The Beatles Song That Spanned Entire Eras Of The Band

Monday, June 10, 2024

The Beatles helped revolutionise the way pop acts utilised the studio. The band’s quick-fire debut album ‘Please Please Me’ was famously completed in a matter of hours – by the time of ‘A Day In The Life’, the Fab Four would spend entire weeks on a single tracks. One song, however, went further – and spanned entire eras of their creative lives.

Released as the B-side of ‘Let It Be’ – their final UK single, and penultimate American single – ‘You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)’ is a jaunty music hall pastiche that epitomises The Beatles’ offbeat, surrealist sense of humour. It also stands as evidence both of their fastidious nature in the studio, and the ruptures during their final years together, taking some four years to perfect.

John Lennon initially sketched out the song during writing sessions in the Spring of 1967 – a hugely productive time for the songwriter, with LSD helping to unblock his pen. In one interview, he recalled how the title came to him after glancing through a nearby phonebook.

That was a piece of unfinished music that I turned into a comedy record with Paul. I was waiting for him in his house, and I saw the phone book was on the piano with ‘You know the name, look up the number.’ That was like a logo, and I just changed it.

Source: Robin Murray/


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