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"You Never Give Me Your Money" History
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(John Lennon – Paul McCartney)

Paul McCartney was not in the habit of composing songs specifically describing events going on in his life.  While it can be claimed that love songs he had written could easily be attributed to whoever was his significant other at the time, these were usually generic in lyrical content, fashioned after pop composers that he admired, such as Goffin & King and Smokey Robinson.  When he was challenged in 1966 to write about something other than romance and/or relationships, Paul tended to construct themes with characters that were purely out of his imagination.  This gave rise to "Paperback Writer," "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" and "Rocky Raccoon" among many others.

As for John Lennon's output in the later Beatle years, he easily gravitated to writing about either personal experiences (like “I'm So Tired” and “Sexy Sadie”) or tangible motivating factors (like “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!” and “A Day In The Life”).  George Harrison, being immersed in Eastern religion and spirituality in the later sixties, usually took it upon himself to include these newly learned beliefs into his compositions, either literally (like “Within You Without You” and “The Inner Light”) or masked within the context of the lyrics (like “Long, Long, Long” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”).

But Paul usually liked to deal more with fantasy.  As he relates in the “Beatles Anthology” book:  “I remember George once saying to me, 'I couldn't write songs like that.'  He writes more from personal experience.  John's style was to show the naked truth.  If I was a painter, I'd probably mask things a little bit more than some people.”

However, with the business turmoil The Beatles were going through around the time of April 1969, Paul decided to take a lesson or two from his band-mates and write a song that at least touched on the specifics of their current state of affairs.  The result being “You Never Give Me Your Money.”  And while the lyrics do present their financial troubles, Paul does indeed proceed to “mask things a little bit.”  Just not nearly as much as he usually did.

Paul and Linda McCartney, married March 12th, 1969

Songwriting History

"It was written when they were together in New York," states Barry Miles in Paul's biography "Many Years From Now."  This undoubtedly refers to the time period of March 19th through April 9th, 1969, Paul spending these three weeks in New York with his new bride Linda, whom he married on March 12th.  This would give him time to become more fully acquainted with his new in-laws, as well as write "You Never Give Me Your Money."

The unique structure of this song, which meanders from one unrelated subject to another without any repeated verses, choruses or refrains (not unlike John's “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”), was different from anything Paul had ever written before.  And for good reason. McCartney had quite liked the idea of stringing together different songs into one long medley, Keith West's 1968 release “Excerpt From A Teenage Opera” being cited as a key example.  Therefore, with the other Beatles and George Martin eventually on board, Paul started off this project with “You Never Give Me Your Money,” which is actually three different songs connected by appropriate segues.

"I think it was my idea to put all the spare bits together, but I'm a bit wary of claiming these things," Paul explains in the "Beatles Anthology" book.  "I'm happy for it to be everyone's idea.  Anyway, in the end, we hit upon the idea of medleying them all and giving the second side a sort of operatic structure – which was great because it used ten or twelve unfinished songs in a good way." 

John apparently was keen to be a part of this at first, evidence being a May 1969 interview.  With the “Get Back” single just released in mid April, John was asked about the soon-to-be-released album that would undoubtedly accompany the single.  “A lot of the tracks will be like 'Get Back,'” he explained, “and a lot of that we did in one take.  We've done about twelve tracks; some of them are still to be re-mixed.  Also, Paul and I are now working on a kind of song montage that we might do as one piece on one side.  We've got two weeks to finish the whole thing, so we're really working at it.”

This response suggests that the “song montage” was being considered for what became the “Let It Be” album, which they were hoping to have completed in two weeks.  Paul had written “You Never Give Me Your Money” at this point and John had also written “Mean Mr. Mustard” and “Polythene Pam” the previous year, all of which became part of this “song montage.”  The following month, however, a decision was made to make one final album, the result becoming “Abbey Road.”  This gave the band more time to write, record and perfect the “song montage” while putting the “Let It Be” sessions on hold for the time being.  Sometime later it was decided that they would release these earlier recording sessions as a soundtrack album to coincide with the “Let It Be” movie when it premiered in theaters.

