Friday, May 22, 2015

Today in Music (1965): The Beatles “Ticket to Ride” hit #1

Ticket to Ride

The Beatles

Writer(s): John Lennon, Paul McCartney (see lyrics here)

Recorded: February 15, 1965

Released: April 9, 1965

First Charted: April 15, 1965

Peak: 11 BB, 11 CB, 3 GR, 11 HR, 1 CL, 13 UK, 11 CN, 13 AU, 7 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 0.75 US, 0.9 UK, 1.75 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 81.4 video, 99.0 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

This was the eighth #1 for the Beatles in the United States and their seventh in the UK. Their first trip to the top in the UK came only two years earlier in May 1963 with “From Me to You.” In the U.S., their run was even more impressive considering their first trip to the top was with “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in early 1964. Of course, the Beatles would go on to have more American #1 songs than any other group with 20, but even if their career had stopped here they’d have cemented their place as one of history’s most successful groups.

John Lennon wrote “Ticket to Ride” based on a phrase he came up with years earlier. He talked about girls working the street in Hamburg, Germany. They had to have cards from medical authorities saying they had a clean bill of health. John called it “a ticket to ride.” TC It was reportedly one of his favorite songs. DM

The group recorded it on February 15, 1965, supposedly in two takes. “Here, they ride their roots asa bar band in Liverpool and Hamburg to a new kind of glory.” DM Lennon sang lead, offering up “his most souful vocal ever” DM with Paul McCartney and George Harrison providing backing vocals. “Harrison’s twelve-string riffs give a touch of folk rock, McCartney adds a bluesy lead guitar and Lennon a driving rhythm. The real star of the track is Ringo, whose tempestuous drum patterns really push the urgency and anger in the song.” TC

Paul is actually credited in the book The Beatles Recording Sessions with suggesting the drum pattern to Ringo. Paul also plays bass, PW his usual instrument, and serves up his first lead guitar feature on a Beatles’ single. FB Music author Paul Williams says “the most distinctive element in the recording is the lead guitar riff that opens it and threads through it.” PW


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First posted 9/19/2023.

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