and the next one had to always be different. We didn’t want to fall into the Supremes trap where they all sounded rather similar, so to that end, we were always keen on having varied instrumentation. Ringo couldn’t keep changing his drum kit, but he could change his snare, tap a cardboard box or slap his knees.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
Carl Perkins’ ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’ and Chuck Berry’s ‘Rock And Roll Music’ were familiar from The Beatles’ Cavern Club and Hamburg days, and recording was straightforward. Both songs were recorded in a single take.
The lead vocals on the songs had a great deal of STEED (single tape echo and echo delay) applied, presumably as The Beatles had little time to double track them.
On ‘Rock And Roll Music’ there was a spare track left on the tape, so it was filled with a piano part. This featured Lennon, McCartney and George Martin all playing the Steinway grand piano in Studio Two, in an attempt to replicate the original piano part performed by Johnnie Johnson.
‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’ also received a single overdub, of tambourine and Harrison’s double-tracked lead vocals.
‘Words Of Love’ was a Buddy Holly song dating from 1957. The Beatles’ version was largely faithful to Holly’s two-part vocal and guitar arrangement. The final version was take two, with an extra take of overdubs recorded before the session’s end.
Also on this day...
- 2023: Paul McCartney live: Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide
- 2015: Ringo Starr live: Fox Theatre, Detroit, Michigan
- 2014: Ringo Starr live: Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, Jacksonville, Florida
- 2013: Paul McCartney live: Covent Garden, London
- 2010: Remastered Red and Blue albums and Harrison/Shankar Collaborations are released
- 1999: UK album release: Working Classical by Paul McCartney
- 1974: UK single release: Walking In The Park With Eloise by Paul McCartney
- 1968: Tape copying: Yer Blues, Don’t Pass Me By
- 1968: John Lennon and Yoko Ono are arrested for drugs possession
- 1967: The Beatles attend the première of How I Won The War
- 1965: Recording: If I Needed Someone, In My Life
- 1963: Television: Scene At 6.30
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1960: Live: Kaiserkeller, Hamburg
- 1958: Live: TV Star Search audition, Hippodrome, Manchester
- 1957: Paul McCartney’s debut with the Quarrymen
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.