Song facts: Eight Days a Week
On October 6th 1964, The Beatles recorded Eight Days a Week, for their forthcoming Beatles for Sale album. The track was recorded over a period of seven hours and 13 takes before The Beatles were happy with how it sounded. John Lennon reportedly worked out the guitar riff for I Feel Fine at this session.
"Take one was played straight, no frills, on acoustic guitar. On take two John and Paul introduced a succession of beautifully harmonised 'Ooohs', climbing up the scale, to precede the first guitar strum. On take three they merged the two ideas, 'Ooohs' and acoustic guitar. On take four the 'Ooohs' were altered to remain on the same pitch throughout rather than climbing the register. Take five incorporated 'Ooohs' at the end as well as the beginning. Take six took the shape of the released version but did not have the faded intro or outro." - Mark Lewisohn
- John Lennon – lead vocal, acoustic rhythm guitar, handclaps
- Paul McCartney – backing vocal, bass guitar, handclaps
- George Harrison – lead guitar, handclaps
- Ringo Starr – drums, handclaps
Lennon thought Eight Days a Week was a horribly manufactured song and the band never played it at their live shows.
"Help! as a film was like Eight Days A Week as a record for us. A lot of people liked the film, and a lot of people liked that record. But neither was what we wanted - we knew they weren't really us. We weren't ashamed of the film, but close friends knew that the picture and Eight Days weren't our best. They were both a bit manufactured." - John Lennon
"I think we wrote this when we were trying to write the title song for Help! because there was at one time the thought of calling the film Eight Arms To Hold You." - John Lennon
Origins of the title
According to Paul McCartney he drew inspiration for the song title when a chauffeur told him he'd been busy working eight days a week.
"I remember writing that with John, at his place in Weybridge, from something said by the chauffeur who drove me out there. John had moved out of London. to the suburbs. I usually drove myself there, but the chauffeur drove me out that day and I said, 'How've you been?' - 'Oh, working hard,' he said, 'working eight days a week.' I had never heard anyone use that expression, so when I arrived at John's house I said, 'Hey, this fella just said, "eight days a week".' John said, 'Right - "Ooh I need your love, babe..." and we wrote it. We were always quick to write. We would write on the spot. I would show up, looking for some sort of inspiration; I'd either get it there, with John, or I'd hear someone say something." - Paul McCartney
Eight Days a Week was released on Beatles for Sale in the UK on December 4th 1964, and as a single in the US the following year, on February 15th. I Don't Want to Spoil the Party was included as the US B-side - another song penned by Lennon.
The single reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 on March 13th 1965, and stayed there for two weeks, before being dislodged by The Supremes' Stop! In the Name of Love.
On June 14th 1965 Eight Days a Week was included on the US album Beatles VI.