“I’m A Loser” is a Fab Four song from their 1964 album, “Beatles For Sale”. However, there is another version on their 1994 album, “Live At The BBC” too.
Recorded: 14th August, 1964
Studio: EMI Studios, London
Genre: Folk rock, country
Track Duration: 2:30
Record Label: EMI, Parlophone, Capitol
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith
I’m A Loser
Written in 1964 by John Lennon, but credited to the songwriting partnership of Lennon-McCartney, “I’m A Loser” was going to be The Beatles’ next single. However, he wrote “I Feel Fine” soon after and this became the next single release instead.
There’s a line in the song which goes “I’m not what I appear to be” which suggests that Lennon was taking an introspective look at himself. Obviously, this became more prominent the following year with the classic songs, “Help!” and “Nowhere Man”
The Beatles had a liking for country music and this would become influential in Lennon’s life too. For example, they would listen to George Jones and Buck Owens. But, Bob Dylan and folk music also had a massive influence lyrically.
“That’s me in my Dylan period. Part of me suspects I’m a loser and part of me thinks I’m God Almighty. [Laughs]”
All We Are Saying, David Sheff
Obviously, the lyrics are telling a story of rejection by a lover and trying to deal with the emotional side of things. This song was also the last time that John Lennon would use a harmonica solo in a song. He still used his harmonica as late as the 15th August, 1968, but not as a solo piece.
The Beatles started to record “I’m A Loser” on the 14th August, 1964, in Studio Two of the EMI Studios, London during the 7.00pm-9.00pm session. They recorded 8 takes of which the last was suitable for the rhythm track and without any overdubbing necessary, this became the master copy. They also recorded “Mr Moonlight” and “Leave My Kitten Alone” on the same day.
The version that appears on their 1994 album, “Live At The BBC” is from a recording from The Beatles’ appearance on the BBC Radio show, “Top Gear” on the 26th November, 1964. Indeed, the moptops recorded it twice for the BBC but as yet the other version is not commercially available.
The Beatles also recorded “I’m A Loser” together with “Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!” and “Boys” for the TV show, Shindig! While the Americans saw it on their television screens, the British never did.
When the album “Beatles for Sale” became available, the early pressings gave it the title of, “I’m a Losser”, obviously a printing error.