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
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