When was it recorded? Feb. 16, 1965
When was it first released, and on which album? Apr. 9, 1965 as the B-side to “Ticket to Ride”
Who wrote it? Lennon
Have I heard this song before? No
What my research dug up:
According to John, ““That’s me trying a rewrite of ‘This Boy,’ but it didn’t work” (David Sheff, All We Are Saying). That’s for a given definition of “didn’t work,” of course – Alan Pollack argued in his notes, “…for all their similarities, ‘Yes It Is’ is arguably the more fully developed and ‘mature’ of the two songs. Behind the standard two-bridge-no-solo form, and in spite of its B-side status, ‘Yes It Is’ features lyrics that are more clever, an harmonic palette more rich, and a mood more sharply characterized than the earlier song.” (It’s worth pointing out up front that both songs share a 12/8 time signature and three-part, doo-wop-esque, vocal harmonies.)
John wrote the number at his home in Kenwood. Paul was present while John was composing but said he didn’t really work on the song.
The Beatles started recording “Yes It Is” on Feb. 16, 1965. They recorded 14 takes of the rhythm track before breaking so John, Paul, and George could practice their vocal parts. According to the Beatles Bible, they spent three hours practicing before recording them all together.
Three though Nine
Part of Take Two was edited into a remix of the final take for 1996’s “Anthology 2.”
Quoth Wikipedia, “‘Yes It Is’ was released as the B-side of ‘Ticket to Ride’ in both the UK and the US. American pressings of the single erroneously show ‘Yes It Is’ as being from the film ‘Eight Arms to Hold You’ (the original title for the film, ‘Help!’), in which it did not appear.” As a B-side, “Yes It Is” hit #1 on the UK charts and #46 on the US charts.
I hadn’t heard this one before, but I really like it. It’s pretty and intriguing. I haven’t investigated yet but I also think it would lend itself well to a variety of covers and rearrangements. I think there’s a lot you could do to compliment or contrast the strong core vocals/instrumentation, whichever direction you took it.