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(John Lennon – Paul McCartney)

There are places I remember…” With these introductory lyrics, John Lennon begins what most regard as a personal reflection of the first twenty-five years of his life. Although no “places” or “friends and lovers” are mentioned by name, the listener is drawn in by the reminiscent tone of his vocals along with the tender feel of the melody line and musical arrangement. By the end of the song we feel like we’ve been taken on a hand-sketched two minute and twenty-three second journey through the life of John Lennon.

“He did have a very warm side to him really,” recalls Paul McCartney, “which he didn’t like to show too much in case he got rejected.” Far from being rejected, the song “In My Life” has always been viewed as a respected piece of music lodged toward the end of their 1965 pop masterpiece “Rubber Soul.” John may have had the reputation of being the "rocker" in the group even during the early years but, as evidenced as early as the previous year's “If I Fell,” he periodically allowed his softer feelings to show in his writing.

The perception of “In My Life” as a nostalgic recollection from John was never stronger than after his untimely death on December 8th, 1980. The sentiments of the song rang true as “a personal epitaph, a warm-hearted salutation to friends and lovers,” as described by author John Robertson in his book “The Complete Guide To The Music Of The Beatles.” The song was played endlessly on local radio stations throughout the world. The lyrics became all the more potent and poignant as we all exchanged accounts of how his music had touched our lives. It was only natural, even expected, that the soundtrack to the 1988 documentary movie “Imagine: John Lennon” would feature the song.

However, it was amidst some controversy that Paul McCartney’s 1997 published autobiography “Many Years From Now” (co-authored by friend Barry Miles) recounts in convincing detail how he himself played a very large part in writing the song. And not only musically, but lyrically as well. Paul’s compositional involvement was admitted by John in interviews, but only as being of minor significance. For all intents and purposes, “In My Life” had been considered to be a full-fledged "John song." Because we lost him in death, it seemed almost sacreligious to think he might not be its primary writer.

This song history is written with the intention of presenting the facts using all of the known information up to this point. That being said, and unfortunately with John Lennon interviews that only go as far as 1980 without the ability to substantiate anything in print from Paul after that, both accounts will be discussed below to allow the reader to make his own determination. Happily, throughout the entire Lennon / McCartney catalog, there appears to be only two songs, “In My Life” and “Eleanor Rigby,” that reveals substantial disagreement among its composers as to who wrote what. All authors, writers, commentators and fans will just have to accept to the fact that we’re never going to really know for sure.

Songwriting History

The first germ of an idea that resulted in the song “In My Life” came with an interview between John and journalist Kenneth Allsop in March of 1964. John remembers: “It was sparked by a journalist and writer in England made after (John’s book) ‘In His Own Write’ came out. He said to me ‘Why don’t you put some of the way you write in the book in the songs?’ or ‘Why don’t you put something about your childhood into the songs?”

Taking this to heart, John began doing just that. “I wrote the lyrics first and then sang it,” Lennon recalls. “That was usually the case with things like ‘In My Life’ and ‘Across The Universe’ and some of the ones that stand out a bit. I wrote it in Kenwood, upstairs.”

The original poem / lyric sheet for “In My Life,” which Paul remembers having the title “Places I Remember,” still exists today as found by Elliot Mintz when he was hired by Yoko Ono to carry out an inventory of John’s personal possessions after his death. Elliot Mintz explains: “It was part of a large book in which he kept all his original Beatles compositions. He had already told me about how the song was written and that he considered it a significant turning point in his writing and, just as he had described to me, the song went on at great length and included lots of place names including Penny Lane.”

Although John had crossed out much of what he had written, the following is what can be deciphered from that document:

 There are places I’ll remember,

All my life, tho’ some have changed,

Some forever but not for better,

Some have gone and some remain.

 Penny Lane is one I’m missing,

 Up Church Rd. and to the clocktower,

In the circle of the Abbey,

 I have seen some happy hours.

