The Paul McCartney Project

I Should Have Known Better

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the A Hard Day's Night (Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1964
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

I Should Have Known Better” is a song by English rock band the Beatles composed by John Lennon (credited to Lennon–McCartney), and originally issued on A Hard Day’s Night, their soundtrack for the film of the same name released July 10, 1964. I Should Have Known Better was issued as the B-side of the U.S. single A Hard Day’s Night released July 13, 1964. An orchestrated version of the song conducted by George Martin appears on the North American version of the album, A Hard Day’s Night Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.

Origin

In January 1964, during a three-week engagement at the Olympia Theatre in Paris, the Beatles first became aware of American singer and songwriter Bob Dylan, and after acquiring a copy of his album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, they began playing it continuously. American journalist Al Aronowitz introduced them to Dylan when the Beatles visited New York in February 1964, and Dylan subsequently became a big influence on the group, especially Lennon, who even started wearing a copycat Huckleberry Finn cap. One consequence of this “infatuation” (as Ian MacDonald later described it) was the song “I Should Have Known Better.” Paul McCartney said Dylan’s songs were “great lyrically,” and Lennon credited Dylan with inspiring him to write more meaningful lyrics.

Recording

The first recording session for the song was on 25 February 1964 at Abbey Road Studios when three takes were attempted, but only one was complete. Take 2 was aborted when Lennon broke into hysterics over his harmonica playing. The song was re-recorded the next day after making some changes to the arrangement.

Lennon’s harmonica playing opens the track, the last occasion the Beatles were to feature this instrument on an intro (“I’m a Loser,” recorded 14 August 1964 has a harmonica solo) and thus draws a line under a significant period of their early music. The song’s middle sixteen section features George Harrison’s brand new Rickenbacker 360/12 12-string guitar.

The mono and stereo versions have slightly different harmonica introductions. In the stereo version, the harmonica drops out briefly. (A stereo edit that fixes this mistake appears uniquely on the US Capitol release of the 1982 Beatles compilation Reel Music.) Also, a noticeably clumsy and audible tape edit is heard during the second chorus between “You’re gonna say you love me, too” and “And when I ask you to be mine.

Release

In the UK, “I Should Have Known Better” appeared on A Hard Day’s Night and was released on 10 July 1964. It was not released as a single at that time. In 1976, it was released as a B-side to “Yesterday.”

In the US, “I Should Have Known Better” was released on 13 July 1964 as the B-side to “A Hard Day’s Night” and reached No. 53 in the Billboard Top 100, and No. 43 on the Cash Box chart. Of note, there were four higher-charting Beatles’ hits blocking its entrance into the Top 40.

As part of the movie contract, United Artists acquired album rights for the American market. They released a soundtrack album on 26 June 1964 with eight Beatles songs and four instrumentals. “I Should Have Known Better” was performed in the film, and it appears on the soundtrack. Capitol Records released Something New a month later with songs from the UK version of A Hard Day’s Night that were not used in the film. It was later released by Capitol on the Hey Jude compilation album in 1970.

I Should Have Known Better” was released as a single in a number of continental European countries, including Norway, where it reached number one, and West Germany, where it reached number six. […]

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 3 Mar 1964. edited.
    UK: Parlophone PMC 1230 Hard Day’s Night 1964.
    US: Capitol 5222 single 1964, United Artists UAL 3366 and UAS 6366 Hard Day’s Night 1964.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46437 2 Hard Day’s Night 1987.
  • [b] stereo 22 Jun 1964.
    UK: Parlophone PCS 3058 Hard Day’s Night 1964.
    US: Apple SW-385 Hey Jude 1970.
  • [c] stereo 1982. edited.
    US: Capitol SV-12199 Reel Music 1982.

The mono [a] fades out a little faster than the stereo [b]. The harmonica during the intro cuts out suddenly at one point (the fourth phrase) in stereo [b], but is fixed in the other two by edit: mono [a] repeats the third harmonica phrase, and the new stereo mix [c] repeats the second phrase.

In the home video A Hard Day’s Night, the new stereo mix [c] is used in the train scene but the old one [b] with the harmonica mistake is used in the television show scene later, where it seems to match his movements.

Note, UK: Parlophone PCS 7218 Reel Music 1982 uses the old stereo mix [b].

Last updated on March 6, 2016

Lyrics

I should have known better with a girl like you,
That I would love everything that you do; and I do,
Hey, hey, hey, and I do.

Whoa, oh, I never realized what a kiss could be,
This could only happen to me
Can't you see, can't you see

That when I tell you that I love you, oh,
You're gonna say you love me too,
Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, oh
And when I ask you to be mine,
You're gonna say you love me too

So oh I should realized a lot of things before
If this is love you've got to give me more
Give me more, hey hey hey, give me more

Whoa, oh, I never realized what a kiss could be,
This could only happen to me
Can't you see, can't you see

That when I tell you that I love you, oh,
You're gonna say you love me too,
Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, oh
And when I ask you to be mine,
You're gonna say you love me too
You love me too, you love me too, you love me too

Officially appears on


A Hard Day's Night (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:43 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 25, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Feb 26, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Mar 03, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


A Hard Day's Night (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:44 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 25, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Feb 26, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


A Hard Day's Night (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:45 • Studio versionA • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 25, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Feb 26, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Extracts from the Film A Hard Day's Night

EP • Released in 1964

2:47 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 25, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Feb 26, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


A Hard Day's Night (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:43 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 25, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Feb 26, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 22, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


Hey Jude

Official album • Released in 1970

2:46 • Studio version

Paul McCartney:
Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 25, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Feb 26, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Bootlegs


The BBC Archives Volume 11

Unofficial album

2:41 • Radio show


The Beatles At The Beeb - Volume 10

Unofficial live • Released in 2003

2:41 • Live • From LP

Concert From "Top Gear" in London, United Kingdom on Jul 16, 1964


The Beatles At The Beeb - Volume 10

Unofficial live • Released in 2003

0:17 • Live • False start - rehearsal

Concert From "From Us To You" in London, United Kingdom on Aug 03, 1964


The Beatles At The Beeb - Volume 10

Unofficial live • Released in 2003

2:51 • Live • Before double tracking - rehearsal

Concert From "From Us To You" in London, United Kingdom on Aug 03, 1964


The Beatles At The Beeb - Volume 10

Unofficial live • Released in 2003

2:48 • Live • Outtake - rehearsal

Concert From "From Us To You" in London, United Kingdom on Aug 03, 1964


Live performances

“I Should Have Known Better” has been played in 56 concerts.

Latest concerts where “I Should Have Known Better” has been played




Sheffield • City Hall

Nov 09, 1964 • Part of 1964 Autumn UK Tour


Sheffield • City Hall

Nov 09, 1964 • Part of 1964 Autumn UK Tour




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