At any rate, Paul's intended purpose for the track “You Never Give My Your Money” was to begin this long medley.  He had a few song ideas (three, in fact) that he hadn't completed as individual songs and strategically strung them together.  Regarding the entire “song montage,” Paul explained:  “We did it this way because John and I had a number of songs, which were great as they were, but we'd finished them.  It often happens that you write the first verse of a song and then you've said it all, and can't be bothered to write a second verse, repeating or giving a variation.  So, I said to John, 'Have you got any bits and pieces, which we can make into one long track?'  And he had, and we made a piece that makes sense all the way through.”  Paul got the ball rolling, so to speak, by himself, stringing together three unfinished songs.

The first unfinished song that is heard is the soft ballad-like piano segment that features the song's title.  “This was me directly lambasting Allen Klein's attitude to us,” Paul explains in his book “Many Years From Now,” “no money, just funny paper, all promises and it never works out.  It's basically a song about no faith in the person, that found its way into the medley on 'Abbey Road.'  John saw the humor in it.”

“That's what we get,” George Harrison concurred at the time.  “We get bits of paper, saying how much is earned and what this and that is, but we never actually get it in pounds, shillings and pence.  We've all got a big house and a car and an office, but to actually get the money we've earned seems impossible.”

Allen Klein, the celebrated manager who had worked with The Rolling Stones among many others, was brought in by John to sort out the legal and financial problems facing the group.  Paul was resisting getting on board with Klein, his preference in sorting out the group's affairs being his new father-in-law, attorney Lee Eastman.  Paul's interaction with Klein during the writing of this section of the song was minimal and/or nonexistent, however McCartney undoubtedly heard claims of what miracles he would be able to do for the group from his band-mates during this time period.  Paul busied himself with other matters at hand, such as recording and mixing sessions, in order to avoid confrontation with Klein.  Nonetheless, at a mixing session at Olympic Sound Studios on May 9th, 1969, three days after the first recording session for “You Never Give Me Your Money,” Klein showed up with an ultimatum on behalf of his company ABKCO taking over the Beatles affairs.  Paul refused to comply, which resulted in a major argument and the other three Beatles angrily leaving the session.  Therefore, the first section of the song, which had already been written and partially recorded three days before this outburst occurred, must have been directed at what Paul felt would be the results of Allen Klein's taking over the financial affairs of the band, since this hadn't yet occurred.

The second of Paul's unfinished songs, beginning with the lyrics, “out of college, money spent,” is said to be in reference to the excitably uncertainty of the experience The Beatles went through in their formidable years.  They decided to forgo their education and/or possible careers to throw themselves head-first into what they loved to do, being in a potentially successful 'beat group.'  Having “got the sack,” or getting fired, from ordinary jobs they detested anyway, and with almost nothing monetarily to show for themselves, they enveloped themselves in “that magic feeling” of finally making it.

After a dramatic instrumental segue, we arrive at Paul's third unfinished song, beginning with the lyric “one sweet dream.”  Barry Miles, in Paul's book “Many Years From Now,” explains this segment as being “a reference to Paul and Linda's trips to purposely get lost in the country.”  In Steve Turner's book “A Hard Day's Write,” Linda explains:  “As a kid I loved getting lost.  I would say to my father, 'Let's get lost.'...Then, when I moved to England to be with Paul (in the Autumn of 1968), we would put Martha in the back of the car and drive out of London.  As soon as we were on the open road I'd say, 'Let's get lost,' and we'd keep driving without looking at any signs.”  Hence the lyrics, “soon we'll be away from here / step on the gas and wipe that tear away.”  Paul also wrote the song “Two Of Us” about these driving experiences with Linda, this song eventually appearing on the “Let It Be” film and soundtrack album

The phrase "one, two, three, four, five, six, seven / all good children go to heaven," which is heard various times during the conclusion of the song, comes from a popular children's jump rope rhyme.  The Beatles may have been familiar with this rhyme during their upbringing, or possibly Paul picked it up from Linda's young daughter Heather with whom he had been in recent frequent company with.  The entire jump rope rhyme is reportedly as follows:

"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.  All good children go to heaven.
When you get there God will say, 'Where's that book you stole away?'
If you say, 'I don't know,' he will send you down below.
Where everything is red hot peppers!
One, two, three, four five, six, seven.  All good children go to heaven.
When you get there, angels say, '(schoolname) children, right this way.

Olympic Sound Studios, London

Recording History

As mentioned above, Paul brought “You Never Give Me Your Money” into the recording studio for the first time on May 6th, 1969.  This was at London's Olympic Sound Studios, undoubtedly because EMI Studios were unavailable, the sessions beginning at 3 pm.

