Paperback Writer

Album: Yesterday... And Today (1966)
Charted: 1 1
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  • Paul McCartney wrote this after helping some friends, including John Dunbar, set up the Indica Bookshop (in the basement was the Indica Gallery, where John Lennon eventually met Yoko Ono), in January of 1966. Paul was the first customer of the shop.
  • This song was a sort of an homage to lots of authors, including John Lennon, who had already written two books: In His Own Write and A Spaniard In The Works. He also was thinking of the author Martin Amis, whom he had just developed a passion for. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Megan - Albany, NY
  • The song is sung from the perspective of an author soliciting a publisher. A "paperback" is cheaper than a traditional hardcover book, and at the time was considered of lower quality and written for mass consumption. The implication is that the writer isn't all that good.
  • The first #1 hit for The Beatles that was not about love.
  • John Lennon and George Harrison sang the French nursery rhyme "Frére Jacques" in the background. The Frére Jacques part has nothing to do with John Lennon - Paul just thought it was clever - but it does translate to "Brother John."
  • The B-side to this single was John Lennon's "Rain." Paul and John would always compete for the A-side of The Beatles singles. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Todd Van Luling - Herndon, VA
  • Lennon claimed this was "the brother of Day Tripper," meaning the song was based on a "dirty" sounding guitar lick. The Beatles released "Day Tripper" the previous year. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Chet - Saratoga Springs, NY
  • McCartney's bass was boosted by using a loudspeaker as its microphone and positioning it in front of the bass speaker. There was some concern that the heavy bass line would make record players skip.
  • The ad for the single in England used the "butcher cover," showing The Beatles holding parts of bloody dolls. It caused a stir in America when it was used for the Yesterday and Today album, which Columbia Records pulled from stores soon after release and is now a collector's item. If you own an early copy of Yesterday... And Today with the non-controversial cover, you might have something valuable with a little trick: according to Bill Cody, who worked at the Harmony Record Shop in Colorado, the new covers were put over the originals, and it is possible to steam them off to reveal the butcher covers. At Harmony Records, this is what they did with their shipment, allowing them to sell the albums for $5.99 instead of the original $2.99.
  • This was a song that led the transition from early Beatles style to later Beatles style, from love songs to opening up the subject of songs to a wider variety of subjects. Paul's Aunt had been bugging him for months, challenging him to "Write a song that wasn't about love." So he wrote this just to shut her up. He said: "We always try to do something different. And this idea's a bit different. Years ago my Auntie Lil said to me, 'Why can't you ever write about a horse or the summit conference or something interesting? So I thought, 'All right, Auntie Lil. I'll show you." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, WA. U.S.A
  • Ringo's bass drum was emphasized on this track. A microphone was placed an inch away to make it boom.
  • On the Beatles' lone appearance on BBC's long-running music show Top Of The Pops, they performed this song with George Harrison mysteriously miming to "Frére Jacques."
  • The single's picture sleeve showed both Lennon and Harrison playing left-handed as Capitol's art department mistakenly reversed their photos.
  • This claimed the top spot in the US for two non-consecutive weeks; it was interrupted for one week by Frank Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night."
  • By this time, The Beatles were about to cease touring and couldn't make many TV appearances to perform the song. This made it very difficult to promote the single, so they commissioned a film clip that could be shown on these programs in their stead, unwittingly creating one of the first music videos.

    The clip was shot at Chiswick House in London, which is famous for its lavish gardens. The setting made an interesting backdrop, but the focus was on the band, with the guys getting lots of close-ups and appearing in various cool poses. A video for the flip side of the single, "Rain," was shot at the same time.

    The clip first aired in the US, appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show on June 5, 1966. Black-and-white versions later aired in the UK on Thank Your Lucky Stars and Ready, Steady, Go!
  • The video was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who worked on various UK television shows, including Ready, Steady,Go!, where he fell in with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. He became arguably the first music video director when these bands hired him to make promotional films; after doing "Paperback Writer," he also did "Hey Jude" and "Revolution," as well as several productions for The Stones, including their Rock and Roll Circus special.

    As revealed in the Beatles 1+ reissue, Lindsay-Hogg pitched a conceptual video for "Paperback Writer" envisioning Paul McCartney as an aspiring novelist. The band's manager, Brian Epstein, killed the idea, becoming perhaps the first band manager to quash a clever concept video in favor of just showing the band performing the song in an exotic location.
