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No Reply (song)

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"No Reply"
Song by The Beatles
Album Beatles for Sale
Released 4 December 1964
Recorded 30 September 1964
EMI Studios
Genre Rock
Length 2:15
Label Parlophone, Capitol
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
Beatles for Sale track listing


I remember [Beatles music publisher] Dick James coming up to me after we did this one and saying, 'You're getting better now — that was a complete story.' Apparently, before that, he thought my songs wandered off.

—John Lennon, 1972

That's my song. That's the one where Dick James the publisher said, 'That's the first complete song you've written that resolves itself,' you know, with a complete story. It was sort of my version of 'Silhouettes.' [singing] 'Silhouettes, silhouettes, silhouettes...' I had that image of walking down the street and seeing her silhouetted in the window and not answering the phone, although I never called a girl on the phone in my life. Because phones weren't part of the English child's life.

—John Lennon, The Playboy Interviews, p.147, 1980

We wrote 'No Reply' together but from a strong original idea of his. I think he pretty much had that one, but as usual, if he didn't have a third verse and the middle-eight, then he'd play it to me pretty much formed, then we would shove a bit in the middle or I'd throw in an idea.

—Paul McCartney, Many Years From Now, p.176, 1997

'No Reply' was started and completed in the same session. John's voice was beginning to wilt after the long day in the studios, so Paul was left to do the high register harmonies behind John's lead vocal. George Martin added the piano. Take five was an attempt at making the song longer, 3'17" as opposed to the final version's 2'14". Take eight was that final version, although considerable echo was applied to John's vocal at remix stage.

—Mark Lewisohn, The Beatles Recording Sessions, p.49, 1988


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