A total of 36 takes of the song were recorded on this day, the probability being that a good amount of time was taken up by Paul acquainting the other Beatles in the framework of the song and in working out the arrangement.  The instrumentation of these takes consisted of Paul on piano and guide vocal, John on distorted electric guitar, George on electric guitar played through a rotating Leslie speaker, and Ringo on drums.  The original idea of ending the song was abrupt, as evidenced in many of the early takes concluding just before where the “one, two, three, four, five, six, seven” vocals come in on the finished version, a segue into another feature of the medley to be worked out later.  'Take 30' was decided to be the keeper, onto which John double-tracked his winding guitar passages at the conclusion of the song.

It was then decided, however, that this 'take 30' would be edited together with another take that extended into an impromptu jam.  The edit of the two takes can be detected in the released song just after Paul sings, “came true / today / yes it did...”  They must have been quite proud of how that extended ad lib turned out, which eventually brought the song into double-time on the drums with John playing a standard 12-bar rhythm on electric guitar before it finally ground to a halt.  This, of course, would be faded out in the mixing stage, which meant that they had to come up with another way of bringing in the next feature of the medley.  This would be worked out later.  Also noticeable here is how, after the edit, John's winding guitar passage goes from double-tracked to single-tracked for the remainder of the song.

A quick stereo mix of the song as it was so far was created at the end of the session by producer George Martin and engineers Glyn Johns and Steve Vaughan.  Without doubt, this stereo mix was taken away by Paul to decide what was next needed to complete this section of the medley.  By 4 am the following morning, The Beatles retired for the night.

Once the decision was made to concentrate their efforts in creating one final Beatles album, the first thing on the agenda was continuing work on the medley, “You Never Give Me Your Money” being the only song of the medley they had worked on thus far.  Paul alone arrived at EMI Studio Two at 3 pm on July 1st, 1969, to add new lead vocals onto the song, John being hospitalized at the time because of a recent automobile accident in Scotland.  With this accomplished to Paul's satisfaction, the session ended at around 7:30 pm.

The Beatles blocked out studio time in EMI Studios for nearly every day of July and August of 1969 for serious work on their final album, which eventually would be titled “Abbey Road.”  With many other songs being started within the following nine days, including more songs for the long medley, work resumed on “You Never Give Me Your Money” on July 11th, 1969.  The Beatles arrived in EMI Studio Two at 2:30 pm on this day and, after working on “Maxwell's Silver Hammer” and “Something,” Paul added a bass guitar overdub onto “You Never Give Me Your Money.”  This session concluded at midnight.

After the weekend, The Beatles resumed work on the song in EMI Studio Three on July 15th, 1969, the session beginning at 2:30 pm.  By 6 pm, Paul double-tracked his vocals in certain areas of the song, and Paul, John and George had recorded their backing harmonies throughout the song.  This would include the “one, two, three, four, five, six, seven” harmonies that are heard in the song's conclusion, as well as Ringo repeatedly hitting a tambourine after the words “seven” and “heaven.”  Also recorded on this day were chimes, undoubtedly played by Paul, this also being featured in the closing moments of the song.  It may also be on this day that George double-tracked his extensive lead guitar passage in the elaborate segue between the second and third sections of the song.  From 6 to 11 pm on this day, George Martin and engineers Phil McDonald and Alan Parsons worked at creating yet another stereo mix of the song, as it was so far, for Paul to review, six attempts at this mix being made.

The song was then set aside for two weeks while work on various other “Abbey Road” tracks were being focused on, including the remaining segments of the medley.  Then, on July 30th, 1969, it was decided to do a trial run at piecing together all of the medley songs into one cohesive unit.  Some of the songs to be used in the medley weren't completely finished - no vocals had been recorded yet for the song “The End,” for example - but they wanted to experiment on how it could be accomplished.

The Beatles entered the control room of EMI Studio Two at 2 pm on this day, the first order of business being the first song in this medley, namely “You Never Give Me Your Money.”  First on the agenda was making a tape reduction of the song, six attempts being made thereof (takes 37 through 42), 'take 40' being deemed best.  After this was complete at 3:30 pm, they moved over to EMI Studio Three to record some needed elements to some of the medley songs.  Onto what was then called 'take 40' of “You Never Give Me Your Money,” a vocal overdub of some kind was overdubbed.  After overdubs were also recorded onto other medley songs, they moved back into the control room of EMI Studio Two at 10:30 pm to actually try to assemble the medley.

