Synopsis:

We take a look at nine Beatles songs that were primarily authored by John Lennon, which also contain contributions from Paul McCartney that improved or enhanced Lennon's original song. Contributions from Paul may include an instrumental part, or a line of lyric, or an arrangement. Songs discussed include "Help," "Tomorrow Never Knows," and "Dear Prudence" among many others. Do you agree or disagree with our selections? Are there songs that we should have covered, but missed? Let us know!


Sources:

The Beatles. The Beatles Anthology. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2000.

The Beatles. The Beatles: the Complete Scores. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard, 1993. 

Dowlding, William. Beatlesongs. New York: Fireside, 1989.

Emerick, Geoff and Howard Massey. Here There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles. New York: Gotham Books, 2005.

Everett, Walter. The Beatles as Musicians: The Quarry Men through Rubber Soul. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Everett, Walter. The Beatles as Musicians: Revolver through Anthology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Grout, Donald Jay and Claude V. Palisca. A History of Western Music. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1988.

Guesdon, Jean-Michel and Philippe Margotin. All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release. New York: Black Dog and Leventhal, 2013.

Hill, Scott, "Paul McCartney brings 'Tomorrow Never Knows' Back to the Future", Wired, June 9, 2011.

Lewisohn, Mark. The Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Abbey Road Studio Session Notes 1962-1970. New York: Harmony Books, 1988.

MacDonald, Ian. Revolution in the Head: The Beatles Records and the Sixties. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1994.

Miles, Barry. John Lennon: In His Own Words. London: Omnibus Books, 1994.

Miles, Barry. Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now. Henry Holt and Company, 1997. 

Turner, Steve. A Hard Day's Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song. New York: HarperCollins, 2005.


John Lennon's demo for "Help" features the original tempo and has yet to feature Paul's counter-melody:


A possible source of inspiration for Lennon's "In My Life" was Charles Lamb's poem "The Old Familiar Faces" (c.1798):


Paul's bass line for "Rain":


Karlheinz Stockhausen was an influence on McCartney's incorporation of tape loops in "Tomorrow Never Knows" and the orchestral crescendo in "A Day in the Life":


The video for "A Day in the Life" captures the recording of the song's orchestration:


McCartney's isolated bass line from "Hey Bulldog":