The Beatles: I'm Down (1965)

 |   |  <1 min read

The Beatles: I'm Down (1965)

When the Beatles played that historic concert at Shea Stadium, New York in August '65 before 55,000 -- the biggest audience for a rock concert at that time -- John Lennon clearly enjoyed himself, no more so than during McCartney's rocker I'm Down where he played keyboards with his elbow and set Harrison and McCartney into fits of laughter.

I'm Down -- another classic Beatles b-side, the flip of Help -- is an exceptional McCartney song modelled on Little Richard's Long Tall Sally but delivered with such unbridled enthusiasm he can't even get all the words out.

As a number of writers have noted, despite being "down" about his lover not giving in to his affections he is far from sounding depressed. Frustrated yes, but also boiling over with howling self-assertion.

It is also a short (2.38) and punchy rock'n'roll classic which the Beatles, then McCartney in his solo career, played often.

And -- hard to believe -- if you look at the Abbey Road recording dates, McCartney belted this out in the afternoon of June 14 '65 (they did seven takes) after recording his country-rock I've Just Seen a Face then had a cup of tea and recorded another, but very different classic, Yesterday.

Quite a session -- and the Help/I'm Down single was in shops less than 10 days later and a month later, after finishing up the Help album, were touring the US playing the Hollywood Bowl and Shea Stadium.

For more on-offs or songs with an interesting back-story see From the Vaults

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

The Pretty Things: Don't Bring Me Down (1964)

The Pretty Things: Don't Bring Me Down (1964)

Most people lie about their school days: no one wants to admit they were ordinary. Better to say you hung around behind the bike shed, that teachers and kids hated you for your music, clothes or... > Read more

Cilla McQueen: Crikey (2006)

Cilla McQueen: Crikey (2006)

Today -- Friday July 22, 2011 -- being New Zeaand National Poetry Day it seems only right we should acknowledge it. It would be easy to go to the collection Contemporary New Zealand Poets in... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Damien Dempsey

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Damien Dempsey

If we judge people by the company they keep or those who admire them, then Ireland's Damien Dempsey is somewhere in the clouds. His fans include Sinead O'Connor and Brian Eno (who have recorded... > Read more

Ana Alcaide: La cantiga del fuego (ARC)

Ana Alcaide: La cantiga del fuego (ARC)

Although perilously close to New Age music in places, this gently beguiling album should find wide favour because within it are familiar melodies and chord progressions found in Celtic folk (think... > Read more