Before this could be done, however, preliminary stereo mixes of all the songs that were to become part of the medley needed to be created.  These stereo mixes were created by George Martin and engineers Geoff Emerick, Phil McDonald and John Kurlander.  With all this accomplished, the editing, crossfading and tape compilation of all of these songs began.  Photographic evidence from this time period shows Paul working the faders on the control panel, indicating that he played an intricate part in editing this medley together.

Engineer Geoff Emerick, in his book “Here, There And Everywhere,” relates the events of this evening:  “The medley was now nearly complete, and it was decided to do a test edit to see how all the various components fit together.  That session was a long one – for the first time since the 'White Album' days, we worked late into the night – but everyone was really upbeat and quite pleased with the results.  There was only one little bit of contention, and it had to do with the cross-fade between 'You Never Give Me Your Money' and '...Sun King.'  John didn't like the idea of there being such a long gap between the two songs, but Paul felt strongly that the mood needed to be set for the listener before 'Sun King' started.  In the end, Paul got his way – John merely shrugged his shoulders and feigned disinterest.  At first, a single held organ note was used for the crossfade.”

It's interesting to note here that, as stated above, the original conception of how “You Never Give Me Your Money” would conclude would be sudden, which may have been easier to edit together with whatever song would have come next in the medley.  However, since the group decided to use an edited take of that first song that didn't end abruptly but continued on with ad lib rambling, it needed to be faded out.  With the single-note organ in place to join the two songs, they viewed it as acceptable at that point.  This brought the session to a close at 2:30 am the following morning.

The next day, July 31st, 1969, saw The Beatles continue work on “You Never Give Me Your Money.”  They entered EMI Studio Two at 2:30 pm with Paul having definite ideas for additional overdubs for the song.  After Paul heard 'take 40' of the song, which was the most recent mix made the day before during the experimental medley editing session, he deemed the reduction mix that was done on that day unnecessary.  This meant that the vocal overdub that was done after that reduction mix was unnecessary also.  The overdubs he now wanted to perform on this day would be recorded onto the original edited 'take 30.'

Onto 'take 30,' Paul overdubbed a second bass guitar part, this one with more fluent runs as can be especially heard in the first segment of the song on top of the more simple bass part that he previously overdubbed.  With this done, Paul also felt the song needed more piano work, a boogie-woogie-style overdub being played by himself that can be heard during the “out of college” second section of the song.  With that complete, they focused on adding more overdubs to the “Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight” portion of the medley, which then brought the session to a conclusion at 1:15 am the following morning.

Still, the dilemma of how to segue “You Never Give Me Your Money” into “Sun King” weighed on Paul's mind.  Then, he came up with a solution.  Mark Lewisohn, in his book “The Beatles Recording Sessions,” relates:  “Paul McCartney, in particular, would still spend spare time in the sound equipment room of his St. John's Wood house, making tape loops (with his Brennell tape machine).  On this day, 5 August 1969, Paul took a plastic bag containing a dozen loose strands of mono tape into Abbey Road, where – together with the production staff – he spent the afternoon in the studio three control room transferring the best of these onto professional four-track tape.  The effects – sounding like bells, birds, bubbles and crickets chirping – allowed for a perfect crossfade in the medley.”  Geoff Emerick concurs:  “Paul arrived with a plastic bag of tape loops (just as he had done when we worked on 'Tomorrow Never Knows' years before) and we used several of them.”  This occurred on August 5th, 1969 in the control room of EMI Studio Three, this composite sound effects tape being assembled between 2:30 and 6:30 pm.  Five 'takes' of compiling these sound effects were made, 'take five' being deemed best. 

Then, with Paul's additional bass and piano overdubs on the song, more attempts at creating a stereo mix were made on August 13th, 1969 in the control room of EMI Studio Two between 2:30 and 9:15 pm.  George Martin and engineers Geoff Emerick, Phil McDonald and Alan Parsons made eight attempts, numbered 20 through 27, working hard to mix out certain awkward lead guitar runs in the final moments of the song played by George Harrison on the original rhythm track, as well as a couple unneeded vocalizations from Paul.  In the end, 'remix 23' was considered the best. 

