The Paul McCartney Project

Ticket To Ride

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Help! (Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1965
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Ticket to Ride” is a song written by Lennon–McCartney. It was originally recorded by their group the Beatles in 1965, whose version reached number one in the UK Singles Chart, number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number one in Canada on the RPM singles chart. In 1969, “Ticket to Ride” was covered by the brother and sister pop duo the Carpenters, who reached number 19 on the Adult Contemporary chart and peaked at number 54 on the Hot 100 chart with their version.

Background

Ticket to Ride” was recorded 15 February 1965 and released two months later. The song was written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon–McCartney). Lennon said that McCartney’s contribution was limited to “the way Ringo played the drums“. McCartney said that was an incomplete description, and that “we sat down and wrote it together… give him 60 percent of it… we sat down together and worked on that for a full three-hour songwriting session.

The song is written in the key of A major. The song features a coda with a different tempo that extends the song’s length past three minutes. Lennon said this double-time section (with the lyric “My baby don’t care“) was one of his “favourite bits” in the song.

Meaning of “ticket to ride”

While the song lyrics describe a girl “riding out of the life of the narrator“, the inspiration of the title phrase is unclear. McCartney said it was “a British Railways ticket to the town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight“, and Lennon said it described cards indicating a clean bill of health carried by Hamburg prostitutes in the 1960s. The Beatles played in Hamburg early in their musical career, and “ride/riding” was slang for having sex.

Release and reception

Ticket to Ride” was included on the 1965 album, Help!. It was also used in the 1965 film Help!, the Beatles’ second film, and was included on the film’s soundtrack. The song was released as a single on 9 April 1965 in the United Kingdom and 19 April in the United States with “Yes It Is” as its B-side, topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a week in the US and topping the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in the UK. The American single’s label declared that the song was from the United Artists release Eight Arms to Hold You. This was the original title of the Beatles’ second movie; the title changed to Help! after the single was initially released. The album Help! was released on 6 August in the UK and on 13 August in the US.

The song was the third of six number one singles in a row on the American charts, a record at the time, along with “I Feel Fine“, “Eight Days a Week“, “Help!“, “Yesterday“, and “We Can Work It Out“. When the song hit number 1 in the US, the Beatles became the fourth consecutive English group to hold down the top spot, after Freddie and the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, and Herman’s Hermits. Thus, the Beatles broke a combined six-week run at the top for Mancunian groups. In 2004, this song was ranked number 394 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

Music video

The Beatles filmed a music video, directed by Joe McGrath, on 23 November 1965. Part of this promotional film was seen in the documentary The Beatles Anthology (1995) and it is included in full on the Beatles’ video compilation 1 (2015).

Critical response

Music critics Richie Unterberger of AllMusic and Ian MacDonald both describe “Ticket to Ride” as an important milestone in the evolution of the musical style of the Beatles. Unterberger said, “the rhythm parts on ‘Ticket to Ride’ were harder and heavier than they had been on any previous Beatles outing, particularly in Ringo Starr’s stormy stutters and rolls.” MacDonald described it as “psychologically deeper than anything the Beatles had recorded before … extraordinary for its time — massive with chiming electric guitars, weighty rhythm, and rumbling floor tom-toms.” He speculated that the song’s heavy sound may have been influenced by Lennon’s first encounter with LSD, the date of which is not precisely known. MacDonald also notes that the track uses the Indian basis of drone which might have influenced the Kinks’ “See My Friends“. […]

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

We wrote the melody together; you can hear on the record, John’s taking the melody and I’m singing harmony with it. We’d often work those out as we wrote them. Because John sang it, you might have to give him 60 per cent of it. It was pretty much a work job that turned out quite well…

John just didn’t take the time to explain that we sat down together and worked on that song for a full three-hour songwriting session, and at the end of it all we had all the words, we had the harmonies, and we had all the little bits. […]

I think the interesting thing was a crazy ending: instead of ending like the previous verse, we changed the tempo. We picked up one of the lines, ‘My baby don’t care’, but completely altered the melody. We almost invented the idea of a new bit of a song on the fade-out with this song; it was something specially written for the fade-out, which was very effective but it was quite cheeky and we did a fast ending. It was quite radical at the time.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 18 Feb 1965.
    UK: Parlophone R5265 single 1965, Parlophone PMC 1255 Help! 1965, Parlophone PMC 7016 Collection of Oldies 1966.
    US: Capitol 5407 single 1965, Capitol MAS 2386 Help! 1965, Apple SKBO-3403 The Beatles 1962-1966 1973.
    CD: EMI single 1989.
  • [a1] mock stereo made from [a] 1965, by Capitol.
    US: Capitol SMAS 2386 Help! 1965.
  • [b] stereo 23 Feb 1965.
    UK: Parlophone PCS 3071 Help! 1965, Parlophone PCS 7016 Collection of Oldies 1966, Apple PCSP 717 The Beatles 1962-1966 1973.
    US: Capitol SV-12199 Reel Music 1982, Capitol SV-12245 20 Greatest Hits 1982.
  • [c] stereo 1987.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46439 2 Help! 1987, EMI CDP 7 97036 2 The Beatles 1962-1966 1993.

