The Beatles didn’t always get it right first time. When writing or recording songs, they quite often used working titles instead of the ones now familiar to millions of listeners.
These titles were often closely related to the final version. Several times, however – particularly with George Harrison’s songs – a simple ‘Untitled’ was used, and occasionally the working titles were far removed from the final version.
Here is a list, in the order in which they were used between 1963 and 1969, of the working titles used by The Beatles in the studio. The first titles listed were those noted on the studio notes and tape boxes at the time, followed by the titles as eventually used on the single and album releases.
Some of the entries – notably Scrambled Eggs, That’s A Nice Hat and Miss Daisy Hawkins – were never used in the studio, but were the names by which the songs were known during the songwriting process.
- Seventeen: I Saw Her Standing There
- Thank You Little Girl: Thank You Girl
- Get You In The End: I’ll Get You
- Auntie Jin’s Theme: I’ve Just Seen A Face
- Scrambled Eggs: Yesterday
- That’s A Nice Hat: It’s Only Love
- This Bird Has Flown: Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
- Won’t Be There With You: Think For Yourself
- Mark I: Tomorrow Never Knows
- Granny Smith: Love You To
- You Don’t Get Me: And Your Bird Can Sing
- Miss Daisy Hawkins: Eleanor Rigby
- Why Did It Die?: For No One
- Laxton’s Superb: I Want To Tell You
- I Don’t Know: I Want To Tell You
- A Good Day’s Sunshine: Good Day Sunshine
- He Said He Said: She Said She Said
- Untitled: She Said She Said
- It’s Not Too Bad: Strawberry Fields Forever
- Untitled: Penny Lane
- In The Life Of…: A Day In The Life
- Not Known: Only A Northern Song
- Untitled: Within You Without You
- Bad Finger Boogie: With A Little Help From My Friends
- Too Much: It’s All Too Much
- Aerial Tour Instrumental: Flying
- Hello Hello: Hello, Goodbye
- Untitled: The Inner Light
- Revolution: Revolution 1
- Ringo’s Tune (Untitled): Don’t Pass Me By
- This Is Some Friendly: Don’t Pass Me By
- Untitled: Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
- Untitled: Good Night
- Happiness Is A Warm Gun In Your Hand: Happiness Is A Warm Gun
- It’s Been A Long Long Long Time: Long, Long, Long
- Everyone Had A Hard Year: I’ve Got A Feeling
- All I Want Is You: Dig A Pony
- I Want You: I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
- Bathroom Window: She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
- On Our Way Home: Two Of Us
- George’s Blues (Because You’re Sweet And Lovely): For You Blue
- The Ballad Of John And Yoko (They’re Gonna Crucify Me): The Ballad Of John And Yoko
- Oh Darling (I’ll Never Do You No Harm): Oh! Darling
- Golden Slumbers: Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight
- Ending: The End
- Here Comes The Sun-King: Sun King
- The Long One/Huge Melody: the Abbey Road medley
George Martin originally wanted to use Off The Beatle Track as the title for the group’s first album Please Please Me. It was eventually used in 1964 for an instrumental album of Beatles songs by George Martin & His Orchestra.
Abracadabra was an early title for Revolver, as were Pendulums, Fat Man And Bobby, After Geography (Ringo Starr’s pun on The Rolling Stones’ Aftermath), Beatles On Safari, Magic Circle and Four Sides Of The Circle.
One Down, Six To Go was a name used during the early stages of the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. This was a reference to The Beatles’ recently-signed contract with EMI, but was dropped once Paul McCartney came up with the Sgt Pepper concept.
The Beatles (White Album) was to have been called A Doll’s House, after Henrik Ibsen’s play of the same name.
The project which eventually resulted in the Let It Be album and film was originally known as Get Back, and two albums of that name were compiled by studio engineer Glyn Johns, but were both rejected by The Beatles.
Some months later, Everest was considered as a title for Abbey Road, and The Beatles considered flying to the foothills of the Himalayas for a photo shoot, before it was noted that the zebra crossing outside the studio was nearer.
Mal Evans also noted in his diary that four other titles were considered: Four In The Bar; All Good Children Go To Heaven; Turn Ups; and Inclinations.
A Hard Day’s Night was initially known as Beatlemania, then Let’s Go!, before Ringo Starr came up with a better phrase at the end of a long day.
Similarly, the group was stuck for a title for their second feature film. It was firstly known as Beatles Production 2, followed by Eight Arms To Hold You, before The Beatles and director Richard Lester settled upon Help!.