The following day, August 14th, 1969, saw the same engineering staff, with The Beatles input no doubt, remixing, crossfading and editing the now finished songs for the medley.  This twelve-hour session occurred in the EMI Studio Two control room from 2:30 pm to 2:30 am the following morning.  Eleven attempts were made at crossfading “You Never Give Me Your Money” with “Sun King” utilizing Paul's sound effects tape.  They thought they had achieved the perfect crossfade by the end of the session.

But they were not quite satisfied.  On August 21st, 1969, in the control room of EMI Studio Two, one final attempt was made of creating the perfect crossfade between the two songs with Paul's sound effects tape.  The session began at 2:30 pm and, low and behold, they finally got it to everyone's satisfaction, including Paul and George Martin.  The finished master for the “Abbey Road” album was made the day before, so this new stereo mix needed to be inserted into the finished master, along with a new remix of the song “The End” which was also made on this day.  By midnight, this session was complete.

A further recording of “You Never Give Me Your Money” as a medley with another “Abbey Road” song “Carry That Weight” (a couple of segments of the first song being heard in the second song on the original album, incidentally) was made during Paul's “Driving USA” tour of Spring 2002.  It was an entirely solo performance by Paul on piano with no accompaniment from his band, the recording made sometime between April 1st and May 18th of 2002.  This recording was included on both the American release “Back In The U.S.” and the album “Back In The World” which was released in various other countries.

This live version consists of the first two sections of “You Never Give Me Your Money,” and then segues into the latter half of “Carry That Weight” that contains the same melody as the former song before reprising the first verse of “You Never Give My Your Money” to conclude this rendition nicely. Interestingly, Paul never took the time to learn the second lyric line from the second section of the song, instead singing, “And this is the bit where I don't know the words, but I don't think I'm even going to bother to try and learn them before the end of the tour.”

Song Structure and Style

Because of the intended rambling nature of the song, going from one section to another in succession, “You Never Give Me Your Money” is similar only to John's “Happiness Is A Warm Gun,” which also meanders in the same way.  Apart from the first section comprising a thrice-repeated eight-measure melody line, and some repeated melodic phrases in the second section, the song invariably just moves along in a haphazard fashion, as with a conversation with a friend that keeps changing subjects.

The song begins with the first installment, considered the main thrust of the song given that the entire piece is named after the first words heard in this section.  Paul plays a delicate eight-measure introduction on piano, interjecting some melodic bass lines in measures four, seven and eight.  The same eight measures are then repeated with Paul singing lead vocals which are single-tracked until the words “funny paper,” these vocals then being double-tracked for the remainder of this section of the song.  Paul's bass work is much more intricate in the eighth measure this time around, its last note being heard on top of the lower bass note that comes in on the down-beat of the measure that follows it. Therefore, two bass guitar parts, both overdubbed by Paul, are heard at this point in the song.

This section is then repeated again with different lyrics and some added elements.  First off, John and George come in with delicate harmonies which are heard throughout these eight measures. Ringo is also heard lightly tapping cymbals while two bass parts continue to be heard throughout.  This eighth measure, however, deviates with Ringo adding a drum fill to go along with Paul's piano and bass work.  This measure creates an appropriate segue into the second section of the song.

This second section can also be broken down into three smaller sections.  The first, which is eight measures long, features two repeats of a four-measure passage and melody line beginning with the lyric “out of college, money spent.”  The instrumentation consists of Paul playing two pianos (a simple pattern from the rhythm track and then a barrle-house style as an overdub), Paul playing two bass parts (the most recently overdubbed one playing an impressive walking bass part), John playing chords on guitar from the rhythm track, and Ringo on drums.  Paul sings in his single-tracked Fats Domino style vocal throughout this section, not unlike what he displayed on “Lady Madonna.”  Ringo plays an upbeat 4/4 swing beat with open hi-hat accents on the two- and four-beat, displaying a drum fill in both measures four and eight.

The second part of the second section, which starts with the lyric “but, oh that magic feeling,” is fourteen measures long.  Ringo keeps the same time signature but shifts to a much more steady 4/4 rock feel for this section, riding nicely on the ride cymbal.  This section actually consists of five repeats of a three-chord pattern, the final chord being cut off because of it transitioning into the first chord of the third part of the second section...You might want to write this down.  Lol.

