Hello, Goodbye

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This article is about the song. For other uses, see Hello Goodbye (disambiguation).
"Hello, Goodbye"
Cover artwork for the single, as used in the US
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"
(1967)
"Hello, Goodbye"
(1967)
"Lady Madonna"
(1968)

"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,[2] France and Norway. The song also was a number two hit in both Austria and Switzerland.[3]

Writing[edit]

Though the songwriting credit is Lennon–McCartney, it was written solely by Paul McCartney.[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. 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."[4]

Recording[edit]

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]

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.[7]

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 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[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 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.

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.[8]

Release[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.

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."[4]

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).

Reception[edit]

"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.[2] 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?"[9]

Uses[edit]

The song’s coda plays over the end titles of the Beatles’ 1967 Magical Mystery Tour film. The coda was used again on McCartney's 1990 world tour at the end of the song Put It There.

This was also covered by the cast of Glee, Jump 5, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, and Jonas Brothers.

The original song was also used in 2005-06 in a number of campaigns for Australia's largest phone company Telstra promoting 3G coverage.

This song was once used in Target commercials when they had the "Hello Goodbye" campaign.

Personnel[edit]

Personnel per The Beatles Bible were:[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ RIAA 2009.
  2. ^ a b c The Beatles Bible 2008.
  3. ^ THE BEATLES - HELLO, GOOD BYE (SONG). Accessed 29 August 2010
  4. ^ a b c Turner 1994, pp. 139–140.
  5. ^ a b Lewisohn 1988.
  6. ^ Notes on "Hello Goodbye", Alan W. Pollack
  7. ^ Miles 1998.
  8. ^ "Beatles guitar smashes auction estimates". 3 News NZ. May 20, 2013. 
  9. ^ "100 -- 'Hello, Goodbye'". 100 Greatest Beatles Songs. Rolling Stone. 

References[edit]

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