To begin with, “It’s Only Love” is a Beatles’ song from their 1965 album, “Help!” But, “takes 2 & 3” are on their “Anthology 2” album as well.
Recorded: 15th June, 1965
Studio: EMI Studios, London
Genre: Folk rock
Track Duration: 1:55
Record Label: Parlophone
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith
It’s Only Love
Written mostly by John Lennon “It’s Only Love” gives credit to Lennon-McCartney, of course. Since Beatles’ releases were not in sync during the early years, this song appears on the “Help!” album in the UK, while in America, it appears on “Rubber Soul“. Be that as it may, John Lennon didn’t even care for the song too much.
“It’s Only Love is mine, I always thought it was a lousy song. The lyrics were abysmal, I always hated that song.”
All We Are Saying, David Sheff
Although Lennon admits to hating his own song, most people only hear a decent love ballad. But then again, Beatles fans are much more forgiving than the band members who have a right to criticise their own work. Perhaps he was thinking of it as a filler song rather than anything too serious.
Despite the slightly shallow lyrics, the song takes its rightful place on the album. This is because it is has a wonderful melody with a vigorous chorus proving that at least some care and attention went into the song.
The Beatles began recording “It’s Only Love” in Studio Two at the EMI Studios, London during the 2.30pm-5.30pm session. There were 6 takes that day with take 6 being suitable for the rhythm track. The working title for the song was, “That’s a Nice Hat”.
John Lennon double-tracked his lead vocals for overdubbing while Harrison recorded many guitar parts including one that doubles the main riff on a Rickenbacker 12-string. This experimental approach together with their attention to fine detail means it wasn’t really just a filler song.
Take 2 is on their 1996 compilation album, “Anthology 2”. This features a false start (an incomplete take 3) edited onto the beginning of the track.