The other elements of this section consist of the following:  John repeats a simple electric guitar riff that alters between the three chords in measures one through six, and then incorporates a more elaborate rendition of the same riffs in measures seven through fourteen.  Paul plays simple piano from the rhythm track, but also plays a simple bass part from his first bass overdub and an intricate 'lead bass' part from his second bass overdub in measures seven through fourteen.  John, Paul and George provide “aah” harmonies in measures seven through fourteen, Paul's awkward extended “whoooohhhhhh” after his final “nowhere to go” line in measure six being panned down in the mixing stage to be replaced by the aforementioned three-part harmonies.

The third part of this second section is an elaborate seven-measure segue that takes us from the key of C, where the song currently is, back to the key of A where the song began.  The primary focal point of the song is George's lead guitar work from the rhythm track which was double-tracked at a later session.  John's rhythm guitar disappears during this section as does any trace of piano.  Ringo's drums and Paul's bass propel the song through various elaborate chord changes and accents while the lead guitar keeps ascending to greater and greater heights until it lands firmly at his highest register on the downbeat of the third section of the song.

The third and final section of the song is, including the extended fade, thirty six measures long. Ringo immediately reverts back to his 4/4 swing-style beat with open hi-hat accents on the two- and four-beats.  John comes back in with rhythm chords on guitar while George fills in open gaps between lyrics with melodic phrases as he is known to do.  Paul sings lead in measures one through fifteen while one bass overdub is heard throughout.  A change in atmosphere momentarily occurs in measures five and six, John playing open chord strums during the lyrics “soon we'll be away from here / step on the gas and wipe that tear away,” Paul adding a quick bass flourish high up on the neck at the end of measure five.  Also of interest is measure eight, between the lyric “one sweet dream / came true,” which is the only measure of the song that is in 2/4 time instead of 4/4.

This is followed by the remainder of the third section, this being the long, slow-faded, ad-lib that follows along John's winding repeated guitar figures between three descending chords.  Ringo continues his mostly closed hi-hat beat while providing drum fills in measures ten and twelve.  The next six measures witness Paul repeating the phrase “came true / today” three times, the third time followed by the lyric “yes it did” which occurs just prior to where the edit in the rhythm track occurs.  Paul follows this immediately with an exclamation “ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah,” which could purposely have been sung by Paul in an attempt to mask the quite obvious edit that occurs here.  Fortunately, another awkward “whoooh” from Paul that followed this was also mixed out of the finished recording.

George begins to put in some off-the-cuff guitar leads as of measure fifteen while John, Paul and George's “one, two, three, four, five, six, seven” harmonies, along with Ringo's final accented tambourine beats, begin in measure seventeen.  Some of the more cumbersome lead guitar lines from George were faded down in the mix but can still be detected because of them being recorded during the original rhythm track and were picked up by other open mikes.  The harmonies are faded up and down in volume along the way as well, this undoubtedly being an attempt to hide the remnants of some of George's unsavory guitar fills. 

Ringo begins crashing cymbals by measure nineteen and then flamboyantly flailing away on drums from measure twenty-three on.  Paul's overdubbed chimes appear for the first time in measure twenty-one, these becoming part of the landscape as the song winds down.  The final element, Paul's assembled sound-effects tape, first appears in measure twenty-nine and is the only thing remaining to be heard as the final thirty-sixth measure finally fades away to silence.

Paul played the biggest role on the song, as was usual in the latter half of the Beatles career when it was his song being worked on.  Two piano parts, two bass parts (including a bass solo), two lead vocal parts, backing harmonies, chimes and prepared sound effects were all contributed by Paul and played to perfection.  John contributed his guitar parts in a very cooperative fashion, his winding guitar passages being important elements to certain sections of the song.  George put in suitable lead guitar parts, some very well rehearsed and others not-so-much, but all becoming intrinsic components to the finished product.  Ringo put in an impressive performance on drums throughout, perceptively comprehending the intricate structure while being allowed to let his hair down during the final moments of the song.  John, Paul and George also provided appropriate backing harmonies to add some tasteful decoration to the proceedings.

American Releases

On October 1st, 1969, the final recorded Beatles album was released in America, simply titled "Abbey Road."  "You Never Give Me Your Money" is the third track on side two of the album, but is also the first of eight consecutive tracks that make up the long medley that takes up the majority of this second side of the album.  The "Abbey Road" album took only three weeks to jump into the top spot on the Billboard album chart, raking in a total of eleven weeks in the #1 position.  The album first appeared on compact disc on October 10th, 1987, and then as a re-mastered release on September 9th, 2009.