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Comments: 89

  • Jennifur Sun from Ramonathat is interesting about the mike and the Bass guitar. It is my understanding that PW and Rain were the first songs Paul used his now Rick bass. always thought that was why it sounded so heavy and unusual.
  • Pete from San Antonio, TexasSir Paul McCartney is currently on tour and Paperback Writer is on set list. He reveals to his audiences before he plays the song that is was HE who played the raunchy, driving guitar lead on Paperback Writer. He even uses the exact guitar in concert that he used in the studio, which is an Epiphone Casino. The PW session photos show him playing the Epi. Thus ends decades of speculation about who the lead guitarist was in this song. No word as to what George's role was.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 11th 1966, the Beatles arrived at Chicago's O'Hare Airport to start their 3rd and last tour of the U.S.A.Surprisingly, on that very day they had only one record, "Paperback Writer", on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, it was at #37, eight weeks earlier on June 19th it peaked at #1 {for 2 non-consecutive weeks}...But three days after their arrival in American "Yellow Submarine" entered the Top 100 at position #52, and on that day, August 14th, 1966, the ‘Fab Four’ were performing at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio...R.I.P. John and George.
  • Emily from St Louis, MoI would bet that Paul wrote this about John. Poor Cyn was just a safety net and the son who works for the dailymail is Julian being a great PR subject matter for the DailyMail to write stories about. PR and real life.
  • Johan from Stockholm, SwedenThe critic George Melly wrote 1970: Throughout 1965, I found their singles releases less and less interesting, for me, Paperback Writer was a poor thing, a falling off.
    I agree with George Melly absolutely. McCartney cannot - opposed to Lennon- maintain an excited feeling. McCartney starts this song by - inspired by Lennon - hammering on the same note. But when he comes to ...paperback
    writer... the melody suddenly sinks to a lower level, and the excitement is away.
  • Carl from Apg, MdOn April 22, 2012, I am seeing a reference to Yesterday and Today album at top of this page. That song was NOT on that album, nor was it on Revolver.
  • Eric from Coral Gables, FlIt's unlikely that this song was inspired by a passion for the works of Martin Amis since that fine writer's first novel wasn't published until 1973. His father Kingsley, maybe?
  • Akina from Dhaka, BangladeshI have no idea why I love this song so so much!!! Been listening to it non-stop for the past 3 hours!
  • Sydney from Dallas, TxI've read many things about this song, and I can never decide what exactly to go by. But on another note, I really love this song, becase I am indeed a Paperback Writer.
    Acutally, I'm a paperback journal writer......
  • Carl from Apg, Md"This was the last Beatles song recorded to feature on their tour." -- besides changing "there" to "their" as I just did, let me explain that it was the NEWEST Beatles song to be done on that touring which ended in 1966. It was done in the sessions which also produced the songs on "Revolver", and by the way some people were disappointed that the Beatles did not perform any songs from "Revolver" during their touring.

    Interesting point about the moustaches.
  • Mary from Chandler, AzIt's funny that he wrote a song called "Silly Love Songs" later on. I think Auntie Lil was right. :)
  • Myla from San Diego, CaSo it was noted that Paul and John would always compete for the A sides of singles...does anyone know who determined what went on the A side for the Beatles? Did they flip a coin, or did George Martin the producer get the final say, or did the group members get to vote on it, or was it the record company executives who got the final say? It's just fascinating how two incredible writers really relished competing each other because in the end, they brought out the best in each other. Personally they should have put Rain on another A side single to give it the recognition it really deserved.
  • George from Belleville, NjWhat a song,what a concept,what an idea,what greatness.This is a powerful example of pop rock song writing.Paul could write about anything and write top quality songs,which is the main thing,the quality of a song,and this song has it.
  • Ben from Toronto, OnLISTEN TO 'Last Train to Clarksville' by the Monkees after listening to this song and tell me it isn't crafted based on the Beatle song.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 25th, 1966 "Paperback Writer" moved into the #1 spot for one week, then "Strangers in the Night" by Frank Sinatra bumped it out for one week. But "Paperback Writer" reclaimed the top spot for another week!!!
  • Brian from Boston, MaI had made made comments on daytripper and paperback writer and I had confused the two sorry. Paperback writer has the promotional film and it is the song on guitar I encourage players to learn. Both of these songs have a great riff One again I apoligize to the readers of these comments for the confusion.
