Although sung by John Lennon, ‘I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party’ had been written by Lennon and Paul McCartney with Ringo Starr in mind.

Ringo had a great style and great delivery. He had a lot of fans, so we liked to write something for him on each album. ‘I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party’ is quite a nice little song, co-written by John and I. It sounds more like John than me so 80-20 to him, sitting down doing a job. Certain songs were inspirational and certain songs were work, it didn’t mean they were any less fun to write, it was just a craft, and this was a job to order really, which Ringo did a good job on.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

Despite McCartney’s recollection, Starr didn’t sing the song. Why Lennon took the lead instead is uncertain, although he later claimed the song was written from the heart.

That was a very personal one of mine. In the early days I wrote less material than Paul because he was more competent on the guitar than I. He taught me quite a lot of guitar really.
John Lennon

‘I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party’ was composed as a country and western song. Starr was an aficionado of country songs, and the song followed on from ‘I’ll Cry Instead’ as one of The Beatles’ first songs in that style.

We went after a real country and western flavour when we wrote this one. John and I do the singing in that style, and George takes a real country solo on guitar.
Paul McCartney
Disc, 14 November 1964

In the studio

The Beatles recorded ‘I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party’ on 29 September 1964. They taped in 19 takes, although just five of those were complete.

The final attempt, take 19, was the one which appeared on the Beatles For Sale album.

Previous song: ‘Every Little Thing’
Next song: ‘What You’re Doing’
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