(John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
This song was initially written by Paul McCartney at
his father’s house in Cheshire and is said to have references to his
relationship and a possible disagreement with the actress Jane Asher. He then went to John Lennon to finish the song and the
way it went according to him, when Playboy interviewed in 1980, was
that Paul wrote the “real optimistic” side of the lyrics, while his were
more “impatient”. Paul
McCartney said “we wrote the middle together” and John Lennon said that he “did
the middle eight”. George Harrison
suggested a “waltz-time” section during the session.
It was recorded on 20 October 1965 during the same
times as the sessions for Rubber Soul and was released as a Double
A-Side with “Daytripper”. “We Can Work It Out” proved to be the most
popular of the two. It reached
the No. 1 position in both the UK and was set the record of six consistent
No. 1 releases in the US. That
record was later matched by the Bee Gees and broken by Whitney Houston. The three accompanying promo films had
John Lennon sitting at the harmonium, which he plays on the verses of the song.
Since the year after its release it has been recorded
by countless other artists that include Petula Clark, Deep Purple, Humble
Pie, The Four Seasons and Chris de Burgh as a few of many and Stevie Wonder’s
cover of it earned him a Grammy nomination in 1972. In 1991, Paul McCartney performed it
for MTV Unplugged.
The song has been referenced in movies the include Guess
Who’s Coming to Dinner and National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1.
Stars on 45 recordings
“Venus” – Sugar Sugar – No Reply – I’ll Be Back – Drive My Car – Do You
Want to Know a Secret – We Can Work it Out – I Should Have Known Better –
Nowhere Man – You’re Going to Lose That Girl – Stars on 45 (Jeff Barry/Martin
Duiser/Jaap Eggermont/Andy Kim/Robbie van Leeuwen/John Lennon/Paul