 Past the tramsheds with no trams,

On the 5 bus into town,

Past the Dutch and St. Columba's,

To the Dockers Umbrella that they pulled down.

All these places have their memories,

Some are dead and some are living.

Pete Shotton, who was a close childhood friend of John, has related how John once told him that the lyric about the friends who were “dead” and “living” were about Stuart Sutcliffe, a close friend and former Beatle who died of a brain tumor in April of 1962, and Pete himself as the “living” friend.

Commenting about this poem, Lennon said in 1980: “’In My Life’ started out as a bus journey from my house at 251 Menlove Avenue to town, mentioning every place I could remember. I wrote it all down and it was ridiculous…It was the most boring sort of ‘What I Did On My Holiday’s Bus Trip’ song and it wasn’t working at all. But then I laid back and these lyrics started coming to me about the places I remember…I struggled for days and hours, trying to write clever lyrics. Then I gave up, and ‘In My Life’ came to me – letting it go is the whole game.”

In an interview for New Musical Express on November 12th, 1965, nearly a month before the album was released, McCartney spoke of this poem as an upcoming song on their next album. He described it as “a number about the places in Liverpool where we were born…Places like Penny Lane and the Dockers’ Umbrella (which was the Liverpool Overhead Railway) have a nice sound, but when we strung them together in a composition they sounded contrived so we gave up.”

One may notice that Paul here describes these lines as if he had composed them with John, but when noticing many interviews given during their heyday, both Lennon and McCartney seemed to put forth great efforts to portray the “Lennon / McCartney” partnership as collaborative with every song released. John, for instance, spoke of the song “Yesterday” in 1965 with terms such as “before we finally completed it” and “we almost had it finished” when in later years he readily admitted it was entirely a McCartney composition. Therefore, we can easily assume that John had indeed composed the “Places I Remember” poem by himself.

During a writing session arranged between John and Paul to complete songs for what became their upcoming “Rubber Soul” album, John premiered his poem to Paul. This is where the discrepancies begin to appear. Note the following comment from John in 1980 about the melody used for “In My Life”: “There was a period when I thought I didn’t write melodies; that Paul wrote those and I just wrote straight, shouting rock’n’roll. But of course, when I think of some of my own songs – ‘In My Life,’ or some of the early stuff, ‘This Boy’ – I was writing melody with the best of them.” From this, John appears to claim the melody of “In My Life” as his own creation entirely. He also made the statement that year in regards to this song: “Paul helped with the middle eight, musically.” On another occasion, John stated “The whole lyrics were already written before Paul even heard it. In ‘In My Life’ his contribution melodically was the harmony and the middle-eight itself”

However, in his book “Many Years From Now,” Paul gives this vivid recollection of that very writing session at John’s Kenwood home, probably in early October of 1965: “I’ll give my memories of writing ‘In My Life.’ I arrived at John’s house for a writing session and he had the very nice opening stanzas of the song…That was what John had. But as I recall, he didn’t have a tune to it, and my recollection, I think, is at variance with John’s. I said, ‘Well, you haven’t got a tune, let me just go and work on it.’ And I went down to the half-landing, where John had a Mellotron, and I sat there and put together a tune based in my mind on Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. Songs like ‘You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me’ and ‘Tears Of A Clown’ had really been a big influence. You refer back to something you’ve loved and try and take the spirit of that and write something new."

“So I recall writing the whole melody. And it actually does sound very like me, if you analyze it. I was obviously working to lyrics. The melody’s structure is very me. So my recollection is saying to John, ‘Just go and have a cup of tea or something. Let me be with this for ten minutes on my own and I’ll do it.’ And with the inspiration of Smokey (Robinson) and The Miracles, I tried to keep it melodic but a bit bluesy, with the minors and little harmonies, and then my recollection is going back up into the room and saying, ‘Got it, great! Good tune, I think. What d’you think?’ John said, ‘Nice,’ and we continued working with it from then, using that melody and filling out the rest of the verses. As usual, for these co-written things, he often just had the first verse, which was always enough: it was the direction, it was the signpost and it was the inspiration for the whole song. I hate the word but it was the template."