Sometime in 1978, Capitol re-released the “Abbey Road” album as a picture disc.  Side one had the iconic front cover while side two contained a close-up of the wall photo of the back cover minus the song title listings.  This release quickly went out of print and has become a collector's item.

On November 11th, 2002, the live Paul McCartney album “Back In The U.S.” was released.  This was an America only release, the similar “Back In The World” album becoming available elsewhere shortly afterward.  As mentioned above, Paul's solo medley performance of “You Never Give Me Your Money” and “Carry That Weight” is included on this release.  However, the label lists this track simple as “Carry That Weight” for some reason.

Live Performances

The Beatles, of course, never performed this song live as a group.  However, Paul did begin including the above mentioned solo medley performance of “You Never Give Me Your Money” and “Carry That Weight” during his 2002 “Driving World” tour.

This tour was broken up into four sections.  The first section was called the “Driving USA” tour, which stretched from April 1st (Oakland, CA) to May 18th (Sunrise, FL).  Section two was called the "Back In The U.S." tour, starting on September 21st (Milwaukee, WI) and ending on October 29th (Phoenix, AZ).  Section three was the brief “Driving Mexico” tour, all performances in Mexico City, the dates being November 2nd, 3rd and 5th.  And section four was called “Driving Japan,” which stretched from November 11th (Tokyo) to November 18th (Osaka).

Paul then continued performing this solo medley in his “Back In The World” tour of 2003.  This tour began on March 25th in Paris, France and ended on June 1st in Liverpool, England.


The "Abbey Road" medley that takes up most of side two of the album, affectionately called "The Long One" or "Huge Melody" by The Beatles and the production staff at the time, suited a two-fold purpose.  One, it showed the group as, once again, pushing the bourndaries of what a pop or rock 'n' roll album could do.  As Tim Riley's book "Tell Me Why" projects, "they wanted to...combine pop hooks with classical recapitulations - a kind of pop symphony, something more conceptual than a collection of songs."

Two, it wound together as many of the 'loose ends,' or songs either Paul or John wrote during the later Beatles years that hadn't been completed, as possible, knowing that this was indeed going to be the last Beatles album.  The days of truly writing “Lennon / McCartney” compositions together were a thing of the past at that point, each of them preferring to leave an unfinished song in that state rather than previewing it to the other for completion.

Therefore, as the final minutes ran out on the last Beatles album, their fans were treated to as many of the scraps that had been written within the framework of the band as possible, finishing off the 1960's as the era of The Beatles.  "You Never Give Me Your Money," which started off this medley, marked the final snippets of McCartney melodies to grace a Beatles record.  From here on out, the 1970's would be a fresh start for them all, each member beginning a brand new chapter in their lives as songwriters and recording artists.  Sad to say, however, this would be as individual solo artists.  Side two of “Abbey Road” was the official announcement to the world that 'the dream, indeed, was over!'

Song Summary

You Never Give Me Your Money”
Written by: John Lennon / Paul McCartney

  • Song Written: March 19 through April 9, 1969
  • Song Recorded: May 6, July 1, 11, 15 & 31, August 5, 1969
  • First US Release Date: October 1, 1969
  • First US Album Release: Apple #SO-383 “Abbey Road
  • British Album Release: Apple #PCS 7088 “Abbey Road
  • US Single Release: n/a
  • Highest Chart Position: n/a
  • Length: 3:57
  • Key: A minor / C major / A major
  • Producer: George Martin
  • Engineers: Glyn Johns, Phil McDonald, Geoff Emerick, Steve Vaughan, Chris Blair, John Kurlander, Alan Parsons

Instrumentation (most likely):

  • Paul McCartney - Lead and Backing Vocals, Pianos (Steinway Grand, 1964 Challen “Jangle Box” upright 861834), Bass (1964 Rickenbacker 4001 S ), chimes, tape loops
  • John Lennon - Rhythm Guitar (1965 Epiphone ES-230TD Casino), backing vocals
  • George Harrison - Lead Guitar (1968 Fender Rosewood Telecaster), backing vocals
  • Ringo Starr - Drums (1968 Ludwig Hollywood Maple), tambourine
Written and compiled by Dave Rybaczewski
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