  • Brian from Boston, MaAlso in the promotional film George Harrison plays a Gibson SG I might be wrong but I think this is the first time we as fans have seen him play this guitar.Prior he had been known for Gretchs and rickenbackers. This Gibson SG gives a somewhat heavier sound. Althoug I wouldn't call this hard rock. The guitar itself is hard and heavy and yet the harmonizing vocals give it more mellow tone a truly breakthru song for the Beatles
  • Brian from Boston, MaI recently learned to play Daytripper on guitar. To those who might be just learning guitar or only know a few chords I encourage you to learn this.What is great about this song is that it has such balls. It is not a difficult song to learn it sounds more complex then it is. It does take some practice like anything else but it is pretty basic.I am not exactly sure off the top of my head what album the Beatles were working on when they released this single [because I think it was released as a single and not an album cut but I could be wrong] But I think this was around 65 or so.Around the time of Rubber Soul and then of course followed by Revolver in 66. Just from a fan of guitar this was a great period for the Beatles some really great riffs. If you listen to any of the Monkeys music songs like day tripper and paperback writer were practically the blue print for some of their most popular songs [pleasant valley sunday, Last train to clarksville, I'm a believer.] all have a "Beatles" like riff in them from this period Great stuff. I also think that it is no coinsedence that around this time marijuna use among them was heavy and very influential on their sound.Great stuff
  • John from Grand Island, NySorry Tyler from Grand Rapids, MI...Paul did NOT play drums on Paperback Writer, Ringo did...look it up.
  • Kennedy from Newport, WaI love this song, cause it totally describes me! A paperback writer :]
  • John from Milwaukee, WiRingo Starr played the drums and tambourine on Paperback Writer. Paul was lead vocalist and played bass on Rickenbacker guitar. John played rhythm guitar and back up vocal. The single was released on A side with "Rain" on B. The single went to the number one spot in the United States, United Kingdom, West Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Norway. It stayed at No. 1 on the United States Billboard Hot 100 spot for two weeks after it was released in the U.S. on May 30, 1966.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyIn the summer of 1966 I was in the US Navy stationed in Norfolk, VA. The Beatles were in concert on 8-16-1966 in Washington, DC; a Norfolk AM station {WGH} was sponsoring a bus to the concert. The cost for both the bus trip & a ticket to the concert was $10, but for a sailor like me that was a lot of money, so a passed on it, OH, OH, OH how foolish I was!!!!
  • Daevid from Glendale, CaI agree, the guitar riff really makes the song.
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Moi absolutely love this song! the message is simple- a guy who wants to write. and the lyrics are amazing! for our english class, we have to write a narrative a month, which, of course, makes us low on ideas. once, my friend and i were trying to come up with an idea for her to write about. she said "fine, ill guess ill write about AIDS." then, this song came on. i told her "no, write about a paperback writer!" so she wrote a story based around this song. (the main character's name is 'richard'. hmm, i wonder who that is?)
  • Jason from Marion, Inthere really is no secret deep meaning to this song. this song was written while all the beatles were getting along, and paul wrote this song about john, making fun of him for trying to write books. the lowest form of novels are paperbacks. the line about how he has a steady job is basically saying 'wow john you are in the biggest band right now (best band imo) and all u want to do is write paperback books. it was all in good fun. there is no secret meaning of what its like to be a writer, or any rubbish some people are trying to make it out to be. its just a great song, that is funny
  • Olivia from Chicago, IlI've listened to this song a couple times it never occured to me until just recently that it might be about JOhn lennon, and i love that fact at the bottom by nicole. very cool
  • Tim from Reston, VaJohn and George both play hollow body Gibsons on this song. A good friend and Beatle fan has played me an original mono single pressing and that is the way to hear this song because it gives the guitars justice. In my opinion, there has never been a satisfactory stereo version to the song, even on the "1" CD. It is really a heavy song when you hear it in mono.
  • Tyler from Grand Rapids, MiRingo didn't play drums on the recording...Paul did.