“We wrote it, and in my memory we tagged on the introduction, which I think I thought up. I was imaging the intro of a Miracles record, and to my mind the phrases on guitar are very much Smokey and The Miracles. So it was John’s original inspiration, I think my melody, I think my guitar riff. I don’t want to be categorical about this. But that’s my recollection. We then finished it off and it was a fine song which John sang.”

As we can see from the original manuscript of his poem, the lyrics changed quite dramatically before it got to its final form, making the song much more generic and less specific. As for the melodic structure of the song, many commentators are quick to point out the similarities in style to McCartney penned compositions. Most noteworthy is the scholarly writing of Ian MacDonald in his book “Revolution In The Head,” which speaks of the songs’ “angular verticality, spanning an octave in typically wide – and difficult – leaps (which) certainly shows more of (McCartney’s) touch than Lennon’s.” However, the third edition of this book counters with the added comment: “On the other hand, the chromatic descent, via the minor subdominant, in the second half of the verse suggests Lennon. Perhaps McCartney did the first half of the verse, Lennon the second?” Therefore, maybe John did have a hand in the melody as he always insisted.

An interesting observation can be made when viewing the lyric manuscript that was made after John and Paul completed the composition. It was all written in one person’s handwriting, is titled “In My Life (New Song),” and has only one signature at the bottom: “John Lennon”!

A couple of final thoughts on the matter include a 1973 interview Paul did with Rolling Stone Magazine in which he was asked what his favorite Lennon / McCartney songs were. His first response was: "I liked 'In My Life.' Those were words that John wrote and I wrote the tune to it." Then, in a 2001 Readers' Digest interview, after Paul discussed the controversy about him wanting top billing in the 'Lennon / McCartney' catolog on songs where he was the primary songwriter, he acquiesced to let John have his way regarding "In My Life." Concerning the melody, Paul stated: "I think I wrote it, but John thinks he wrote it. So, you know what? He can have it. One out of 200!"

At any rate, John was always very proud of the song. “’In My Life’ was, I think, my first real, major piece of work. Up until then it had all been glib and throw-away. I had one mind that wrote books and another that churned out things about ‘I love you’ and ‘you love me,’ because that’s how Paul and I did it…It was the first song that I wrote that was really, consciously, about my life…a remembrance of friends and lovers of the past.”


Recording History

October 18th, 1965 was their fourth recording session for the “Rubber Soul” album. This session was just over three hours long, which was quite short for Beatles sessions these days, but quite a lot was accomplished in this short amount of time. They entered EMI Studio Two at 2:30 pm to add vocal overdubs and tambourine to George’s “If I Needed Someone” which began recording two days earlier, this being completed in about an hour. Then they started rehearsing their recent composition “In My Life” to get the arrangement perfected before the tapes started rolling.

Three takes were made of the rhythm track, which comprised John on electric rhythm guitar, George playing the lead guitar riffs throughout the song, Paul on bass and Ringo on drums playing an interesting syncopated rhythm. The first two takes weren’t quite right, one of which was a breakdown. "Take three," however, was the keeper over which the overdubs would be superimposed.

They immediately started on these overdubs, John’s lead vocals no doubt being the first performed, which entailed some skill on his part in order to match up his ending vocal line “I love you more” with the previously recorded rhythm track. Then John double-tracked his vocals followed by background vocal overdubbing from Paul and George. A tambourine was also overdubbed by Ringo during the bridge which was put on a separate track of the four-track tape. At 5:45 pm, the session was done for the day.

