Song of the Week – Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out, The Beatles



Today’s SotW is about the most popular songs I’ve ever posted about. The occasion is the 50th anniversary of one of my favorite singles releases evah! On December 8, 1965, The Beatles released the double A-sided single “Day Tripper”/”We Can Work It Out.”

The songs were recorded during the Rubber Soul sessions.

“Day Tripper” was written specifically to be released as a single. Recording for it occurred on October 16th and was completed that day. They rehearsed in the afternoon and then they recorded the rhythm track in three takes. Vocals were overdubbed in the evening.

The opening riff is a variation on Bobby Parker’s “Watch Your Step” (which was also the inspiration for “I Feel Fine”). The energy builds quickly as bass, a rhythm guitar and tambourine enter, capped off by a drum roll and cymbal crash. (The tambourine was used extensively on the Rubber Soul sessions.)

“We Can Work It Out” was recorded four days later on October 20th and nearly completed save for some final vocal overdubs recorded on October 29th. It is special in that it is one of a very few true Lennon/McCartney collaborations written after their very early days together.

Who wrote what is easy to discern as it plays right into the boy’s reputations – Paul’s positive, upbeat verse/chorus set against John’s cynical middle eight.

One of the things that we Beatlemaniacs love about their music is that almost every song is like a box of Cracker Jacks – it has a “surprise” inside. On “We Can Work It Out” it is the shift to waltz time in the section that bridges back to the verse. That was George’s contribution.

When the sessions began it was assumed “Day Tripper” would be the A-side. But everyone was so pleased with the way “We Can Work It Out” sounded that they changed their minds… except John. He wanted to lead with “Day Tripper” and lobbied hard for it. The compromise was to release the double A-side. Genius!!!

You’ve got to admit, they just don’t make them like this anymore.

Enjoy… until next week.

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