Mono [a] has some added reverb. Capitol’s version seems to have the same additional reverb as on the fake stereo mix: the mono LP version sounds like [a1] reduced to mono. Another mono mix was made for the original film soundtrack of Help! on 15 March 1965.

The stereo versions fade a little longer than [a]. In [b] the whole track has been given a bass boost to make up for poor bass guitar sound, or at least on the Parlophone LP it has. The bass guitar guitar has better presence in [c] but the rest is less bassy and the vocal sounds sharper.

Last updated on March 16, 2016

Lyrics

I think I'm gonna be sad
I think it's today, yeah
The girl that's driving me mad
Is going away

She's got a ticket to ride
She's got a ticket to ride
She's got a ticket to ride
But she don't care

She said that living with me
Is bringing her down, yeah
For she would never be free
When I was around

She's got a ticket to ride
She's got a ticket to ride
She's got a ticket to ride
But she don't care

I don't know why she's riding so high
She ought to think twice
She ought to do right by me

Before she gets to saying goodbye
She ought to think twice
She ought to do right by me

I think I'm gonna be sad
I think it's today, yeah
The girl that's driving me mad
Is going away, yeah, oh

She's got a ticket to ride
She's got a ticket to ride
She's got a ticket to ride
But she don't care

I don't know why she's riding so high
She ought to think twice
She ought to do right by me

Before she gets to saying goodbye
She ought to think twice
She ought to do right by me

She said that living with me
Was bringing her down, yeah
For she would never be free
When I was around, oh

She's got a ticket to ride
She's got a ticket to ride
She's got a ticket to ride
But she don't care

My baby don't care
My baby don't care
My baby don't care
My baby don't care

My baby don't care
My baby don't care

Officially appears on


Help! (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1965

3:10 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Harmony vocals, Lead guitar
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Handclaps, Tambourine
John Lennon:
Double-tracked lead vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Rhythm guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 15, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 18, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Help! (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1965

3:07 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Harmony vocals, Lead guitar
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Handclaps, Tambourine
John Lennon:
Double-tracked lead vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Rhythm guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 15, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 18, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Help! (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1965

3:11 • Studio versionA1 • Stereo • Mock stereo made from [A]

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Harmony vocals, Lead guitar
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Handclaps, Tambourine
John Lennon:
Double-tracked lead vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Rhythm guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 15, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 18, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Ticket To Ride / Yes It Is

7" Single • Released in 1965

3:06 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Harmony vocals, Lead guitar
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Handclaps, Tambourine
John Lennon:
Double-tracked lead vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Rhythm guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 15, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 18, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Help! (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1965

3:10 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Harmony vocals, Lead guitar
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Handclaps, Tambourine
John Lennon:
Double-tracked lead vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Rhythm guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 15, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 23, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


A Collection of Beatles Oldies (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1966

3:01 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Harmony vocals, Lead guitar
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Handclaps, Tambourine
John Lennon:
Double-tracked lead vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Rhythm guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 15, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 18, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


A Collection of Beatles Oldies (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1966

3:01 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Harmony vocals, Lead guitar
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Handclaps, Tambourine
John Lennon:
Double-tracked lead vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Rhythm guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 15, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 23, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl

Official live • Released in 1977

2:51 • LiveL1

George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Mastering, Remix engineer
Voyle Gilmore:
Producer
Wally Traugott:
Mastering

Concert From the concert in Los Angeles, USA on Aug 29, 1965

Session Mixing:
January 1977
Studio:
AIR Studios, London, UK


Live At The BBC

Official live • Released in 1994

2:56 • Radio showL2

Keith Bateson:
Producer

Concert From "The Beatles (Invite You To Take A Ticket To Ride)" in London, United Kingdom on Jun 07, 1965


Anthology 2

Official album • Released in 1996

2:45 • LiveL3

Concert From "Blackpool Night Out" in Blackpool, United Kingdom on Aug 01, 1965


Bootlegs


Yellow Submarine Sessions

Unofficial album

3:03 • Outtake • Rare UK Demo 45 Mono


Complete Acetate Collection 1961-1970

Unofficial album

3:15 • Studio version


The BBC Archives Volume 12

Unofficial album

3:03 • Radio show




Live performances

“Ticket To Ride” has been played in 35 concerts.

Latest concerts where “Ticket To Ride” has been played


San Francisco • Cow Palace

Aug 31, 1965 • Part of 1965 US tour


San Francisco • Cow Palace

Aug 31, 1965 • Part of 1965 US tour


Los Angeles • Hollywood Bowl

Aug 30, 1965 • Part of 1965 US tour


Los Angeles • Hollywood Bowl

Aug 29, 1965 • Part of 1965 US tour


San Diego • Balboa Stadium

Aug 28, 1965 • Part of 1965 US tour



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