Only one thing was needed to complete the song. George Martin relates: “There was a gap in the song, and I said, ‘We need a solo here.’” John Lennon suggested for George Martin to supply one himself. “In ‘In My Life’ there’s an Elizabethan piano solo,” John stated in a 1970 interview. “We’d do things like that. We’d say, ‘Play it like Bach,’ or, ‘Could you put twelve bars in there?’” With that vague instruction, George Martin was left to come up with something on another day.

“There’s a bit where John couldn’t decide what to do in the middle,” George Martin remembers. Although he relates how he recorded the resulting solo for this section “while they were having their tea-break,” this was actually done four days later on October 22nd, 1965. The Beatles were due to arrive at EMI Studio Two on that day to work on “Nowhere Man” at 2:30 pm, but George Martin secured the studio earlier in the day, from 10:30 to 11:30 am, to superimpose a solo of some sort.

“I wrote something like a Bach inversion, and played it, then recorded it,” George Martin explains. But he first had to decide what instrument to use. According to what was written on the tape box for that day, he first tried it on a Hammond organ. Feeling that wasn’t the right sound, he tried his solo on a piano.

In a 1990 BBC radio program entitled “Sounds Of The Sixties,” George Martin gives some interesting details about the solo in this song: “It was quite common practice for us to do a track and leave a hole in the middle for the solo. Sometimes George would pick up his guitar and fool around and do a solo, and we would often try to get other sounds. On ‘In My Life’ we left the hole as usual…While they were away, I thought it would be rather nice to have a harpsichord-like solo…I did it with what I call a ‘wound up’ piano, which was at double-speed – partly because you get a harpsichord sound by shortening the attack of everything, but also because I couldn’t play it at real speed anyway. So I played it on piano at exactly half normal speed, and down an octave. When you bring the tape back to normal speed again, it sounds pretty brilliant. It’s a means of tricking everybody into thinking you can do something really well.”

Being satisfied himself, the only thing left was for The Beatles to approve. “I played it back to them when they returned, and they said, ‘That’s great!’ So, we left it like that.”

The mono mix of “In My Life” was made on October 25th, 1965 in the control room of EMI Studio Two by George Martin and engineers Norman Smith and Ken Scott. The first stereo mix was made the following day, October 26th, 1965, in the control room of the same studio with George Martin, Norman Smith and 2nd engineer Ron Pender at the controls. Interestingly, as an existing acetate pressing shows, the running order of "Rubber Soul" at this point placed "In My Life" as the third song on side one after "Nowhere Man," this decision being changed shortly thereafter.

This stereo mix places the entire rhythm track and the separate tambourine overdub track on the left channel. The right channel contains all of the vocal overdubs (with slight reverb) as well as George Martin’s piano solo. A small bleed over of the rhythm track can be heard on the right channel due to it being played in the studio for The Beatles to sing along with, being picked up by their microphones. When the vocals were complete toward the end of the song, the engineers faded down the right channel so the bleed over disappeared during the final seconds.

As it turns out, George Martin’s piano solo was played on the same track as the tambourine overdub. While they were creating this first stereo mix, they needed to pan that track from the left channel, where the tambourine is normally heard, to the right channel where they wanted the piano solo to be heard. After the solo, they needed to quickly pan that track back to the left channel immediately because the tambourine comes in on the very next beat. They didn’t pan it quick enough, so the first beat of the tambourine is heard in the right channel before they had a chance to get it back to the left channel.

In 1986, George Martin returned to the master tapes to create a second stereo mix of the song for the 1987 released “Rubber Soul” album on compact disc. This mix differs from the first stereo mix in a few ways. First of all, the vocals have a fair percentage more reverb than before and are panned slightly more to the left, giving it a slightly centered effect. This time around, they panned the piano solo very quickly back to the left channel so the tambourine comes in on the downbeat of the correct measure. Also, the drums are slightly quieter during the verses in this new stereo mix.

