“In My Life” is a Beatles’ song on their 1965 album, “Rubber Soul”, of course. Many people agree that it is the best song on the album.
Recorded: 18th and 22nd October, 1965
Studio: EMI Studios, London
Genre: Baroque pop, pop rock
Track Duration: 2:28
Record Label: Parlophone
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith
Paul McCartney: harmony vocal, also the bass guitar
George Harrison: harmony vocal, lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums, tambourine, also the bells
George Martin: piano
In My Life
Written mostly by John Lennon but the credits go to Lennon-McCartney as ever. However, Paul McCartney and John Lennon later disputed the amount of input each had contributed to the song. They also had similar disagreements about Eleanor Rigby too.
“In My Life started out as a bus journey from my house on 250 [sic] Menlove Avenue to town, mentioning every place I could remember. And it was ridiculous. This is before even Penny Lane was written and I had Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, Tram Sheds – Tram Sheds are the depot just outside of Penny Lane – and it was the most boring sort of ‘What I Did On My Holidays Bus Trip’ song and it wasn’t working at all. I cannot do this! I cannot do this!
But then I laid back and these lyrics started coming to me about the places I remember. Now Paul helped write the middle-eight melody. The whole lyrics were already written before Paul had even heard it. In In My Life, his contribution melodically was the harmony and the middle eight itself.”
All We Are Saying, David Sheff
“So it was John’s original inspiration, I think my melody, I think my guitar riff. I don’t want to be categorical about this, but that’s my recollection… I find it very gratifying that out of everything we wrote, we only appear to disagree over two songs.”
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
The Beatles began recording “In My Life” on the 18th October, 1965, in Studio Two of the EMI Studios, London, during the 2.30pm-5.45pm session. They recorded only three takes and it was complete rhythm track apart from the instrumental bridge which John Lennon couldn’t decide which instrument to use.
He asked George Martin to provide a piano piece which he did. However, Martin wrote a Bach-influenced piano solo which he couldn’t play at the correct tempo for the song.
On the 22nd December, in the same studio, Martin recorded his piano solo at half-speed, so when played back at normal speed it sounded like a harpsichord.
“I did it with what I call a ‘wound up’ piano, which was at double speed – partly because you get a harpsichord sound by shortening the attack of everything, but also because I couldn’t play it at real speed anyway. So I played it on piano at exactly half normal speed, and down an octave. When you bring the tape back to normal speed again, it sounds pretty brilliant. It’s a means of tricking everybody into thinking you can do something really well.”
Sounds Of The Sixties, BBC Radio 2
After the break up of The Beatles in 1970, there were some pretty blunt remarks from John Lennon, while Paul McCartney mostly kept his composure. It matters not if there is some slight disagreement about who contributed most to a song surely. Considering most Beatles’ songs have their roots in the 1960’s, there’s obviously going to be a few misunderstandings.