Hello, Goodbye

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the song. For other uses, see Hello Goodbye (disambiguation).
"Hello, Goodbye"
US single sleeve
Single by The Beatles
B-side "I Am the Walrus"
Released 24 November 1967
Format 7"
Recorded 2 October – 2 November 1967
EMI Studios, London
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:27
Label Parlophone (UK)
Capitol (US)
Writer(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer(s) George Martin
Certification Gold (RIAA)[1]
The Beatles singles chronology
"All You Need Is Love"
"Hello, Goodbye"
"Lady Madonna"
Alternative cover
German sleeve

"Hello, Goodbye" is a song by the Beatles. The song was released as a single in November 1967, and topped the charts in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Norway. The song also was a number two hit in both Austria and Switzerland.[2]


Though the songwriting credit is Lennon–McCartney, it was written solely by Paul McCartney.[3] With the release of the song, McCartney gave an explanation of its meaning in an interview with Disc: "The answer to everything is simple. It's a song about everything and nothing. If you have black you have to have white. That's the amazing thing about life."[3] McCartney said of the song's writing process, "It's such a deep theme in the universe, duality–man woman, black white, ebony ivory, high low, right wrong, up down, hello goodbye–that it was a very easy song to write."[4]

Alistair Taylor, who worked for the Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein, had asked McCartney how he wrote his songs, and McCartney took him into his dining room to give him a demonstration on his harmonium. He asked Taylor to shout the opposite of whatever he sang as he played the instrument—black and white, yes and no, stop and go, hello and goodbye. Starr later said, "I was the one who eventually stepped up and told Paul to go with 'Hello, Goodbye' instead of 'Aloha, Aloha'...the whole thing was just absurd and ridiculous."[3]


Under the working title "Hello Hello", the Beatles recorded the backing track on 2 October 1967, and added vocals and a guitar overdub on the 19th. After further overdubs of bass guitar and viola, recording was completed on 2 November, and mixing on the 6th.[5] "Hello Goodbye" is in the key of C Major and in 4/4 time.[6]

The song features a coda which came spontaneously in the studio. Of this, McCartney said "I remember the end bit where there's the pause and it goes 'Heba, heba hello'. We had those words and we had this whole thing recorded but it didn't sound quite right, and I remember asking Geoff Emerick if we could really whack up the echo on the tom-toms. And we put this echo full up on the tom-toms and it just came alive."[5]

Release and reception[edit]

"Hello, Goodbye" was released as a single on 24 November 1967. In the US, the song was also included on the Magical Mystery Tour album released three days later, but the song was not made available in the UK on an album (or in stereo) until the release of the 1973 compilation album 1967–1970.

In the US, Capitol Records omitted the comma in the song’s title in the packaging of the single (as did some of EMI’s partners in other countries), and also the Magical Mystery Tour LP (which was subsequently adopted for the CD release of this album).

"Hello, Goodbye" topped the charts in the United States, becoming the band's 15th #1 there. It also topped the charts in Britain where it spent seven weeks at number one, and was the Christmas number one for 1967. John Lennon was not impressed with the popularity of the song, saying incredulously, "'I Am the Walrus' was the B side to 'Hello, Goodbye'! Can you believe it?"[7]

Promotional films[edit]

Three promotional films were made for the song; directed by McCartney, they were filmed on 10 November 1967 at the Saville Theatre in London. The films were not aired by the BBC due to the Musicians Union's strict rules on miming; with no such restriction in the US, one of the films was screened on The Ed Sullivan Show on 26 November.[8]

Two of the films feature The Beatles wearing their Sgt. Pepper uniforms with hula dancers, from the Fox Miller Dancers, dancing in front of a psychedelic backdrop. Both feature the last times they wore their 1963 grey Merseybeat suits, and one of the films is intercut with them dancing the Twist. Of passing interest is that the infamous black OPD (See Paul is dead)[further explanation needed] cloth badge used to support the "Paul is dead" claims is nowhere to be seen on his sleeve.

The third film also has hula dancers dancing about, with the Beatles in bright casual clothes of the period (except for Lennon who is in a black and white suit). The background is of a vibrant rural scene. All three videos show a clean shaven Lennon without his granny glasses.

In May 2013, the Vox guitar played in the video by John Lennon on the Magical Mystery Tour album sold at auction for US$408,000 in New York.[9]

A fourth promoclip for the song, credited to "Top of the Pops 1967", appeared as a bonus feature on the 2012 DVD release of a digitally restored version of the telefilm Magical Mystery Tour. It is all in black-and-white and features all four Beatles as well as their then-girlfriends at an editing table in an editing room, handling film reels and editing a film referencing the song's lyrics by utilizing simple in-camera editing techniques to make people seen in a field "magically" appear and disappear.



Personnel on "Hello, Goodbye" included:[4]



  1. ^ RIAA 2009.
  2. ^ THE BEATLES - HELLO, GOOD BYE (SONG). Accessed 29 August 2010
  3. ^ a b c Turner 1994, pp. 139–140.
  4. ^ a b c Gusedon & Margotin 2013, pp. 440.
  5. ^ a b Lewisohn 1988.
  6. ^ Notes on "Hello Goodbye", Alan W. Pollack
  7. ^ "100 -- 'Hello, Goodbye'". 100 Greatest Beatles Songs. Rolling Stone. 
  8. ^ Miles 1998.
  9. ^ "Beatles guitar smashes auction estimates". 3 News NZ. May 20, 2013. 
  10. ^ Gusedon & Margotin 2013, pp. 441.


External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Daydream Believer" by The Monkees
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
30 December 1967 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
"Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)" by John Fred and His Playboy Band
Preceded by
"Let the Heartaches Begin" by Long John Baldry
UK number-one single
6 December 1967 (seven weeks)
Succeeded by
"The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde" by Georgie Fame