  • Brad from Flint, MiJameson from Lexington, KY:
    I, too, found the butcher album in Flint, MI about 28 yrs. ago in a vintage record store with a $50.00 price marked on it. That was the best $50.00 I ever invested in my life (still own it). As far as details on value, you're better off 'google-ing' (or similar) the info. There were many variations of the album - each demanding various prices today, whether it was the original butcher cover/stereo pressing-still sealed, etc., down to the 'paste over' cover/mono pressing (more commmon, which is what I have), how good someone peeled off the 'trunk cover', etc. Last I heard, my version was worth around $1200.00 - I really don't know - nor do I care to sell it. Good luck on your research. B. Norman
  • Brad from Flint, MiThe promotional film clip for this song (and the one for "Rain") both show Paul's chipped tooth. They filmed this in the spring of '66, which proves he went for months without having the tooth capped (he finally did have it capped for the '66 summer tour). These promo clips also show the big scar on his upper lip above the broken tooth - all caused by his moped accident he had December 26, 1965, in which he fell face-first onto the pavement, busting the tooth and driving it through his upper lip. Paul claims he went to a cousin of his who was a nurse at that time and the first stitch she put in wouldn't hold. I guess he was a bloody mess when she first saw him and she freaked. The butcher album photo session showed this also, although the final picture was airbrushed to hide the chipped tooth. Paul said the scar bothered him for a while and was the reason he decided to grow a mustache after they quit touring. Since they all did things together, the rest eventually grew mustaches for Sgt. Pepper (including the promo for Strawberry Fields / Penny Lane, which were intended for 'Pepper'), with John being the last to grow one (he didn't have one yet when he did a guest appearance on "Not Only, But Also" in November '66).
  • Dave from Liverpool, United KingdomI'm sat in my office which is two minute's walk away from the Cavern. Nice to see so many of you Americans appreciate what Liverpool has given to the world...
  • Eric from Buffalo, NyThis song is awesome on so many levels. It may be my favorite Beatles song. It contains nearly everything that makes the Beatles great. Interesting lyrics, great vocal harmonizing, driving drums from Ringo, edgy guitar, studio effects with the echo, and perhaps Paul's best bass on any Beatles song. This song makes me want to be a bass player!
  • Guy from Birmingham, AlI'm 52, and wasn't close to 15 when this song came out. But th big contrversy then was not whether it was about drugs, but whether it was antichristian or not. As one of my dear frinds said, "You can love Jesus or you can love the Beatles, not both!" Fine by me, the Beatles had the best song list, ROFL!
  • Tina from Norcross, GaIf you listen very closely, you will hear the Beatles singing "Fere Jacques" in the background as counterpoint.
  • Jason from State Of Fitz, NjI always thought this song is about john. He had written his two books, I think this was a kind of sarcastic reply to John.
  • Danny from Dimondale, MiIn the US, Paperback Writer was released as a single b/w Rain and NEVER appeared on the "Yesterday"... and Today LP. In the UK it appears on A Collection of Beatles Oldies. The song shows up again later near the end of the Beatles' career in the US on Hey Jude (The Beatles Again) LP. It can be found on many compilation CDs including Past Masters, Vol. 2. to name just one.
  • Danny from Voorhees, Njim 13, beatles rule, this song is not about drugs, help is probably about love, or a prostitute, a very low percentage of beatles songs are about drugs, dont argue or analyze it, its a great song. beatles are the greatest.
  • Simon from Chattanooga , Tnexcellent guitar work. i listen to this song over and over again. not only is George flaring on the guitar, but Paul backs it up with a standup bassline.
    -Simon,Chattanooga,TN
  • Jim from Indio, CaIf you listen to this song on headphones, you can hear one of the background vocalists sniff just before the vocals come back in.
  • Krista from Elyria, OhTell me about it, Stephen! This song is so prettyful! When my Girl Scout troop was having a singign contest, I sang Paperback Writer, and I won
  • Stephen from Claymont , DeI dont know how you guys think help is about drugs
  • Mark from San Pedro, CaHere are a few clarifications: The "man named Lear" refers to British writer Edward Lear, who wrote nonsense poems and stories during the Victorian era. Great favorite of John's. You can read about him in Wikipedia, then click on the links to read his poems. John had two books published in the mid-60's, at the height of the Beatle's fame: "In His Own Write" and "A Spaniard in the Works," featuring poems, funny stories, and drawings. So, John was actually a "Paperback Writer" himself!

    Mark
    San Pedro
  • Andrew from Indianapolis, InGod i could listen to that riff all day
  • Sam from Montreal, CanadaI don't know if it's true. The Strangers (an Australian band from the 60's) supposely wrote and perform this song in 1965, which is one year before the single Paperback Writer/Rain from the Beatles. See it yourself on Youtube.com
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_iUn1JyYD8&NR)
  • Steve from Spokane, WaFor Jameson, a bit more on the ?Yesterday? butcher cover. The cover was an idea by Paul, who was single and into the arts that was happening in London, living in a very trendy neighborhood. He (and the boys) were tired of the standard old smiling mop top image the record companies were promoting. The US cover showed up on DEMO copies sent to various radio stations only, but Capital ended up printing a bunch, discovered their mistake, and quickly recalled all they could find. The covers already printed ended with a sticker of the released cover (smiling mop tops, of course) and became a huge collector?s item. I think that original cover (a few still out there) is probably the most expensive bit of Beatle trivia there is.
