The Paul McCartney Project

I'm A Loser

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Beatles For Sale (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’m a Loser” is a song by the Beatles, originally released on Beatles for Sale in the United Kingdom, later released on Beatles ’65 in the United States. Written by John Lennon, (though credited to Lennon–McCartney), it was considered for release as a single until Lennon wrote “I Feel Fine“.

According to music critic Richie Unterberger, while the lyrics tell a story of romantic rejection, “I’m a Loser” is one of the first Beatles compositions that “goes beyond young love” including “the hypocrisy of keeping up a happy face when your world’s falling down“.

Composition

In 1980, Lennon said the song was “me in my Dylan period” and added, “Part of me suspects I’m a loser and part of me thinks I’m God Almighty. [Laughs]” Country music and Bob Dylan were catalysts for the song. The country is in the fingerpicking, guitar twang and downhearted words; in 1964, the Beatles were listening to songs by Buck Owens and George Jones that McCartney said were “all about sadness.” Unterberger said the song was “notable for being perhaps the first Beatles’ song to directly reflect the influence of Dylan, thus nudging folk and rock a little closer together toward the folk-rock explosion of the following year.” Musicologist Alan Pollack said the song contained “a stronger blend of folk elements than almost anything else The Beatles had done to-date.” The line “I’m not what I appear to be” was Lennon’s most introspective to date, the start of the progression that led to “Help” and “Nowhere Man” the following year.

Lennon hits a low G in the verses, a note usually reserved for baritone and/or bass singers. This was atypical of Lennon; he sang the bulk of his Beatles songs in a tenor register. “I’m a Loser” does not mark the only occasion on which Lennon sang a low G, he also did so in “Happiness Is a Warm Gun“.

Recording and release

The Beatles recorded this song on 14 August 1964, the same day as “Mr. Moonlight” and “Leave My Kitten Alone“. It was recorded in eight takes.

It was released four months after it was recorded, but beforehand, it was previewed on BBC Radio on 17 November, along with three other songs from Beatles for Sale and also the “I Feel Fine“/”She’s a Woman” single.

On the original pressings of Beatles for Sale, the title was misprinted as “I’m a Losser”. […]

Paul McCartney, in Many Years From Now, by Barry Miles:

Looking back on it I think songs like ‘I’m a Loser’ and ‘Nowhere Man’ were John’s cries for help. We used to listen to quite a lot of country and western songs and they are all about sadness and ‘I lost my truck’ so it was quite acceptable to sing ‘I’m a loser’ … It’s only later you think, God! I think it was brave of John.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 26 Oct 1964.
    UK: Parlophone PMC 1240 For Sale 1964.
    US: Capitol T 2228 Beatles ’65 1964.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46438 2 For Sale 1987.
  • [b] stereo 4 Nov 1964.
    UK: Parlophone PCS 3062 For Sale 1964.
    US: Capitol ST 2228 Beatles ’65 1964.

Stereo [b] has the lead guitar mixed louder.

Last updated on March 9, 2016

Lyrics

I'm a loser
I'm a loser
And I'm not what I appear to be

Of all the love I have won or have lost
There is one love I should never have crossed
She was a girl in a million, my friend
I should have known she would win in the end

I'm a loser
And I lost someone who's near to me
I'm a loser
And I'm not what I appear to be

Although I laugh and I act like a clown
Beneath this mask I am wearing a frown
My tears are falling like rain from the sky
Is it for her or myself that I cry?

I'm a loser
And I lost someone who's near to me
I'm a loser
And I'm not what I appear to be

What have I done to deserve such a fate?
I realize I have left it too late
And so it's true, pride comes before a fall
I'm telling you so that you won't lose all

I'm a loser
And I lost someone who's near to me
I'm a loser
And I'm not what I appear to be

Officially appears on


Beatles For Sale (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:31 • Studio versionA • Mono

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

Session Recording:
Aug 14, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 26, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Beatles '65 (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:31 • Studio versionA • Mono

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

Session Recording:
Aug 14, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 26, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Beatles '65 (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:31 • Studio versionB • Stereo

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

Session Recording:
Aug 14, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 04, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Beatles For Sale (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:31 • Studio versionB • Stereo

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

Session Recording:
Aug 14, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 04, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Beatles for Sale

EP • Released in 1965

2:34 • Studio versionA

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

Session Recording:
Aug 14, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 26, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Live At The BBC

Official live • Released in 1994

2:33 • Radio showL1

Concert From "Top Gear" in London, United Kingdom on Nov 26, 1964

Bootlegs


Complete Controlroom Monitor Mixes - Volume 1

Unofficial album

0:41 • Studio version • Takes 1&2


The BBC Archives Volume 11

Unofficial album

2:38 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 11

Unofficial album

2:38 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 12

Unofficial album

2:31 • Radio show


Complete Controlroom Monitor Mixes - Volume 2

Unofficial album

1:42 • Alternate take • Takes 1&2


Live performances

“I'm A Loser” has been played in 56 concerts.

Latest concerts where “I'm A Loser” has been played





Rome • Teatro Adriano

Jun 28, 1965 • Part of 1965 European tour


Rome • Teatro Adriano

Jun 28, 1965 • Part of 1965 European tour



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SARUGGIA Jacques 5 years ago

J'y étais. Ce fut pour moi un Grand Moment. Pendant la balance, Paul faisait des signes dans ma direction, en fait il s'adressait à David Gilmour assis pas très loin... Existe t il des photos?