Drive My Car
|"Drive My Car"|
Single release as the B-side to "Michelle"
|Song by the Beatles from the album Rubber Soul|
|Released||3 December 1965|
|Recorded||13 October 1965,
EMI Studios, London
|Rubber Soul track listing|
"Drive My Car" is a song primarily written by Paul McCartney, with lyrical contributions from John Lennon, and first released by the Beatles on the British version of the 1965 album Rubber Soul; it also appeared in North America on the Yesterday and Today collection. The upbeat, lighthearted "Drive My Car" was used as the opening track for both albums. Over the years the song has been covered by many artists.
The song's male narrator is told by a woman that she is going to be a famous movie star, and she offers him the opportunity to be her chauffeur, adding "and maybe I'll love you." When he objects that his "prospects are good", she retorts that "working for peanuts is all very fine/but I can show you a better time." When he agrees to her proposal, she admits that she does not have a car, "but [she's] found a driver and that's a start." According to McCartney, "'Drive my car' was an old blues euphemism for sex".
When McCartney arrived at Lennon's Weybridge home for a writing session, he had the tune in his head, but "The lyrics were disastrous, and I knew it." The chorus began, "You can buy me diamond rings", a cliche they'd used twice before in "Can't Buy Me Love" and "I Feel Fine" (As well as the discarded "If You've Got Trouble). Lennon dismissed the lyrics as "crap" and "too soft". They decided to rewrite the lyrics and after some difficulty—McCartney said it was "one of the stickiest" writing sessions—they settled on the "drive my car" theme (which Bob Spitz credits to Lennon) and the rest of the lyrics flowed easily from that.
"Drive My Car" was recorded on 13 October 1965 in the Beatles' first recording session to extend past midnight. McCartney, working closely with George Harrison, laid down the basic rhythm track, doubling similar riffing lines on bass and low guitar, as per Harrison's suggestion. Harrison had been listening to Otis Redding's "Respect" at the time and, as a result of its influence, "Drive My Car" has more bottom than any previous Beatles recording, mimicking the bass-heavy sound generated in Redding's Memphis studio.
McCartney sang the main vocal part, giving it an energetic push that journalist Richie Unterberger called "a commanding... hard rock vocal." The vocal rides above a simple two-chord funk riff in the verse, and a much more complex chorus containing piano-driven jazz-style key modulations.
- Paul McCartney – lead vocal, piano, lead guitar
- George Harrison – harmony vocal, bass guitar, rhythm guitar
- John Lennon – lead vocal, backing vocal
- Ringo Starr – drums, cowbell, tambourine
Covers and other appearances
- The McCoys covered this song on their 1966 LP "You Make Me Feel So Good".
- Junior Campbell covered this song on his 1972 LP "Second Time Around."
- Christina released a raucous version of the song as a single (also released as "Baby You Can Drive My Car") in 1980.
- Stars on 45 covered this song as part of an eight song Beatles medley in their single "Stars on 45", which went to #1 in June 1981.
- Former Spice Girls member Melanie Chisholm and Lulu sang "Drive My Car" on the TV Show "Red Alert" in 2007.
- This song was one of four that McCartney performed live on the Super Bowl XXXIX half-time show, and one of the five performed at the Live 8 Concert in London, with George Michael adding backing vocals.
- Samples from this song feature heavily in the track "Drive My Car/The Word/What You're Doing" track on the Love soundtrack album released in November 2006.
- The song was covered by the band Breakfast Club and featured in the film License to Drive.
- The song was covered in an a cappella version by Bobby McFerrin on his album Simple Pleasures.
- The Donnas covered this song on the album "The Bird Has Flown: 40th Anniversary Tribute To Rubber Soul"
- The Punkles did a punk cover of this song on their second album, Punk!.
- The song was covered by The Hot Rats and appeared on a Hugo Boss advertisement featuring Sienna Miller.
- Bret Michaels did a cover of this song with assistance from McCartney and Starr.
- The "Beep Beep Beep Beep Yeah!" portion of the song has been used by oldies and classic hits stations as the traffic update intro in recent decades.
- The Jonas Brothers played this song in the event that President Barack Obama threw to honor McCartney with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song for his contributions to popular music. Subsequently, with permission from McCartney himself, they went on to perform it as their cover song on their 2010 World Tour.
- Canadian band Thundermug covered the song in 1974, releasing it as a single from their album Ta-Daa.
- Humble Pie covered the song on its 1975 album "Street Rats"
- The song was covered by Vesyolye Rebyata on the debut EP. Lyrics has been completely redesigned for the Russian language.
- The cast of Glee covered the song in the fifth season premiere "Love Love Love" with Kevin McHale and Becca Tobin leading.
- Ames Carlin, Peter (2006). Catch a wave: the rise, fall & redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson (illustrated ed.). Rodale. ISBN 1-59486-320-2.
- Aldridge, Alan, ed. (1990). The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics. Boston: Houghton Mifflin / Seymour Lawrence. ISBN 0-395-59426-X.
- The Beatles (2000). The Beatles Anthology. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 0-8118-2684-8.
- Hamelman, Steven L. (2004). But is it Garbage?: On Rock and Trash. University of Georgia Press. ISBN 9780820325873.
- Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 0-517-57066-1.
- MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 1-84413-828-3.
- Miles, Barry (1997). Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. New York: Henry Holt & Company. ISBN 0-8050-5249-6.
- O'Grady, Terence J. (1983). The Beatles, a musical evolution. Twayne. ISBN 0-8057-9453-0.
- Spitz, Bob (2005). The Beatles: The Biography. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-80352-9.
- Unterberger, Richie (2009). "Drive My Car". Allmusic. Retrieved 15 June 2009.