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I Don't Want To Spoil The Party

The history of this classic Beatles song


The original US sleeve for

The original US sleeve for "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party"

source: dermon.com

I Don't Want To Spoil The Party

Written by: John Lennon (100%) (credited as Lennon-McCartney)
Recorded: September 29, 1964 (Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios, London, England)
Mixed: October 26, 1964; November 4, 1964
Length: 2:33
Takes: 19
Musicians: John Lennon: lead vocals, rhythm guitar (Gibson J160E)
Paul McCartney: harmony vocals, bass guitar (1961 Hofner 500/1)
George Harrison: lead guitar (Gretsch 6119 "Tennessean")
Ringo Starr: drums (Ludwig), tambourine
First released: February 15, 1965 (US: Capitol 5371, b-side of "Eight Days A Week")
Available on: (CDs in bold)
  • Beatles For Sale, (UK: Parlophone PMC 1240, Parlophone CDP 7 46438 2)
  • Beatles VI, (US: Capitol (S)T 2358, CDP 0946 3 57499 2 2)
  • Beatles For Sale (EP), (UK: Parlophone GEP 8931)
Highest chart position: 39 (US: March 20, 1965)
  • Written by John, ostensibly as a love-gone-wrong song in the style of Lesley Gore's "It's My Party," but described later by Lennon himself as being a rather personal song, a way to express his growing frustration with the press conferences, parties, and promos that come with fame. John, outwardly happy but inwardly distraught, would continue to wrestle with this theme throughout 1965 on songs like "Help!" and "I'm A Loser."
  • This song also marks another milestone in the development of the Beatles' country music aspirations, especially given some of the harmonies and George's guitar solo. Indeed, Roseanne Cash made a #1 country hit out of this song in 1989.
  • Although John and Paul sing together on this track, John's voice is louder -- befitting him, since he wrote the song. But in the more optimistic bridge, it's Paul's vocal that's pointedly brought up front to hit the high notes.
  • The stereo mix of this song features John and Paul exclaiming "Woo!" just before the solo, a feature buried in the mono mix. George's guitar is also louder in stereo.
  • This song was left off of the American version of Beatles For Sale because of its depressing quality and instead relegated to the b-side of the US single "Eight Days A Week" -- where, ironically, it garnered just enough individual DJ airplay to sneak it into the Top 40 on its own.
Covered by: Roseanne Cash, Dash Rip Rock, Vern Gosdin
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