Thursday, December 3, 2015

50 years ago: The Beatles “In My Life” released on the Rubber Soul album

In My Life

The Beatles

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

Released: December 3, 1965 (album cut)

First Charted: --

Peak: 1 CL (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 59.6 video, 195.0 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

This song “was a creative watershed in the Beatles’ songwriting and recording history.” AMG The parent album, Rubber Soul, “shows the influence that Bob Dylan was having on the Beatles. No longer were they churning out cute love songs…They started writing songs that were clearly based on the experiences of their lives. ‘In My Life’ was Lennon’s attempt to write a direct autobiography.” TC He had written the book In His Own Write and people were asking why it revealed more than his songs. SF

The lyrics were “steeped in a mix of innocent nostalgia” AMG and acceptance of the passage of time. Lennon said, “’In My Life’ started out as a bus journey from my house at 250 Menlove Avenue to town, mentioning all the places I could recall.’” TC Lennon was also inspired by people in his life including former Beatle Stu Sutcliffe, who died in 1962, as well as his friend Pete Shotton, his Aunt Mimi, and wife Cynthia. SF

Lennon claimed the tune was completely his, but musicologists have generally agreed that the song “has the other Beatles’ fingerprints all over it.” TC Paul McCartney says Lennon had the words, like a poem. Paul says he crafted the melody on a Mellotron, TC inspired by the Miracles’ “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me.” SF Producer George Martin provided the “delectable harpsichord solo, …an unusual attribute in what was supposed to be a rock & roll record.” AMG

John and Paul both said it was one of the best Beatles’ songs. George Harrison also said it was one of his favorites. SF A poll done by Mojo magazine in 2000 voted the song the best of all time. SF It has been covered by multiple artists including Boyz II Men, Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, Diana Krall, Bette Midler, and Ozzy Osbourne. SF It was also played at the funeral of Kurt Cobain from Nirvana. SF


  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for The Beatles
  • AMG All Music Guide review by Bruce Eder
  • TC Toby Creswell (2005). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time. Thunder’s Mouth Press: New York, NY. Pages 800-1.
  • SF Songfacts

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First posted 6/22/2022; last updated 7/17/2022.

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