“Drive My Car” is a Beatles’ song which is on their 1965 album, “Rubber Soul”.
Release Date: 3rd December, 1965 (UK), 20th June, 1966 (US)
Recorded: 13th October, 1965
Studio: EMI Studios, London
Genre: Rock, rhythm and blues
Track Duration: 2:28
Record Label: Parlophone, EMI
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith
Drive My Car
Written primarily by Paul McCartney, the credit for “Drive My Car” goes to the Lennon-McCartney partnership, of course. Indeed, John Lennon contributed to the lyrics too. The song is an upbeat rock/rhythm and blues composition about a wannabe female and according to McCartney, the title was “an old blues euphemism for sex”.
McCartney was fumbling around with the lyrics so the songwriters put their heads together to swap ideas. Initially, the chorus included the lyric “You can buy me golden rings”.
“This is one of the songs where John and I came nearest to having a dry session. The lyrics I brought in were something to do with golden rings, which is always fatal. ‘Rings’ is fatal anyway, ‘rings’ always rhymes with ‘things’ and I knew it was a bad idea. I came in and I said, ‘These aren’t good lyrics but it’s a good tune.’ The tune was nice, the tune was there, I’d done the melody.
Well, we tried, and John couldn’t think of anything, and we tried and eventually it was, ‘Oh let’s leave it, let’s get off this one.’ ‘No, no. We can do it, we can do it.’ So we had a break, maybe had a cigarette or a cup of tea, then we came back to it, and somehow it became ‘drive my car’ instead of ‘gold-en rings’, and then it was wonderful because this nice tongue-in-cheek idea came and suddenly there was a girl there, the heroine of the story, and the story developed and had a little sting in the tail like Norwegian Wood had, which was ‘I actually haven’t got a car, but when I get one you’ll be a terrific chauffeur.'”
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
Obviously, the song became one of The Beatles’ most famous track on the “Rubber Soul” album. So, they come up trumps yet again. Although the lyrics seem innocent enough, there is a lot of ambiguity in them. Not only that but the lyrics have many sexual overtones and this is clear from the beginning, “I wanna be famous, a star of the screen, but you can do something in between”.
Of course, this was 1965 and the songwriters had to be careful with the lyrics. Nonetheless, The Beatles were still going to push the boundaries just like they did later with references to drugs.
The Beatles recorded “Drive My Car” on the 13th October, 1965, in Studio Two of the EMI Studios, London, during the 7.00pm-12.15am session. This was also the first time that the band would record past midnight, something they would soon do often in the future.
They taped 4 takes with the last one being suitable for the mono and stereo mixes. Overdubbing occurred on the same day and the song became the first track on the “Rubber Soul” album before, “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)“.
The 2006 album, “Love” sees a mashup mix of “Drive My Car” together with “The Word” and “What You’re Doing“. However, there is the guitar solo from “Taxman” and the horn section from “Savoy Truffle” too. Keen listeners will also hear remixed keyboards from “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and the backing vocals from “Helter Skelter“.