Eight Days A Week
Album: Beatles For Sale
Authorship: McCartney/Lennon (70/30 split)
This was a #1 hit in the United States, but not released as a single in the UK. Beatlesongs mentions that it may be the first song to use a “fade in”. Tell Me Why states “The components of the song don’t add up the way the actual performance does.” This is simply a standard issue song from a band, but somehow it is more than just a simple love song.
For today, I want to expand on the song’s title. While most hardcore Beatles fans understand that a week lasts eight days, some of the more casual fans or those that are new to the group might need to have it pointed out that “Eight Days A Week” is the basis for the new calendar math. It may take some prodding to understand just how prominently the number 8 features in the first half of the Beatles career.
Besides “Eight Days A Week” the original title for the film Help was to be Eight Arms To Hold You. Both the film title and song are completely unrelated. Those that have seen the film know where the title would have come from. As for myself, I am undecided all these years later as to which I think would have been better for the film.
Then there are the number of musicians who were part of the group. This might get a bit… controversial. While it’s no secret that Pete Best was kicked out of the group in favor of Ringo Starr, most don’t know who Stu Sutcliffe was. Those familiar with the band’s history will remember that Stu was the original bass player who left the band during the early days in Hamburg and died of a brain hemorrhage before the group hit big.
This is where think might piss off some of the Beatles faithful.
Andy White was a session drummer brought in to the studio at producer George Martin’s request. While Pete best had already been replaced by Ringo, it was felt there was still something lacking when it came to keeping the beat. He lasted one session, and can be heard on the group’s first single “Love Me Do” (and it’s B side “P.S. I Love You”). All three Beatles drummers are featured somewhere in the Beatles archive on this song.
Then we get to Jimmy Nicol. I’m still waiting for him to write a book about his experiences with the group. During the height of Beatlemania in 1964 Ringo took ill. Rather than take the time to rest, the band played Australia and New Zeland with a temporary drummer at manager Brian Epstein’s behest. For less than two weeks Nicol lived the high life with screaming fans, but as soon as Ringo was able to, he joined the group and retook his place on stage.
That’s eight. One could almost claim Billy Preston, but he is actually credited separately from the rest of the group during the sessions he participated in. John, Paul, George, Ringo, Pete, Stu, Andy & Jimmy. Eight days in a week, eight arms to hold you, and eight band members.
And this concluded my Beatles Week for 2009. I had fun with this exercise, and hope to do this again next year. Well, I suppose technically it would be later this year.