Saturday, July 19, 2014

We Can Work It Out

"We Can Work It Out" is a McCartney composition (Lennon helped with the middle eight) that was released in December of 1965 as part of a double A-sided single with "Day Tripper."  Both songs were recorded during the Rubber Soul sessions.  It entered the Top 40 and rose to No. 1 for two weeks and dropped to No. 2 before climbing back to No. 1 for one more week.  "We Can Work It Out" was the sixth number one single in a row for the Beatles, following "I Feel Fine," "Eight Days a Week," "Ticket to Ride," "Help," and "Yesterday."

Lennon said, "Paul did the first half.  I did the middle eight.  But you've got Paul writing real optimistic, ya know, and me, real impatient."  In other words, the optimism of the verses shifts to a minor key in the middle that emphasizes philosophical struggle and reality.  The song is thought to be a reference to Paul's attitude towards his relationship with his girlfriend, Jane Asher.  It was George's impromptu idea during the session to slow the middle eight to waltz time.

The song was recorded at Abbey Road on October 20, 1965, with vocal overdubs done on October 29.  McCartney sang lead vocal, and Lennon sang harmony vocal.  McCartney played bass, Lennon acoustic guitar, Harrison tambourine, and Starr drums.

Despite the acoustic nature of the song, it was included in the Beatles' live set in 1965.  During the December 1965 tour in the UK, Lennon and McCartney shared lead vocals.

"We Can Work It Out " was covered by Deep Purple, Stevie Wonder, Petula Clark, The Four Seasons, Humble Pie, and Chaka Khan.


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