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Eight Days a Week (song)

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"Eight Days a Week"
Song by The Beatles
Album Beatles for Sale
Released 4 December 1964
Recorded 6 October 1964
EMI Studios, London
Genre Rock
Length 2:44
Label Parlophone
PMC 1240 (mono)
PCS 3062 (stereo)
CDP 7 46438 2
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
Beatles for Sale track listing
“Eight Days a Week”
“Eight Days a Week” cover
Single by The Beatles
B-side "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party"
Released 15 February 1965 (US only)
Format 7"
Recorded Abbey Road Studios: 6 October 1964
Genre Rock
Length 2:46
Label Parlophone (UK)
Capitol (US)
Writer(s) Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
The Beatles singles chronology
"I Feel Fine"
"Eight Days a Week"
"Ticket to Ride"
Both of us wrote it. I think we wrote this when we were trying to write the title song for 'Help!' because there was at one time the thought of calling the film, 'Eight Arms To Hold You.'

—John Lennon, Hit Parader interview, April, 1972

'Eight Days A Week' was a landmark recording in that it was the first time the Beatles took an unfinished idea into the studio and experimented with different ways of recording it.

Although it was to become the first pop song to feature a faded-up introduction, the session tapes reveal that this was not the original plan. Take one was played straight, no frills, on acoustic guitar. On take two John and Paul introduced a succession of beautifully harmonised "Ooohs," climbing up the scale, to precede the first guitar strum. On take three they merged the first two ideas, "Ooohs" and acoustic guitar. On take four the "Ooohs" were altered to remain on the same pitch throughout rather than climbing the register. Take five incorporated "Ooohs" at the end as well as the beginning. Take six took the shape of the released version but did not have the faded intro or outro. From then on, until the 'best', take 13, the Beatles concentrated on perfecting take six, overdubbing a double-tracked Lennon vocal, for instance. The famous faded intro was added at the remix stage and a new outro was taped as an edit piece on 18 October.

—Mark Lewisohn, The Beatles Recording Sessions, 1988

The problem with what to do about the ragged intro still remained, however, and as they were pondering what to do about it, Norman came up with the brilliant suggestion of simply fading in the song, instead of having everything come crashing in at full volume. Innovative for its time, this also aided in the record's success because it made it easy for radio disk jockeys to crossfade the start of "Eight Days A Week" with another single.

—Geoff Emerick, Here, There and Everywhere, 2006

I showed up at John's house one day. I had driven out from London and, because I had lost my licence because of a speeding offence, I was being driven out there and we were pulling up in John's drive and I was talking to the driver and asked him, 'What kind of a week have you had? Have you been working hard?' He then said to me, 'I've been working eight days a week, Paul!' After hearing that, I literally fell into John's place, thinking, 'That's good!'

—Paul McCartney, The Beatles: Off the Record by Keith Badman, 2000

I remember writing that with John, at his place in Weybridge, from something said by the chauffeur who drove me out there. John had moved out of London. to the suburbs. I usually drove myself there, but the chauffeur drove me out that day and I said, 'How've you been?' - 'Oh, working hard,' he said, 'working eight days a week.' I had never heard anyone use that expression, so when I arrived at John's house I said, 'Hey, this fella just said, "eight days a week".' John said, 'Right - "Ooh I need your love, babe..." and we wrote it. We were always quick to write. We would write on the spot. I would show up, looking for some sort of inspiration. I'd either get it there, with John, or I'd hear someone say something.

John and I were always looking for titles. Once you've got a good title, if someone says, 'What's your new song?' and you have a title that interests people, you are halfway there. Of course, the song has to be good. If you've called it 'I Am On My Way To A Party With You, Babe', they might say, 'OK...' But if you've called it 'Eight Days A Week', they say, 'Oh yes, that's good!'

—Paul McCartney, The Beatles Anthology, p. 159, 2000

Neither of us had heard that expression before so we had that chauffeur to credit for that. It was like a little blessing from the gods. I didn't have any idea for it other than the title, and we just knocked it off together, just filling in from the title. So that one came quickly.

—Paul McCartney, Many Years From Now, 1997

Linda McCartney: Ringo also said, 'Eight days a week.' Paul: Yeah, he said it as though he were an overworked chauffeur: [Heavy accent] 'Eight days a week.' When we heard it, we said, 'Really? Bing! Got it!'

—Paul McCartney, Playboy magazine interview, 1984

'Eight Days A Week' was the running title for Help! before they came up with "Help!" It was Paul's effort at getting a single for the movie. That luckily turned to "Help!" which I wrote, bam! bam!, like that and got the single. 'Eight Days A Week' was never a good song. We struggled to record it and struggled to make it into a song. It was [Paul's] initial effort, but I think we both worked on it. I'm not sure. But it was lousy anyway.

—John Lennon, The Playboy Interviews, David Scheff, 1980


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