Friday, April 3, 2009

Ticket to Ride

One of the most interesting Beatles facts for "Ticket to Ride" is that John Lennon, the sole composer, believed that it was the first heavy metal song. If one stretches the imagination, it's possible to listen to the heavy lead and rhythm guitars and understand what Lennon was saying. It's as if the song was more of a precursor than the actual first heavy metal song. A better case for "the first" can be made for "Helter Skelter" from the White Album.

The song was recorded on February 15, 1965 at Abbey Road Studios and featured on both Parlophone and Capital LP releases of Help. It was released as a single in in the UK on April 9, 1965 and in the U.S. on April 14, 1965. Like the single "Help," the label on the 45 rpm of "Ticket to Ride" also said, "From the United Artists screenplay Eight Arms to Hold You, which was the working title for the film.

Lennon sang lead vocal, with McCartney adding harmony. McCartney played bass and the distinctive lead guitar line. Lennon played rhythm guitar and Starr drums. Harrison played electric guitar, although sources disagree as to his studio contribution. Harrison did play lead during live performances, such as the performance of "Ticket to Ride" on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1965, a version which was played ridiculously fast and, like the other songs on their 1965 appearance on the Sullivan show, indicate performances not nearly as clean as their 1964 appearances (with the exception of McCartney's "Yesterday"). Lennon even fumbled the lyrics for both "Help" and "I Feel Fine," although he recovered quickly.

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