Hey Jude by The Beatles – Number 1 in the USA
– The Beatles scored big with their first Apple Records release, ‘Hey Jude’, which topped the Billboard charts on Sept. 28, 1968, and stayed there for nine weeks. At 7:05 long, ‘Hey Jude’ at the time was the longest song ever released as a single.
– It was the most commercially successful Beatles song. N° 1 in at least 12 countries, by the end of 1968 it had sold more than 5 million copies.
– Paul McCartney came up with the lyrics while driving to visit Cynthia Lennon and her son, Julian. Cynthia and John Lennon were going through a divorce as John had taken up with Yoko Ono.
– The song’s original title was ‘Hey Jules’, and it was intended to comfort Julian Lennon from the stress of his parents’ divorce. Paul McCartney said “I started with the idea ‘Hey Jules’, which was Julian, don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better. I had the idea for the song by the time I got there. I changed it to ‘Jude’ because I thought that sounded a bit better.”
Let’s not forget the incredible (the dirty guitar sound was created by plugging the guitars directly into the audio board) B-side ‘Revolution’ written by John Lennon who always intended this song to be the first release on the group’s new, self-owned label, Apple.
– By spring 1968, student demonstrations had reached a fever pitch all around the world, most notably in Paris. John Lennon, who questioned the goals of the leftists movements even as he championed their basic beliefs, wrote this song directly to the world’s young revolutionaries, specifically inspired as he was by the May 1968 French upheaval.
– John remained adamant for the rest of his life about the non-violent form of revolution he preached in this song. He truly believed that revolution comes from inner change rather than social violence.
– The original slower version of ‘Revolution’, named ‘Revolution 1’ was released as a track on the ‘White Album’.
– Lennon wanted his vocals to have an unusual sound, so he recorded most of them lying on his back in the studio.
– The word ‘Revolution’ is mentioned just once, in the first line.
Ps: the famous scream at the beginning is, on record, actually a double-tracked recording of Lennon.