Why The Beatles Refused to Release 'Yesterday' as a Single

Friday, June 14, 2019

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.



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