Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride was written mainly by John Lennon for the album, Help! (1965). It was the first Beatles' track to go over three minutes in length, and it marked a departure from the tried and true approaches to song writing that the pair had used up to that point. Lennon was proud of the song, calling it the first heavy metal rock and roll song ever. This is because of the drone bass, the heavy, repetitious drum riffs and the liberal use of distorted guitars. Both he and Paul said they especially liked the coda, which goes to double time over the phrase, "my baby don't care." Both the rhythm and melody changed for the ending, almost as if it were a different song. Later on, Paul described it as being very "cheeky" for the time in which they did it.
Ticket to Ride deals with a girl who is moving on, out of the life of the singer. The title, however, has two different explanations: Paul says it came from a British Railways ticket to the town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight; Lennon said it came from the cards given to Hamburg prostitutes to indicate they had passed the health screenings required of them, with "ride" meaning the obvious.
The Beatles recorded this song at Abbey Road on February 15, 1965, in just two takes but with several overdubs. This was the first recording session in which the Beatles built the song in layers, with a rhythm track first, and then with vocal and instrumental overlays. Previously, they just rehearsed their songs and then made performance takes. Notable in the recording is the use of a 12-string electric guitar by George Harrison and another one by John Lennon. It is also the first Beatles recording in which Paul McCartney plays lead guitar.
Ticket to Ride was a single release in the UK (April 9) and in the US (April 19) with Yes It Is on the b-side. It was the third in a series of six straight number one singles in the US, a record that stood until the Bee Gees broke it a decade later. Ticket to Ride was also released in August in both countries, on the Help! LP. The 2004 compilation of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine ranked it at number 384.