Day 258: “When I Get Home”

When was it recorded?   Jun. 2, 1964

When was it first released, and on which album?   Jul. 10, 1964 on “A Hard Day’s Night”

Who wrote it?   Lennon

Have I heard this song before?   No

What my research dug up:

US R&B and soul (specifically the Shirelles and Wilson Pickett) inspired John to write “When I Get Home.” Quoth Wikipedia, the number “is essentially a rock and roll number, but with its unusual chord progressions (changing from major to minor keys and back) it bucks the genre to some extent. Lennon liked this particular ploy, and used it on many of his songs at the time.”

It’s worth noting that “When I Get Home” was recorded during the Beatles’ final session for the album “A Hard Day’s Night.” Its frantic phrases and tone, the Beatles Bible argues, “may have had something to do with The Beatles’ hectic schedule of the time, or Lennon’s frustration at having spent three months recording the group’s third album.”

Alan Pollack defended the song in his notes, writing, “I believe that some listeners find in this song a tense agitation in the refrain and a fierce determination in the verse that are irritatingly out of proportion to the situation implied by the lyrics. For my own tastes, this contrast only goes to heighten a sense of irony and intrigue about the song. After all, just why the forceful delivery? Is the hero simply worried that he’ll be somehow prevented by the second woman from returning ‘home,’ or perhaps is it more the reflection of an inner ambivalence within the hero himself about wanting to effect such a return?”

The Fab Four recorded “When I Get Home” in 11 takes on Jun. 2, 1964. Quoth the Beatles Bible, “after completing the song, the group finished ‘Any Time At All,’ after which the ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ LP was complete.”

Probably an odd thing to single out, but I really like Ringo’s drumming on this track.  Overall I like this song a lot!  It’s certainly catchy — it got stuck in my head after one listen.




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