    To Ken and Patrick, I always heard the line as ?it?s based on a novel about a man named Leer.? Leer, of course was a King who some guy named Willie wrote a play about.
  • Chris from Williams, AustraliaThis was the last Beatles song recorded to feature on there tour. It was a crowd favorite and a favorite of mine. A wonderful song and McCartney's bass, Starr's drumming and John and George's Guitars take the song to a whole new level of recording. The vocals are stunning too, with them hitting quite high notes, especially McCartney. These guys can do anything.
  • Sal from Bardonia , NyA great sound in this record with it's very dirty distorted guitar, capella vocals, bass boosted by a loudspeaker, echoing vocals at the end of each verse and some wierd guitar effects at the end of the song a great power pop song.
    Sal, Bardonia, NY
  • Andi from Scarborough, Englandi watched celebrity big brother last year and jimmy saville came in the house to give jimmll fix it badges.he was telling them all and also the nation that his claim to fame is about jimmy reading a paperback book back stage at the bbc.john turned to paul and said wat shall we right a song about next...and paul had said lets write one about that book jimmy is reading?now then now then is this true??
  • Patrick from Des Moines, IaWas Leer a real writer because "leer" in spanish means "to read"
    just thought I'd throw that out there
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScCool song! This and "Rain" have a very similar sound. I like this song and it's arrangement.
  • Lee from Clearwater, FlI enjoyed the song, and felt it had nothing to do with drugs. George's guitar was great, very George
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoPaperback porn books were big business in the sixties. Ed Wood, Jr., the famous director of bad movies, made his living writing them. I think this song may reflect the desperation The Beatles felt in their early days when they were hoping to catch a break and get signed.
  • Seth from Hebron, KyThis song is about a man who wirtes porn books. "It's a dirty story of a dirty man and his clinging wife doesn't understand." Most of you will disagree but that's what paperback books are. (I know it also means a cover of a book is paperack but that's not what it's about.)
  • Zack from South Lyon, MiSorry to state the obvious but, the Beatles are great
  • Andy from Leeds, EnglandJimmy Saville said Paul wrote Paperback Writer after seeing someone reading a book whilst he was having a shave...Is this true?
  • Patrick from Des Moines, IaIf you listen you can hear a pencil scratching in the background
  • Riley from Naval Reserve, ScI LOVE The Beatles, like probably the rest of the crowd here, and I agree with some of the others, HELP is not about drugs! Paperback Writer is a good song, I enjoy the harmonizing, and it is kind of funny how a song about a novelist trying to get his book published is so popular. I guess that is just The Beatles for ya. I am 14.
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnI really liked this Beatles hit which was one of the few non love songs recorded. It may be the only song where the British newspaper The Daily Mail is referred to. Also memorable is Frere Jacques in the background.
  • John from Woburn, MaOnly the Beatles could make a song about an aspiring novelist into a great rock hit.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyCapitol was afraid that the U.S. audience wouldn't "get" British references "Daily Mail" and "based on a novel by a man named Lear". But Brian Epstein and George Martin conviced Capitol that by then the Beatles were so popular that the U.S. audience woudn't even notice. They were right.
  • Mary from Londoni love this song. its great and you CANT hate the Beatles. They are so AMAZZZZZZZZZING!
  • Josef from Corpus Christi, TxThis song was about writing on a trip...
  • George from Itaberaba, BrazilThe promotional film for this song great song is amazing too
  • AnonymousI like the relavency of this song, and the questions it presents. What is my dream job? How far am I willing to go to succeed? The guy in this song is willing to compromise his rights as an artist, if it will help him become a "paperback writer". (Which raises more interesting questions. What are the artist's rights in society? What are the publishing/recording companies' rights over the artist? Does creating art for the purpose of selling it demean its value? Or is it just as good as art created for art's sake?)
    I want to know what others think about these questions, too.
  • Luna from London, EnglandNot EVERY Beatles song is about drugs! Trust me! I know EVERYTHING about them and their songs!
