Few songs are as well known as “Yesterday,” the Paul McCartney classic that went out on The Beatles’ Help! album in 1965. In fact, when BMI rounded up the most-played songs of the 20th century, it landed at No. 3 with more than 7 million radio airplays. (That count came 19 years ago.)
For a band that had rocked to No. 1 in America with tracks like “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You,” fans definitely got a different look with “Yesterday.” For starters, none of Paul’s bandmates appeared on the record.
There was no harmonizing from John Lennon, no guitar work by George Harrison, and not even a lick by Ringo. In their place, you hear a string quartet accompanying Paul on acoustic guitar.