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BellaOnline's Classic Rock Editor


Hey Jude

Guest Author - Chris Curtis

"Hey Jude" is perhaps the crowning glory of the Beatles as a cohesive band. Recently, the hand written manuscript surfaced at Christies in London to be auctioned along with approximately 90 other Beatles memorabilia. McCartney successfully halted the sale after claiming that it had disappeared from his home. The originality of the script was authenticated by its current holder with an appraisal from Sotheby's. The document contains 19 original lines handwritten by McCartney. The last 6 lines heard in the original recording are not included in the manuscript. Christies had expected to raise approximately $116,000 from the sale before the courts ordered its withdrawal from the auction.

The message behind the song is explained by understanding the times in which it was penned. Lennon had "come together" with Yoko Ono in 1968 breaking up his marriage with Cynthia. McCartney had become close with Lennon's son Julian, then 5 years old. He wrote the song for Julian and entitled it "Hey Julian." Seeking solace and deeper meaning, Lennon believed, it was McCartney's subconscious way of giving his blessing to the union between Lennon and Yoko and giving him leave. The union of Lennon and Yoko ultimately put the Beatles on a destructive path and eventual breakup.



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The Beatles influence on the recording industry is undeniable. Hey Jude, running 7:09 minutes was the first single recording to break the approximate 3 minute barrier common on single releases. It was the also first single to be released on the Beatle's own Apple Label.

Hey Jude gained market popularity because it delivered repetitive lyrics that were easy to learn giving wing to sing-along involvement by listeners. As a teen, I can remember being in a packed Jr. college cafeteria with everyone singing along to "Hey, Jude." The song quickly climbed the charts becoming the Beatles most successful commercial single release. Aiding the single sales was the B side "Revolution." later featured on the White Album.

The White Album marked the turning point in the Beatles careers. "Hey Jude" was recorded during the recording of the White Album. It remains unexplained why it was released only as a single and not appearing on the White Album. Also unexplained is why Hey Jude had never been performed live in concert by the Beatles. Perhaps a touch of mystery surrounding the song has made it an everlasting favorite in the hearts of the 60s Beatle fans.

Record Facts:
Released: August 26, 1968
Produced by: George Martin
Engineered by: Geoff Emerick
Label: Apple 2276

Hey Jude {McCartney} (7:09)
Recorded: July 31, 1968 at Trident Studios, London, England
with the forty-piece orchestra overdubbed August 1, 1968
John Lennon - acoustic guitar, background vocal
Paul McCartney - lead vocal, bass guitar, piano
George Harrison - lead guitar, background vocal
Ringo Starr - drums, tambourine
forty-piece orchestra - sustained notes, clapping, "na-na-na" chorus

# 1 on all the UK charts. Two weeks as the Record Retailer #1 (September 11 & 18 1968)

16 weeks running on the Top 50 (UK)

# 1 on all the USA charts. nine weeks on Billboard - The Beatles' longest Top Chart position (September 28-November 23 1968).

19 weeks running listed on the Hot 100 USA charts.

Join in our Forum Sing-Along one line at a time beginning with "Hey Jude"

Beatles Anthology

The Beatles Anthology is a once-in-a-lifetime volume: warm, frank, funny, poignant, and bold-just like the music that’s been a part of so many of our lives.

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Content copyright © 2015 by Chris Curtis. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Chris Curtis. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


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