1. Entertainment
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

I'll Be Back

The history of this classic Beatles song


I'll Be Back

Written by: John Lennon (100%)
(credited as Lennon-McCartney)
Recorded: June 1, 1964 (Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios, London, England)
Mixed: June 10 and 22, 1964
Length: 2:22
Takes: 16
John Lennon: lead vocal, acoustic rhythm guitar (1964 Gibson J160E)
Paul McCartney: harmony vocal (double-tracked), bass guitar (1961 Hofner 500/1), cowbell
George Harrison: lead acoustic guitar (1950 Jose Ramirez classical)
Ringo Starr: drums (Ludwig)
Available on: (CDs in bold)
  • A Hard Day's Night, (UK: Parlophone PMC 1230, PCS 3058, Parlophone CDP7 46437 2)
  • Something New, (US: Capitol (S)T 2108, Capitol CDP 7243 8 66876 2 3)
  • The last song on the original UK A Hard Day's Night album was modeled by John after Del Shannon's "Runaway," a massive hit in 1961 and an extremely exotic chord sequence for the time. Del's song uses A minor, G, F, and E, but Lennon's song adds a C chord after the A minor. The tension between the home key (a minor, unusual for pop) and the relative major drives both songs.
  • As the Anthology outtakes prove, John first tried arranging this song in 6/8 time as a waltz, then in its current 4/4 incarnation but with electric instruments. The move to acoustic is a clear signpost pointing to their imminent "middle period" of folkier, more moody tunes.
  • This song contains one of the more unusual structures in any Beatles song, featuring two-and-one-half verses, no chorus, and two distinctly different bridges.
Covered by: The Buckinghams, Bounty Killer, Shawn Colvin, Firefall, Golden Earring, Wes Montgomery, R. Stevie Moore, Roger Nichols, Cliff Richard, Joshua Rifkin, Johnny Rivers, Curtis Salgado
  1. About.com
  2. Entertainment
  3. Oldies Music
  4. The Beatles
  5. The Beatles Songs
  6. The Beatles - I'll Be Back - History and Information from the Oldies Guide at About.com

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.