I'll Follow the Sun
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|"I'll Follow the Sun"|
The Norwegian single, backed with "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party"
|Song by the Beatles from the album Beatles for Sale|
|Released||4 December 1964|
|Recorded||18 October 1964,
EMI Studios, London
|Genre||Folk rock, country|
|Label||EMI, Parlophone, Capitol|
"I'll Follow the Sun" is a song by the Beatles. It is a melancholy ballad written primarily and sung by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was released in 1964 on the Beatles for Sale album in the United Kingdom and on Beatles '65 in the United States, but was written long before that year: a version recorded in 1960 can be found on the bootleg record You Might As Well Call Us the Quarrymen. The song is somewhat of a cult favourite; it was released as a mono extended play 45 in 1964 on Parlophone/EMI (and in 1995 as a B-side to Baby It's You).
The song's lyrics center around a man who feels he is unappreciated by a woman. The song is believed to be him giving her an ultimatum, and that, as the lyrics state, "One day, you'll look to see I've gone." There is an unwillingness on the part of the song's narrator that adds a tenderness and tragedy to his leaving—"And now the time has come, and so, my love, I must go. And though I lose a friend, in the end you will know..."—as well as a reluctance on the man's ability to finalize the breakup, indicated by the repeated phrase "but tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun."
One reason they didn't use the song on their previous albums was because it wasn't tough enough for their leather-jacketed early image. By the time they did record it for their fourth LP, the rhythm had changed from a rockabilly shuffle to a gentle cha-cha. Ringo Starr kept the beat by smacking his palms on his knees.
McCartney said of the song, "The next [single] had to always be different. We didn't want to fall into the Supremes trap where they all sounded similar, so we were always keen on having varied instrumentation. Ringo couldn't keep changing his drum kit, but he could change his snare, tap a cardboard box or slap his knees."
- Paul McCartney – lead vocal, bass guitar, acoustic lead guitar
- John Lennon – harmony vocal, acoustic rhythm guitar
- George Harrison – electric lead guitar
- Ringo Starr – percussion
- In 1966, Chet Atkins released an instrumental cover on his album Chet Atkins Picks on the Beatles.
- The song was covered by David Ball in 1995 for the Beatles tribute album Come Together: America Salutes the Beatles.
- McCartney performed the song live during The 'US' Tour; likewise at the Paris Olympia on 22 October 2007, in Kyev for the Independence Concert on 14 June 2008, in Quebec City at the free outdoor concert on 20 July 2008 (for the city's 400th anniversary celebration), at Tel Aviv, Israel, on 25 September 2008, and in New York City on 12 May 2015 (charity concert for the Robin Hood Benefit).
- Glen Phillips (lead singer of Toad the Wet Sprocket) covered the song for the soundtrack of the 2009 Eddie Murphy film Imagine That.
- Alan W. Pollack's Notes on "I'll Follow The Sun"
- I'll Follow the Sun at AllMusic
- Sheff, David (2000). All We Are Saying. St Martin's Griffin. p. 174. ISBN 978-0312254643.
- "100 Greatest Beatles Songs: 79 - 'I'll Follow the Sun'". Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
- MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). p. 138. ISBN 1-84413-828-3.
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