When was it recorded? Feb. 25-27, 1964
When was it first released, and on which album? Jul. 10, 1964 on “A Hard Day’s Night”
Who wrote it? McCartney (probably with noteworthy contribution from Lennon)
Have I heard this song before? No
What my research dug up:
“It was the first ballad I impressed myself with. It’s got nice chords in it, ‘Bright are the stars that shine, dark is the sky…’ I like the imagery of the stars and the sky. It was a love song really. The ‘And’ in the title was an important thing. ‘And I Love Her,’ it came right out of left field, you were right up to speed the minute you heard it. The title comes in the second verse and it doesn’t repeat. You would often go to town on the title, but this was almost an aside, ‘Oh… and I love you.’ It still holds up and George played really good guitar on it. It worked very well.” — Paul McCartney (from Barry Miles’ “Many Years From Now”)
Slow your roll, Macca, you kind of had some help on this one. McCartney undoubtedly wrote most of the song, but here’s how it breaks down.
DAY ONE OF RECORDING
The first day of work for “Hard Day’s Night,” The Beatles did two takes of “And I Love Her,” one incomplete and one complete. They didn’t like this version and decided to try again the next day. The take from this day found its way onto “Anthology 1” though.
DAY TWO OF RECORDING
The Beatles did 17 takes of “And I Love Her.” They still didn’t like it, so they took a break, during which time a new middle eight section was written. One question – who wrote it?
- JOHN LENNON: “The middle eight, I helped with that.”
- PAUL MCCARTNEY: “I’m not sure if John worked on that at all… The middle eight is mine. I would say that John probably helped with the middle eight, but he can’t say ‘It’s mine.'”
- DICK JAMES (Beatles publisher): Lennon called for a break and “within half an hour [Lennon and McCartney] wrote… a very constructive middle to a very commercial song.”
Paul also credited George with composing the guitar riff, which “made a stunning difference to the song.” So basically everybody wrote it but Ringo, who had a good excuse as he was trying to redo the percussion parts into bongos and claves. (Giant children, arguing over who gets credit for what…)
DAY THREE OF RECORDING
The Beatles did two more takes of “And I Love Her” — one for Paul to record the double-tracked vocals and for Ringo to add his claves — and that was it for recording. Then it got mixed…
1. The initial mono mix featured a single-tracked vocal and was released on the US version of “Hard Day’s Night”
2. Same as 1 but slowed down so the pitch was lower – this version was used in the “Hard Day’s Night” film, as seen below.
3. Another mono mix, this time with the double-tracked vocal throughout was released on the UK version of “Hard Day’s Night.” I’m pretty sure this is it.
4. Same as 3 but a stereo mix
I find it odd that I had never heard this song before. It’s sweet, it’s sentimental but not overly so, and it’s catchy. I had to listen to it many-a-time while researching to see if I could spot the differences in versions, but I didn’t mind one bit. And I love this song.