There are also a couple of small but noticeable differences in the 1986 stereo mix concerning John’s vocal track. The first is the absence of John’s intake of breath just before he starts singing at the beginning of the song, which is present in the 1965 stereo mix. Second, George Martin decided to leave the vocal track up on the right channel at the end of the song instead of fading it out as he had done in the original stereo mix. These are very minor anomalies but are worthy of mention.


Song Structure and Style

To define what structure “In My Life” falls into is a complex task and varies from one source to another. Lennon referring to the second and fourth sections of the song as a “middle-eight” may give us a hint, so for the sake of analysis we’ll call these sections ‘bridges’ instead of refrains. Therefore, the structure would consist of ‘verse/ bridge/ verse/ bridge/ verse (solo)/ bridge’ (or ababab). A fitting introduction, an interjected half-introduction after the first bridge, and a climactic conclusion are also included.

A four-measure introduction is heard first which is actually a two measure guitar riff (written by McCartney and played by Harrison) repeated twice with Lennon’s rhythm guitar in the background. Paul’s bass is also present with some interesting ascending runs to compliment the arrangement. With a slight intake of breath from John (in the 1965 mixes), the syncopated drums and three-part harmony vocals kick in for the eight-measure first verse that follows. The background vocalists harmonize the lyrics with John’s double-tracked vocals on every other line starting with “There are places I remember,” while they “oooh” during the conclusion of each thought, as when John finishes the line “all my life, though some have changed.”

The first eight-measure bridge repeats the harmony pattern although they drop the “oooh”s to allow John to finish the thought by himself. The syncopated drums are replaced by gentle four-in-the-bar cymbal taps and tambourine shakes for measures one, two, five and six, each set ending with a simple fill. The remaining measures of the bridge introduce a traditional rock beat riding the bell of the ride cymbal. John’s rhythm guitar strums are elongated to add fluency to the track.

After the bridge, Ringo immediately jumps back into the syncopated drum pattern as a two-measure reprise of the introduction is next heard as a spacer before the second verse. Otherwise, the same ingredients as heard in the intro are repeated but only with one phrase instead of two this time around.

A second eight-measure verse is then heard that is identical in structure and arrangement to the first verse but with different lyrics. A second bridge then follows which is also structurally identical but with new lyrics. One noticeable difference is the filling out of the syllables in the harmonized vocal lines. In the first bridge, most words take up two syllables each, such as on “dead and some are,” while the second bridge usually fills out each syllable, such as with “I know I’ll often stop and think about them.”

A new eight-measure verse follows right after this bridge, which this time is taken up by George Martin’s incredible baroque keyboard solo. The final note of his double-timed downward run hits on the same beat that John begins singing “Though I know I’ll never lose affection,” thereby introducing a repeat of the second bridge, which is essentially the same structurally and instrumentally.

After this is complete, the conclusion of the song begins, which starts out with a further half-reprise of the introduction as heard between the first bridge and second verse. After this, the song hangs in the air as Lennon jumps into falsetto for the first time in the song, repeating the final line of the last verse, namely “In my life…” After we lose the tempo of the song momentarily (not unlike what he does three years later in “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”), John finishes the line “I love you more” in his normal voice but with a stagnant beat to create an emotional impact on the listener. This is followed by a final repeat of the introductory line and then one final concluding phrase as a bow to satisfyingly end the song.

With such an intimate song as “In My Life,” one would expect Lennon to don his Gibson acoustic guitar as he had done on many “Rubber Soul” tracks. Surprisingly, yet appropriately, John picks up an electric guitar, probably his 1961 Sonic Blue Fender Stratocaster, to play his flowing, yet subtle, rhythm guitar part. John’s most noteworthy contribution to the song, however, was his double-tracked lead vocals which convincingly deliver the nostalgic lyrics and touch a nerve with the listener in the process.

Paul may take a backseat in the proceedings but his presence is definitely felt. His bass work adds nuances throughout the song that work with the arrangement while not becoming too busy. His other contributions are his superbly performed harmonies and, one can assume from recent examples such as “Ticket To Ride,” what are probably his suggestions to Ringo concerning the syncopated drum beat he plays.

