Monday, September 3, 2012

The Beatles: We Can Work It Out

Since I needed something for Labor Day here in America, I decided upon a loosely related song that contained the word “work.” While it has nothing to do with physical labor, it does reference a relationship that had soured and the protagonist (Paul McCartney specifically) is trying to “work it out.”

It is believed that “We Can Work It Out” was written about his relationship with actress Jane Asher – apparently they worked it out as they remained together for another year and a half. Paul wrote the positive aspect of the song – the verse and chorus, while John wrote the bridge, which attacked the problem from a negative aspect – “Life is very short and there’s no time for fussing and fighting my friend . . .” George suggested that the middle and end of the bridge be in ¾ time.

The single, recorded during the “Rubber Soul” sessions in October 1965 and was issued as a double “A” sided single with “Day Tripper” in December. The video was shot in November and was obviously lip synched. I love John's humorous performance - typical Lennon antics. “We Can Work It Out” was a #1 record for the Fab Four. “Day Tripper” charted at #5.

Both songs appeared on the American only release – “Yesterday and Today.” Just another example of Capitol Records getting more mileage with the Beatles releases than did their UK EMI counterpart Parlophone. Parlophone made up for it by releasing “A Collection of Beatles Oldies” in 1966. Both songs appeared on this compilation album along with other non-album singles.

Paul’s vocals are double tracked – a technique the band began doing during the “Beatles For Sale” period. In addition to singing harmony and harmonium, John plays acoustic guitar. While George is seen playing electric guitar on the video, he did not play guitar on the single, but rather tambourine.

I plan to end this blog on September 26, 2012. If you would like to see it continue after that, let me know by registering your feelings in the survey found at

1 comment:

  1. Sorry this is going back to your July Blog. I only today ran across your site.

    Picked up the "What It Was Was Football" 1953 Colonial Record and have not seen evidence of another like it. Any thoughts on the value? Interested in pics?

    Great blog! Love the old records. Only have a few decent ones like John Greer and Ralph Flanagan. You have an endless supply!