Friday, October 16, 2015

The Beatles Recorded "Day Tripper" 50 Years Ago Today

It was fifty years ago today that The Beatles recorded the song "Day Tripper" at Abbey Road Studios in London. The song was recorded in three takes and completed in one day.  The song originated out of the need to get a new single on the market for Christmas. Unlike many Beatles songs from the era, "Day Tripper" was a true collaboration between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. According to Sir Paul McCarntey, John Lennon originated the idea behind "Day Tripper". According to John Lennon, the song's famous guitar riff was inspired by the 1961 song "Watch Your Step" by Bobby Parker.

On November 23 1965 The Beatles shot promotional films for "Day Tripper", as well as the songs "We Can Work It Out", "Help!", "Ticket to Ride", and "I Feel Fine". One of the films for "Day Tripper" was a straightforward performance clip. The other was not so straightforward, featuring John and Paul behind an airplane prop and George and Ringo in a train carriage prop. Ringo drums without the benefit of a drum kit and at one point takes a saw to part of the railway carriage. By 1965 The Beatles had tired of making live appearances on television shows and often had so many demands on their time that it was impractical to do so. The promotional films would be sent to various television shows around the globe as a means of promoting their latest singles without actually having to appear live.

"Day Tripper" was released as one side of a double A-side single with "We Can Work It Out". "Day Tripper" went to no. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, but only peaked at no. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. Regardless, "Day Tripper" proved to be one of The Beatles' most memorable songs. It has been covered several times, notably by Cheap Trick on their Found All the Parts EP, Otis Redding on his album Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul, Jimi Hendrix on his album Radio One, and Type O Negative as part of a Beatles medley on their album World Coming Down.

Here is one of the promotional films The Beatles made for "Day Tripper"

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