In My Life
|"In My Life"|
|Song by the Beatles from the album Rubber Soul|
|Released||3 December 1965|
|Recorded||18 and 22 October 1965, EMI Studios, London|
|Rubber Soul track listing|
"In My Life" is a song by the Beatles released on the 1965 album Rubber Soul written mainly by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song originated with Lennon, and while Paul McCartney contributed to the final version, he and Lennon later disagreed over the extent of his contributions (specifically the melody). George Martin contributed the instrumental bridge. It is ranked 23rd on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" as well as fifth on their list of the Beatles' 100 Greatest Songs. The song placed second on CBC's 50 Tracks. Mojo magazine named it the best song of all time in 2000.
According to Lennon, the song's origins can be found when the English journalist Kenneth Allsop made a remark that Lennon should write songs about his childhood. Afterwards, Lennon wrote a song in the form of a long poem reminiscing on his childhood years. The original version of the lyrics was based on a bus route he used to take in Liverpool, naming various sites seen along the way, including Penny Lane and Strawberry Field. Those original lyrics are on display at The British Museum.
However, Lennon found it to be "ridiculous", calling it "the most boring sort of 'What I Did On My Holidays Bus Trip' song"; he reworked the words, replacing the specific memories with a generalised meditation on his past. "Very few lines" of the original version remained in the finished song. According to Lennon's friend and biographer Peter Shotton, the lines "Some [friends] are dead and some are living/In my life I've loved them all" referred to Stuart Sutcliffe (who died in 1962) and to Shotton.
Regarding authorship of the melody, Lennon's and McCartney's recollections differ. Referring to McCartney, Lennon said "his contribution melodically was the harmony and the middle-eight itself." McCartney claimed he set Lennon's lyrics to music from beginning to end, taking inspiration for the melody from songs by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. "I liked 'In My Life'. Those were words that John wrote, and I wrote the tune to it. That was a great one."
The song was recorded on 18 October 1965, and was complete except for the instrumental bridge. At that time, Lennon had not decided what instrument to use, but he subsequently asked George Martin to play a piano solo, suggesting "something Baroque-sounding". Martin wrote a Bach-influenced piece that he found he could not play at the song's tempo. On 22 October, the solo was recorded with the tape running at half speed, so when played back at normal pace the piano was twice as fast and an octave higher, solving the performance challenge and also giving the solo a unique timbre, reminiscent of a harpsichord.
- John Lennon – double-tracked vocal, rhythm guitar
- Paul McCartney – harmony vocal, bass
- George Harrison – harmony vocal, lead guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine, bells[A]
- George Martin – piano
- Personnel notes
- A ^ MacDonald was unsure if Starr played Bells.
- Hertsgaard 1996, p. 156.
- Rolling Stone 2010.
- "5. In My Life". 100 Greatest Beatles Songs. Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- Everett 2001, p. 319.
- Spitz 2005, p. 587.
- Sheff 2000, p. 152.
- Sheff 2000, p. 178.
- The section to which Lennon referred is unclear, as the song does not contain a recognisable middle-eight aside from a brief instrumental break (the melody for which is attributed to producer George Martin).
- Miles 1997, p. 277.
- Gambaccini 1976, p. 19.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 64.
- Spitz 2005, p. 591.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 65.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 169.
- One of the more noteworthy cover versions was one by Bette Midler in 1992, released from the soundtrack of her 1991 movie For the Boys. It peaked at #20 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in the US. This version also appeared as background music for a tribute to NASCAR on ABC at the end of the 2000 Brickyard 400 which was the final broadcast of NASCAR on ABC until 2007
- Judy Collins recorded the song as the title cut of a 1967 hit LP.
- Oliver released a version of the song on his 1969 hit album, Good Morning Starshine.
- Keith Moon covered this song in 1975 for his solo album Two Sides of the Moon
- Twiggy performed the song on her guest star appearance on The Muppet Show (1976)
- Stephen Stills covered "In My Life" on his album, Stills Alone, in 1991.
- Crosby, Stills, & Nash, the folk rock supergroup, also covered "In My Life" on their seventh studio album, After the Storm, in 1994.
- Dušan Prelević released a cover of the song on his 1996 album Ja, Prele.
- Gov't Mule recorded the song for their third studio album Life Before Insanity released in 2000.
- Johnny Cash also released a cover version which appears on American IV: The Man Comes Around released in 2002.
- Roddy Frame of Aztec Camera fame covered the song for Uncut magazine's Tribute to John Lennon CD in 2002
- Marques Houston covered the song during the series finale of the sitcom Sister, Sister.
- Bonnie Tyler recorded the track for her 2003 album Heart Strings.
- Allison Crowe released her interpretation in 2004 on Tidings.
- Ozzy Osbourne covered this song for his tribute album Under Cover in 2005.
- Jake Shimabukuro released a Ukelele interpretation on his album My Life in 2007
- Charice recorded the track for her 2009 album My Inspiration.
- Chantal Kreviazuk's cover was used as the theme song for the series Providence.
- Boyz II Men covered a version on their album Love in 2009.
- Glee Cast Undergraduates covered the version in the episode "Goodbye".
- Sean Connery recorded a version for George Martin's In My Life album.
- Bill Frisell covered this song on his album All We Are Saying in 2011.
- The Idea of North, Australian vocal group, recorded the track for its 2011 album Extraordinary Tale.
- Jim Brickman covered this song on his album Romance in 2012.
- John Levene covered this song on his 2012 album The Ballads of Sergeant Benton.
- Lulu Roman (of Hee Haw fame) covered the song on her 2013 album At Last.
- Al Di Meola covered the song on his 2013 CD All Your Life.
- Rebecca Ferguson performed the song on the ninth series of Dancing on Ice in 2014.
- Ed Sheeran performed the song on the CBS special The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles in 2014.
Matt Scannell covered the song for the end of the 2005 film Little Manhattan.
- Everett, Walter (2001). The Beatles as Musicians: The Quarrymen Through Rubber Soul. Oxford: Oxford Press. ISBN 0-19-514105-9.
- Gambaccini, Paul, ed. (1976). Paul McCartney in His Own Words. New York: Flash. ISBN 0-8256-3910-7.
- Hertsgaard, Mark (1996). A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles. New York: Delacorte Press. ISBN 0-385-31517-1.
- 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: Macmillan. ISBN 0-7493-8658-4.
- "The Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Beatles Songs". Rolling Stone. August 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
- Sheff, David (2000). All We Are Saying. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-25464-4.
- "Sold on Song: Top 100 - In My Life". BBC News. BBC - Radio 2. 2009. Retrieved 13 November 2009.
- Spitz, Bob (2005). The Beatles: The Biography. New York: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 1-84513-160-6.
- Unterberger, Richie (2009). "Overview of Keep Me in Mind". Allmusic. Retrieved 13 November 2009.