- UK release date:
- Feb 11, 1966
- US release date:
- Jan 10, 1966
- Capitol (US)
- 5579 (US)
More from year 1966
This album has been recorded during the following studio sessions
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Written by Paul McCartney
2:25 • Studio version • A
- Performed by :
- Peter Asher • Gordon Waller
- Session Recording:
- December 1965
Wrong From The Start
“Woman” is a 1966 single written by Paul McCartney (under the pseudonym Bernard Webb) and recorded by Peter and Gordon. McCartney intended the song to test whether one of his compositions could be successful based on its own merits without being associated with the hit-making Lennon-McCartney songwriting team, which had produced dozens of hit records for the Beatles and other acts (including Peter and Gordon). The duo’s single did become a minor hit, reaching number 14 in the US and number 28 in the UK, but not before its author’s true identity was publicly revealed.
Under the Lennon–McCartney moniker, McCartney had written three previous Peter and Gordon singles (viz. “A World Without Love”, “Nobody I Know”, and “I Don’t Want to See You Again”). On this occasion, McCartney used the pseudonym Bernard Webb (though some Capitol pressings carry the name A. Smith instead) to see if the song would be a success without the Lennon–McCartney credit. McCartney commented at a press conference in August 1966, “People come up to them and say, ‘Ah, we see you’re just getting in on the Lennon–McCartney bandwagon’. That’s why they did that one with our names not on it…because everyone sort of thinks that’s the [only] reason they get hits. It’s not true, really.“
However, the publishing credit was Lennon and McCartney’s company Northern Songs, and according to Gordon Waller it took only two weeks for the song’s real pedigree to be revealed, as the first review of the record said, “This Bernard Webb has an amazing talent. Could even be Paul McCartney!” “Woman” would be overtly introduced as written by McCartney when Peter and Gordon performed the song on the 11 April 1966 broadcast of the US TV show Hullabaloo.
Billboard described the song as “a powerful ballad featuring strings, cellos in the baroque fashion and with an easy beat in strong support.” […]
SWINGING PETER & GORDON
COMPOSER Bernard Webb sent this number to the Beatles, who in turn passed it to P & G. Opens with a solo passage, then settles into a duet with lush strings (which occasionally lapse into baroque-like sequences with cellos) and brass.
Also prominent are piano and solo guitar. It’s a clean, competent performance with a steady mid-tempo rhythm. The lyric’s absorbing, the title’s crisp and and the melody grows on you.
FLIP: A driving organ sound is maintained throughout this toe-tapping rocker, which the boys wrote themselves. Swings!From New Musical Express – February 11, 1966
Last updated on December 20, 2022
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