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Flashback: the Beatles record 'Ticket To Ride,' begin 'Help!' sessions

2/14/2014

It was 49 years ago on this weekend that the Beatles recorded their eighth U.S. Number One hit, "Ticket To Ride." The session, which took place on February 15th, 1965, was the Beatles' first for the year and the start of the Help! album, and featured a new technique for the group -- instead of recording multiple takes of each song, they began by recording a very simple basic track, and then overdubbing on top of it.

"Ticket To Ride," written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, was inspired by an early visit to the British town of Rhyde, which made the song's title a subtle in-joke within the band. The session also marked the first time that McCartney played lead guitar on a Beatles session, performing the song's galloping solo. The song's distinctive circular introduction, however, was played by George Harrison. Years later, John Lennon, who criticized the performance and sound of many of the Beatles' biggest records, was especially proud of "Ticket To Ride," and credited McCartney with suggesting to Ringo Starr the song's slightly off-the-beat drumming.

Also taped that evening at London's Abbey Road Studios were two more songs featured in the group's Help! movie: McCartney's "Another Girl," which also featured the three-guitar lineup of Lennon, Harrison and McCartney, and George Harrison's "I Need You."
"I Need You" was only Harrison's second released solo composition, and was written about his future wife Pattie Boyd.

Boyd says that Harrison often felt his material was passed over on Beatles albums to make more room for Lennon-McCartney songs: "I think he felt quite often that Paul didn't think that his songs were quite good enough for a Beatles album. Because he felt that he was being left out quite often -- song-wise. Obviously Paul and John together were terribly prolific, and if not together then individually. It was all, y'know, a question of time.”

"Ticket To Ride" was released on April 19th, 1965 and on May 22nd went on to become the Beatles' eighth Number One hit.


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