There was almost three months between the "Beatles For Sale" sessions and the new year sessions which would once again yield two LPs and three singles as well as another film (this time in colour!). The Beatles would finish their second and last Christmas show season and start anew with recordings slated for February.
It was decided that the Beatles would start filming a second motion picture which was untitled at the time. In the meanwhile, a new song was started which would become their next single. The song was an original Lennon/McCartney tune entitled "Ticket To Ride". This was mainly a John Lennon song and Lennon has said in interviews that this was the very first "heavy metal" song recorded. It is a very slow bluesy type number with the emphasis on the guitars so in a sense he was right. It was the heaviest and most progressive song that the Beatles had attempted thus far.
There was also a change in which the Beatles were now recording. Rather than having a "live" feel for every song, there was a concentrated effort to try and perfect a "basic rhythm" bed track and to overdub from this recording foundation. This means that most of the songs recorded from now on may have had less proper takes, but more care being made for the overdubs.
The first session of the new year was held on Monday February 15 1965 at EMI studio two. "Ticket To Ride" was completed in two takes with drums and bass one track one, George Harrison 12 string guitars on track two, the lead vocal (John) and harmony (Paul) on track three and the tambourine, extra guitar and solo (played by Paul) and hand claps as well as a second Lennon vocal (for the choruses) on track four. Paul McCartney played the bass and also the lead guitar part of this song. The exceptional drum pattern played by Ringo was supposedly suggested by Paul.
There are various mixes of "Ticket To Ride": The mono mix was completed from the control room of EMI studio two on February 18 1965. The stereo mix was completed from the control room of EMI studio two a few days later on February 23 1965. Another mono mix was done on Monday March 15 1965 especially for the film soundtrack from the control room of studio two. This March mix has more echo and less tambourine than it's counterpart. The raw studio tape of take 2 can be heard on the "Unsurpassed Masters" series. The original mono mix from the LP is slightly longer with a few words added compared to the CD single. The stereo mix from both the "Help!" LP soundtrack and the CD soundtrack are identical and both are longer than the mono mix.
"Ticket To Ride" was released as a single on April 09 1965 in the UK and April 19 1965 in the US on Capitol 5407. Interestingly, the single in North America described the song as "from the United Artists' release: "Eight Arms To Hold You". The label blurb was never changed even decades after the single was released and the motion picture title was announced as "Help!". Check your copy !! The North American copy of the single came with a nice picture sleeve. (shown above).
"Ticket To Ride" is available as a single but also on the Parlophone UK LP/CD soundtrack "Help!", the North American Capitol LP/CD "Help!", the Parlophone UK LP "A Collection of Beatles Oldies", the Apple 2-LP/2-CD compilation "The Beatles 1962-1966", the EMI/Capitol LP "Reel Music", the EMI/Capitol LP "20 Greatest Hits" and the Apple "hits" compilation 2-LP/1-CD "1".
"Ticket To Ride" was performed live for all of 1965 including the European tour, the North American tour (including Shea and the Ed Sullivan Tour) as well as the UK winter tour. The song can be heard on the EMI/Capitol LP "Live At the Hollywood Bowl" as well as the Shea soundtrack.
"Ticket To Ride" was performed once for BBC radio on the program: "The Beatles Invite You to Take A Ticket To Ride". A version of this performance can be heard on the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "Live At the BBC".
A number one smash hit (AGAIN) !!!