  • George from Itaberaba, BrazilPaperback writer is a great song, and all it's bass and drums... I loved this song at the first time I heard it. It's one of Paul's songs for letters and books, like "All my loving" and "P.S. I Love you". "HELP!" is not about love or marijuana, it's just a great song that John wrote in a bad moment. I'm fifteen years old
  • Tom from Freiburg, GermanyIt's the first song that features Paul on his newly acquired Rickenbacker 4001 bass. The engineer, who was told by McCartney into performing the above mentioned speaker-as-a-microphone trick, received an offical deprecation from the head at EMI for "mismatching impedances". Go figure.
  • Tom from Freiburg, GermanyIt's the first song that features Paul on his newly acquired Rickenbacker 4001 bass. The engineer, who was told by McCartney into performing the above mentioned speaker-as-a-micorphone trick, received an offical deprecation from the head at EMI for "mismatching impedances". Go figure.
  • Mandy from Calgary, CanadaExcuse me- Help! is NOT about Marijuana... and if you think it is- there must be something wrong with you. Look, of course there are SOME Beatles songs that MAY be linked to drugs- but I am sick and tired of all these people who try to link EVERY single song of their's to drugs. Look, the Beatles wrote good songs- and they werent about drugs, okay?
  • Tim from Dalton, Ma"Are you trying to tell me that the #1 song "Help!" is about love? I tend to disagree.
    - don, rapid city, SD"

    I agree with Don, "Help!" is about marijuana, man
  • Jameson from Lexington, Ky In reference to the bit of trivia above, I've seen the "butcher cover" at a vintage record store (which, sadly, is no longer with us) here in Lexington, KY. I have to admit, that thing was f---ing creepy. I remember that, when released in the US, the _Yesterday and Today_ album essentially had a large decal placed on the cover to hide the offending original cover. Any older folk who read this have more info? Thanks...
  • Tony from St Louis, Moi am 15
  • Laura from Santa Fe, NmYay!! Everyone at school thinks I'm a nerd/geek because I like the beatles. And I like reading. And I'm a Harry Potter junkie. I have a band and most of what we play is beatles. So, how old are you?
  • Lauren from Some Place, Deyes, Laura, there are some people close to your age here. Like me.
  • Laura from Santa Fe, NmAhh... I love this song! I can play it on guitar. I'm 12, is there anyone here remotely close to my age?
  • Liz from Boston, Msthis song is annoying after a while, but i like it
  • Mena from Dallas, Txif you've seen the anthology, it shows the promotional video for this song. look closly at paul and you'll realize his front tooth is chipped!
  • Calum from Edinburgh, ScotlandI liked George's comment in the Anthology series that it was difficult to get the harmony right on stage, so he would wave to the crowd just before the difficult bits. The crowd would respond and any vocal inaccuracies were drowned out. Can't see that tactic working during a karaoke session at the local Bird and Bee though :-)
  • Ken from Louisville, KyThis was also the first Beatles single with an overtly British reference ("Daily Mail"). It was feared by Capitol executives that it would confuse American fans, but by then, everything British was "in" in the U.S.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyThis, along with it's B-side "Rain" was the first Beatles single where neither song was about a boy-girl relationship.
  • Andrew from Oakland Gardens, NyThis song actually sounds like it's told by a person telling his own story in a book. He writes a book about an aspiring Paperback Writer.
  • Christopher from Greenfield Center, NyPaul wrote Paperback writer...John wrote Help... so to compare the two is like comparing sex with your wife or sex with the woman you are cheating on her with...two different things
  • Roger from Bristol, TnNever understood why this song was considered to be the "A" side. "Rain" was so much better and way ahead of it's time. "PPR" is pretty good, but more of a "B" side song.
  • Reuven from Tel Aviv, Israelas you can clearly see ...this song was written
    as a letter ( starting with " Dear Sir or Madam " ).

    btw , i think this song is the first rap song ever ( just imagine they are all black while
    listening to it ;) .
  • Martin from London, EnglandFour guys, in perfect harmony, showing the world what to do with two guitars, a bass and a set of drums. The Beatles reaching their creative peak. And, as excellent as this track is, the B-side is even better!
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DeOne of the my favorite Beatles's songs. The overdubbed harmonies are out of this world (who knows how great they would sound if I actually did drugs). The riff and the pounding drums are ahead of their time.
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DeThough Help was not a song about love, people probably interpreted it that way simply due to the lines, "I know that I just need you like I've never done before." People probably just assumed it was about love since all the Beatles songs up until this point were about love.
  • Don from Rapid City, SdAre you trying to tell me that the #1 song "Help!" is about love? I tend to disagree.
  • Nicole from Ludlow, MaPaul wrote this song on a dare that he couldn't write a song not about love. He then replyed that he would write a song about a book.
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