Paul McCartney swears that the initial melody for "Yesterday" came to him in a dream, and for a couple of years he was convinced it was subconsciously stolen from a famous composition. After John Lennon and George Martin convinced him it was original, he struggled to come up with lyrics weighty enough to match the brilliant melody. Then, on a trip to Portugal in May of 1965 with his girlfriend Jane Asher, he finally stumbled on the single word "yesterday." The rest of the song quickly fell into place and he recorded it solo and acoustic at Abbey Road a few weeks later. George Martin added a symphony and it was on the radio less than two months later. It has since become one of the most covered songs in history.
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'She Loves You'
The Beatles had a bunch of UK hits before "She Loves You," but this is the song that went absolutely nuclear. English fans bought the 45 just as quickly as the plants could produce them in the summer of '63, even though most people in America hadn't even heard of them yet. John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the song while on tour in England in June of 1963, inspired by Bobby Rydell's call and response song "Forget Him." Within a few hours they produced something way beyond the abilities of Rydell, with an incredible hook and an overflow of raw energy. They even agreed to record it in German, and thus "Sie Liebt Dich" was born. They quickly had enough pull to avoid such moves again.
'And I Love Her'
Inspired by his girlfriend Jane Asher, Paul McCartney wrote the gorgeous ballad "And I Love Her" in February of 1964, right after they returned from their first trip to America. It took an unusually long three days to complete, but the hard work paid off. The song was a great showcase for McCartney's writing skills and it paved the way for "Yesterday" the following year.
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'I Want To Hold Your Hand'
Three months before he died, John Lennon spoke with Playboy about writing "I Want To Hold Your Hand" with Paul McCartney. "We wrote a lot of stuff together, one on one, eyeball to eyeball," he said. "Like in 'I Want to Hold Your Hand,' I remember when we got the chord that made the song. We were in Jane Asher's house, downstairs in the cellar playing on the piano at the same time. And we had, 'Oh you-u-u / got that something. . .' And Paul hits this chord [E minor] and I turn to him and say, 'That's it!' I said, 'Do that again!' In those days, we really used to absolutely write like that — both playing into each other's noses." It became the first Beatles song to break big in America, quickly reaching the top of the Hot 100 and finally giving them the excuse to cross the Atlantic. Nobody in the states had any idea these four kids from Liverpool would become the most acclaimed act of the 20th century.
"Hey Jude" 1968 - "Don't Let Me Down" 1969
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