Speaking of which, Ringo is always keen to play appropriately to any occasion, this time with a delicate smoothness on drums and tambourine that doesn’t detract from John’s vocal delivery. George once again plays a minor role here, one of background vocalist and lead guitarist, although his playing is only heard briefly four times in the song. It is, however, delivered perfectly despite a stray note appearing after the final note of the song is heard. The note does fit and was included, no doubt, to help contribute to the intimate feel of the song.

Lennon’s powerful delivery works so well in this song because of the immensely nostalgic contents of the lyrics. At some point in everyone’s life, we all wish to revisit the old town or neighborhood to see how things presently look. We inevitably find that “some have changed” and “not for better,” some buildings and homes being torn down or remodeled beyond recognition. But we’re always happy to find that “some remain” exactly how we remember them, which may then bring a tear to our eye. After all, “all these places had their moments with lovers and friends,” and those "good old days" come rushing back to us. Then our focus turns to the people as we begin to wonder whatever happened to them. “Some are dead and some are living,” but we wouldn’t trade those memories for anything. We “loved them all.”

The nostalgic trip of the song then switches gears to the present time, which shows that we don’t just live in the past but appreciate where life has lead us up to this point in life. As may be our experience, John addresses his current partner saying that none of “these friends and lovers” of the past “compares with you.” Although he will always cherish his formative years and all of these experiences, “these memories lose their meaning” in comparison with the happiness of the present day. Like us, he will “often stop and think about them” from time to time but, as John relates in falsetto as a climax to the song, “In my life, I love you more.”

It is no wonder that Lennon viewed this song as his “first real, major piece of work.”


American Releases

December 6th, 1965 was when US audiences first got to hear “In My Life” as an album track on Capitol’s version of “Rubber Soul.” Its placement after the rousing conclusion to “I’m Looking Through You” definitely made the emotional nature of the song stand out to be taken notice of. This US version of "Rubber Soul" was released on an individual compact disc on January 21, 2014, both the mono and stereo versions of the album being contained on a single CD.

An astonishing six tracks were taken from the British “Rubber Soul” album to be included on their first official compilation album, namely “The Beatles/1962-1966” (aka “The Red Album”). The popularity of “In My Life” had already taken its hold on Beatles fans by 1973, thereby its inclusion on this April 19th, 1973 released double album was a given. This album's first compact disc release was on September 20th, 1993, "In My Life" also being included on the composite "Red Album / Blue Album" promotional sampler that came out simultaneously. A remastered "Red Album" was then released on August 10th, 2010.

While in the habit of constructing double-album compilations, Capitol released “Love Songs” on October 21st, 1977. Eight of the tracks on this set were repeats of songs included on either of the 1973 compilation albums, one of which was “In My Life.” Although an official new stereo mix was not made at this point, the vocals had been artificially panned closer to the center of the channels on this release, this being easily accomplished by simply panning the right channel nearer to the center.

The first time the original British "Rubber Soul” album was made available in the US was the "Original Master Recording" vinyl edition released through Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in June of 1984. This album included "In My Life" and was prepared utilizing half-speed mastering technology from the original master tape on loan from EMI. This version of the album was only available for a short time and is quite collectible today.

George Martin created a new stereo mix of the song with more centered vocals in 1986, this being included on the first compact disc release of “Rubber Soul” on April 30th, 1987 and on the vinyl edition on July 21st, 1987. This album, which introduced the fourteen-track sequence of the British release in America for the first time, was then remastered and re-released on September 9th, 2009 on CD and on November 13th, 2012 on vinyl.

“In My Life” was understandably included on the album “Imagine: John Lennon,” which was the soundtrack to a documentary movie that saw national release in 1988. The soundtrack album was released on October 10th, 1988 and included nine Beatles songs, this being one of them.

