Eight Days a Week

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This article is about the Beatles song. For other uses, see Eight Days a Week (disambiguation).
"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
Genre Rock[1]
Length 2:44
Label Parlophone
PMC 1240 (mono)
PCS 3062 (stereo)
Writer(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer(s) George Martin
Music sample
"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)
Format 7"
Genre Rock
Label Capitol 5371 (US)
Writer(s) Lennon–McCartney
Certification Gold (RIAA)
The Beatles US singles chronology
"I Feel Fine"
(1964)
"Eight Days a Week"
(1965)
"Ticket to Ride"
(1965)

"Eight Days a Week" is a song by The Beatles written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon based on McCartney's original idea,[2] 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.

Inspiration[edit]

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!'[3]

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.'[4]

Recording[edit]

"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.[5] 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.[5] 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.[5] The final outro (along with unused intro takes) was recorded separately on 18 October.[5] 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[edit]

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).[6] 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".[7]

Personnel[edit]

Personnel per Ian MacDonald[9]

Live performances[edit]

Although it was a huge American hit, the group did not think highly of the song (Lennon called it "lousy"[10]) and they never performed it live or at any of their radio sessions for the BBC.

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).

Cover versions[edit]

The song has been covered by:

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The Beatles - Eight Days a Week". Allmusic. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Beatles Songwriting & Recording Database: Beatles For Sale". Beatlesinterviews.org. 4 December 1964. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  3. ^ The Beatles Interview Database 1984.
  4. ^ The Beatles 2000, p. 159.
  5. ^ a b c d Lewisohn 1988, p. 49.
  6. ^ Gilliland 1969, show 29, track 2.
  7. ^ Wallgren 1982, pp. 38–45.
  8. ^ The Beatles 10 Years that Shook the World book incorrectly credits Paul McCartney as lead singer
  9. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 132.
  10. ^ Sheff 2000, p. 174.
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Beatles – Eight Days a Week" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 5710." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Beatles – Eight Days a Week" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  14. ^ "The Beatles – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for The Beatles. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  15. ^ Hoffmann, Frank (1983). The Cash Box Singles Charts, 1950-1981. Metuchen, NJ & London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. pp. 32–34. 
  16. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts" (Enter "Beatles" in the search box) (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 16 May 2016. 
  17. ^ "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

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]


Preceded by
"My Girl" by The Temptations
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
13 March 1965
(two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Stop! In the Name of Love" by The Supremes
Preceded by
"Yeh Yeh" by Georgie Fame
RPM number-one single
8 March 1965
(two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Shakin' All Over" by The Guess Who?