100 Greatest Beatles Songs

From 'Helter Skelter' to 'Sgt. Pepper's,' ranking of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison's output

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'Here, There and Everywhere'
David Redfern/Redferns25/100

25. 'Here, There and Everywhere'

Main Writer: McCartney
Recorded: June 14, 16 and 17, 1966
Released: August 8, 1966
Not released as a single

One paradox of Revolver: It marks the period when the Beatles began exploring the myriad creative possibilities of the recording studio, yet at the same time, it contains some of the most streamlined, straightforward pieces in the group's catalog — among them McCartney's radiantly soothing love song "Here, There and Everywhere." McCartney wrote it at Lennon's house in Weybridge while waiting for Lennon to wake up. "I sat out by the pool on one of the sun chairs with my guitar and started strumming in E," McCartney recalled. "And soon [I] had a few chords, and I think by the time he'd woken up, I had pretty much written the song, so we took it indoors and finished it up." McCartney has cited the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds as his primary influence for "Here, There and Everywhere." McCartney had heard the album before it was released, at a listening party in London in May 1966, and was blown away.

The tune's chord sequence bears Brian Wilson's influence, ambling through three related keys without ever fully settling into one, and the modulations — particularly the one on the line "changing my life with a wave of her hand" — deftly underscore the lyrics, inspired by McCartney's girlfriend, actress Jane Asher. (The couple, whose careers often led to prolonged separations, would split in July 1968.) When George Martin heard the tune, he persuaded the musicians to hum together, barbershop-quartet style, behind the lead vocal. "The harmonies on that are very simple," Martin recalled. "There's nothing very clever, no counterpoint, just moving block harmonies. Very simple . . . but very effective."

McCartney has repeatedly identified it as one of his best compositions, a sentiment echoed by his songwriting partner: Lennon told Playboy in 1980 that it was "one of my favorite songs of the Beatles."

The group spent three days in the studio working on the song, an unusually long time for a single track during this period. After agreeing on a satisfactory rhythm track, the band did backing vocals, then McCartney recorded his lead vocal — which had a surprising inspiration. "When I sang it in the studio, I remember thinking, 'I'll sing it like Marianne Faithfull' — something no one would ever know," he said. "I used an almost falsetto voice and double-tracked it. My Marianne Faithfull impression."

Appears On: Revolver

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