Cover artwork for the single, as used in the US
|Single by The Beatles|
|B-side||"I Am the Walrus"|
|Released||November 24, 1967|
|Recorded||2 October – 2 November 1967
EMI Studios, London
|The Beatles singles chronology|
"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.
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. Taylor later said, "I wonder whether Paul really made up that song as he went along or whether it was running through his head already."
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. "Hello Goodbye" is in the key of C Major and in 4/4 time.
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."
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.
Two of the films feature The Beatles wearing their Sgt. Pepper uniforms with hula girls dancing in front of a psychedelic backdrop. Both feature the last time 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 cloth badge used to support the "Paul is dead" claims is nowhere to be seen on his sleeve.
The third film also has hula girls dancing about, with the Beatles in bright casual clothes of the period (except for John 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.
"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.
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."
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?"
This song was once used in Target commercials when they had the "Hello Goodbye" campaign.
Personnel per The Beatles Bible were:
- Paul McCartney – lead vocal, bass, piano, bongos, congas
- John Lennon – backing vocal, Hammond organ, acoustic guitar
- George Harrison – backing vocal, lead guitar
- Ringo Starr – backing vocal, drums, maracas, tambourine
- Kenneth Essex – viola
- Leo Birnbaum – viola
- George Martin – Producer
- Ken Scott – Engineer
- RIAA 2009.
- The Beatles Bible 2008.
- THE BEATLES - HELLO, GOOD BYE (SONG). Accessed 29 August 2010
- Turner 1994, pp. 139–140.
- Lewisohn 1988.
- Notes on "Hello Goodbye", Alan W. Pollack
- Miles 1998.
- "Beatles guitar smashes auction estimates". 3 News NZ. May 20, 2013.
- "100 -- 'Hello, Goodbye'". 100 Greatest Beatles Songs. Rolling Stone.
- Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years. Hamlyn. ISBN 0-681-03189-1.
- Miles, Barry (1998). The Beatles Diary. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-7119-6315-3.
- "RIAA Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - The Beatles Gold Singles". RIAA. 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
- Turner, Steve (1994). A Hard Day's Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song. Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-91212-3.
- Cover of published sheet music for "Hello, Goodbye" (Northern Songs)
- Cover of published sheet music for "Hello, Goodbye" (Maclen)
"Daydream Believer" by The Monkees
|Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
30 December 1967 (three weeks)
"Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)" by John Fred and His Playboy Band
"Let the Heartaches Begin" by Long John Baldry
|UK number-one single
6 December 1967 (seven weeks)
"The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde" by Georgie Fame