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I Feel Fine

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“I Feel Fine”
“I Feel Fine” cover
Single by The Beatles
B-side "She's A Woman"
Released 27 November 1964(UK)
23 November 1964(US)
Format 7"
Recorded Abbey Road Studios: 18 October 1964
Genre Rock
Length 2:18
Label Parlophone (UK) R5160
Capitol (US) 5222
Writer(s) Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
The Beatles singles chronology
"A Hard Day's Night"
"I Feel Fine"
"Ticket To Ride"

This was the first time feedback was used on a record. It's right at the beginning.

—John Lennon, 1972

That's me completely. Including the guitar lick with the first feedback anywhere. I defy anybody to find a record... unless it is some old blues record from 1922... that uses feedback that way. So I claim it for the Beatles. Before Hendrix, before the Who, before anybody. The first feedback on record.

—John Lennon, 1980

John had a semi-acoustic Gibson guitar. It had a pick-up on it so it could be amplified... We were just about to walk away to listen to a take when John leaned his guitar against the amp. I can still see him doing it... and it went, 'Nnnnnnwahhhhh!" And we went, 'What's that? Voodoo!' 'No, it's feedback.' Wow, it's a great sound!' George Martin was there so we said, 'Can we have that on the record?' 'Well, I suppose we could, we could edit it on the front.' It was a found object-- an accident caused by leaning the guitar against the amp. The song itself was more John's than mine. We sat down and co-wrote it with John's original idea. John sang it, I'm on harmonies.

—Paul McCartney, 1994

I wrote 'I Feel Fine' around that riff going on in the background. I tried to get that effect into practically every song on the LP, but the others wouldn't have it. ... George and I play the same bit on guitar together — that's the bit that'll set your feet a-tapping, as the reviews say. I suppose it has a bit of a country-and-western feel about it, but then so have a lot of our songs. The middle-eight is the most tuneful part, to me, because it's a typical Beatles bit.

—John Lennon, The Beatles Anthology, p.160, 2000

I'll tell you exactly how that came about. We were crossing Scotland in the back of an Austin Princess, singing 'Matchbox' (Carl Perkins) in three-part harmony. And it turned into 'I Feel Fine.' The guitar part was from Bobby Parker's 'Watch Your Step,' just a bastardized version.

—George Harrison, Musician Magazine, March 1990, p. 34, 1990

The guitar riff was actually influenced by a record called 'Watch Your Step' by Bobby Parker.

—George Harrison, The Beatles Anthology, p.160, 2000

'Watch Your Step' is one of my favourite records. The Beatles have used the lick in various forms. The Allman Brothers used the lick straight as it was.

—John Lennon, The Beatles Anthology, p.160, 2000

I wrote this at a recording session. It was tied together around the guitar riff that opens it.

—John Lennon, 1974


2009 Remaster of "I Feel Fine" w/video montage of performance:

Listen to guitarist Bobby Parker's influential 'Watch Your Step' (1961). NOTE the drumming — virtually identical to the Beatles' song — and, of course, the similarity in the guitar riff, as John notes:

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