On July 17th, 2001, Capitol released a 6 CD box set entitled "Produced By George Martin," which was an extensive selection of George Martin productions from throughout his career. "In My Life" was included on "Disc Three (That Was The Decade That Was)."

On November 16th, 2004, Capitol released the second in its series of Beatles CD box sets containing the original stereo and mono mixes of the American albums. This set, entitled “The Capitol Albums, Vol. 2,” contains the entire “Rubber Soul” album with its original US track listing. Although the original mono mix of “In My Life” was accidentally not contained on the first pressing of the set, substituted by a “fold-down” mix of the original stereo mix, the differences are so slight that it’s hardly worth a mention here. Nevertheless, the real 1965 mono mix can be obtained in later pressings of this set.

Another place to obtain this mix is on the box set “The Beatles In Mono,” which contains the entire mono Beatles catalog. This September 9th, 2009 released set also includes the original 1965 stereo mix with the vocals panned entirely onto the right channel, as is included on the Capitol box set mentioned in the previous paragraph.

In promotion of the 2014 box set "The US Albums," a 25-song sampler CD was manufactured for limited release on January 21st, 2014, this containing the stereo mix of "In My Life."

Live Performances

With the inclusion of George Martin’s intricate piano solo recorded in double-time, “In My Life” was always thought to be an album track with no consideration of it ever being performed live.

However, this is not to say that it never was. Astoundingly, George Harrison thought to work up a version of “In My Life” and performed it with his band during his 1974 North American Tour. His rendition is drawn out over five minutes with bluesy lead guitar playing and a keyboard solo by band member Billy Preston. The most noteworthy element here, though, is his ending the second bridge with the line “In my life I love God more,” which caused many to view this version with much disdain. Through hoarse vocal cords, George does dedicate the performance to his former band-mates with the words “God bless John Lennon, Paul and Ringo.”



Although the exact collaborative nature of “In My Life” is cloaked in controversy that will probably never be fully resolved, the song itself is testimony to the true genius of the Lennon / McCartney songwriting team. By late 1965, they had surely come a long way. Their early experimentations with songwriting may have been as explained by George Martin, saying “they stole unashamedly from existing records.” However, as Paul humbly admits, “John and I were writing quite well by 1965…around the time of 'Rubber Soul.'" Beatles road manager Mal Evans agreed, stating in a December 1975 interview with Ken Doyle: "I love 'In My Life,' it's my all-time favorite. Something magical about it."

This opinion was never more fully verified than by the song coming in at #5 in Rolling Stone Magazine's “The Beatles 100 Greatest Songs” special edition of 2010. Even 45 years after its initial release, the respect for “In My Life” is monumental. We can only expect this to continue for many future years to come.

Song Summary

In My Life

Written by:  John Lennon / Paul McCartney 

  • Song Written: October, 1965
  • Song Recorded: October 18 & 22, 1965
  • First US Release Date: December 6, 1965
  • First US Album Release: Capitol #ST-2442 “Rubber Soul
  • US Single Release: n/a
  • Highest Chart Position: n/a
  • British Album Release: Parlophone #PCS 3075 “Rubber Soul
  • Length: 2:23
  • Key: A major
  • Producer: George Martin
  • Engineers: Norman Smith, Ken Scott, Stuart Eltham, Mike Stone

 Instrumentation (most likely):

  • John Lennon - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar (1961 Sonic Blue Fender Stratocaster)
  • Paul McCartney - Bass Guitar (1964 Rickenbacker 4001S), Harmony Vocals
  • George Harrison –  Lead Guitar (1961 Sonic Blue Fender Stratocaster), harmony vocals
  • Ringo Starr – Drums (1965 Ludwig Super Classic Black Oyster Pearl), tambourine
  • George Martin - Piano (Hamburg Steinway Baby Grand)

Written and compiled by Dave Rybaczewski

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