Eight Days a Week
|"Eight Days a Week"|
|Song by the Beatles from the album Beatles for Sale|
|Published||Northern Songs Ltd.|
|Released||4 December 1964|
|Recorded||6 October 1964
EMI Studios, London
PMC 1240 (mono)
PCS 3062 (stereo)
|"Eight Days a Week"|
US picture sleeve
|Single by The Beatles|
|from the album Beatles VI|
|B-side||"I Don't Want to Spoil the Party"|
|Released||15 February 1965 (US only)|
|Label||Capitol 5371 (US)|
|The Beatles US singles chronology|
"Eight Days a Week" is a song by The Beatles written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon based on McCartney's original idea. The song was issued in the United Kingdom in December 1964 on the album Beatles for Sale. In the United States, issued in February 1965 as a single with the B-side "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party", it went to No. 1 for two weeks on 13–20 March 1965. The song was also issued in June 1965 on the U.S. album Beatles VI and reissued worldwide in 2000 on the Beatles number one compilation album 1. WLS ranked the song at #8 for all of 1965.
Paul McCartney has attributed the inspiration of the song to at least two different sources. In a 1984 interview with Playboy, he credited the title to Ringo Starr, who was noted for his malapropisms, which are credited as the source of other song titles (such as "A Hard Day's Night" and "Tomorrow Never Knows"):
LINDA: Ringo also said, 'Eight days a week.'
PAUL: Yeah, he said it as though he were an overworked chauffeur. (in heavy accent) 'Eight days a week.' (laughter) When we heard it, we said, 'Really? Bing! Got it!'
However, he has also credited the title to an actual chauffeur who once drove him to Lennon's house in Weybridge:
I usually drove myself there, but the chauffeur drove me out that day and I said, 'How've you been?' – 'Oh working hard,' he said, 'working eight days a week.'
In a 2016 Q&A interview alongside Ringo Starr and Ron Howard, in preparation for the release of the documentary "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years", he reiterated that he had heard it from a chauffeur who was driving him to Lennon's house whilst he was banned from driving.
"Eight Days a Week" is the first song which the Beatles took into the studio unfinished to work on the arrangement during the session, a practice which would later become common for the band. The song was mainly recorded in two recording sessions on 6 October devoted exclusively to this song, which lasted nearly seven hours with a fifteen-minute break in between. Lennon and McCartney tried several ideas for the intro and outro of the song. The first take featured a simple acoustic guitar introduction. The second take introduced an "oo"-ing vocal that was experimented with until the sixth take, when it was abandoned in favour of the final guitar intro. The final outro (along with unused intro takes) was recorded separately on 18 October. The final version of the song incorporated another Beatles' first and pop music rarity: the song begins with a fade-in, as opposed to the common fade-out ending. The instrumentation includes acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums, bass and overdubbed handclaps. The fade-in and coda both include more guitar overdubs.
Release and acclaim
The song, along with two others from the album ("Baby's in Black" and "No Reply"), was planned as a single release. In the end, it was released as a single only in the United States on 15 February 1965, becoming a number-one hit (their seventh). Its B-side was "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party". The single release in the US was the result of DJs playing the song from imported copies of the Beatles for Sale album as an exclusive since it was not included on the album's US counterpart Beatles '65, nor was the B-side. Later, it and the B-side made a US album appearance on Beatles VI.
On the US charts, the song was the final of seven songs by the Beatles to be No. 1 in a one-year period; an all-time record. In order, these were "I Want to Hold Your Hand", "She Loves You", "Can't Buy Me Love", "Love Me Do", "A Hard Day's Night", "I Feel Fine", and "Eight Days a Week" (see List of Billboard Hot 100 chart achievements and milestones). The song was the second of six Hot 100 No. 1 chart toppers in a row (not counting the EP "4 - by the Beatles") by one act, a record at the time. The other singles were "I Feel Fine", "Ticket to Ride", "Help!", "Yesterday" and "We Can Work It Out".
- John Lennon – vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar, handclaps
- Paul McCartney – vocals, bass guitar, handclaps
- George Harrison – lead guitar, handclaps
- Ringo Starr – drums, handclaps
Paul McCartney performed the song live for the first time by any Beatle on 4 May 2013 at the Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte, Brazil and throughout his 2013–2015 Out There! Tour (but not at all shows).
The song has been covered by:
- Alma Cogan in 1965 as a double-A sided single with "Help!"
- The Supremes in 1965
- Procol Harum in 1975 on their album Procol's Ninth
- Billy Preston in 1976 on his album Billy's Bag
- The Runaways in 1978 on their album And Now... The Runaways
- Joan Jett in 1982
- The Wright Brothers in 1984 on their album Easy Street; their version peaked at No. 57 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart
- The Moody Brothers in 1988 on their album "Friends" recorded in Prague, Czechoslovakia with Jiri Brabec and Country Beat for Supraphon Records
- Lorrie Morgan in 1989 on her album Leave the Light On
- The Punkles did a punk cover of this song on their first album in 1998.
- The Libertines in 2003
- The Worthless Peons in 2004 in the Scrubs season 3 episode "My Best Friend's Wedding"
- B. E. Taylor in 2006 on his album Love Never Fails
- Debauchery did a death metal cover on their 2007 album Back in Blood (available as a bonus track)
- In 2008, country singer Kristy Lee Cook performed a bluegrass version of this song on American Idol as her selection for the first Beatles-based week.
- Ken Navarro in his 2012 album The Test of Time
Charts and certifications
- "The Beatles - Eight Days a Week". Allmusic. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "Beatles Songwriting & Recording Database: Beatles For Sale". Beatlesinterviews.org. 4 December 1964. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
- The Beatles Interview Database 1984.
- The Beatles 2000, p. 159.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 49.
- Gilliland 1969, show 29, track 2.
- Wallgren 1982, pp. 38–45.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 132.
- Sheff 2000, p. 174.
- "Ultratop.be – The Beatles – Eight Days a Week" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
- "Top RPM Singles: Issue 5710." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – The Beatles – Eight Days a Week" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
- "The Beatles – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for The Beatles. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
- Hoffmann, Frank (1983). The Cash Box Singles Charts, 1950-1981. Metuchen, NJ & London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. pp. 32–34.
- "Offizielle Deutsche Charts" (Enter "Beatles" in the search box) (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
- "American single certifications – The Beatles – Eight Days a Week". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 14 May 2016. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
- "Playboy Interview With Paul and Linda McCartney". The Beatles Interview Database. 1984. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
- The Beatles (2000). The Beatles Anthology. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 0-8118-2684-8.
- Gilliland, John (1969). "The British Are Coming! The British Are Coming!: The U.S.A. is invaded by a wave of long-haired English rockers.". Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu.
- Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions. London: Hamlyn. ISBN 0-600-61207-4.
- MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 1-84413-828-3.
- Sheff, David (2000). All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-25464-4.
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