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I Feel Fine

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I Feel Fine

"I Feel Fine"
Single by The Beatles
from the album Beatles '65
B-side "She's a Woman"
Released 23 November 1964 (US)
27 November 1964 (UK)
Format 7"
Recorded 18 October 1964
EMI Studios, London[1]
Genre Rock, rock and roll
Length 2:25
Label Capitol 5327 (US)
Parlophone R5200 (UK)
Writer(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer(s) George Martin
Certification Gold (RIAA)[2]
The Beatles UK singles chronology
"A Hard Day's Night"
"I Feel Fine"
"Ticket to Ride"
The Beatles US singles chronology
"I Feel Fine"
"Eight Days a Week"

"I Feel Fine" is a riff-driven rock song written by John Lennon[3] (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and released in 1964 by the Beatles as the A-side of their eighth British single. The song is notable for being one of the first uses of guitar feedback in popular music. [4]


Lennon wrote the guitar riff while in the studio recording "Eight Days a Week."[5] "I wrote 'I Feel Fine' around that riff going on in the background", he recalled.[6] "I told them I'd write a song specially for the riff. So they said, 'Yes. You go away and do that', knowing that we'd almost finished the album Beatles for Sale. Anyway, going into the studio one morning, I said to Ringo, 'I've written this song but it's lousy'. But we tried it, complete with riff, and it sounded like an A side, so we decided to release it just like that."

Lennon loved technology, and when the feedback was coincidentally recorded during the I Feel Fine session, liked the sound of it and placed it at the beginning of the song.[6] Both John Lennon and Watch Your Step", a 1961 release written and performed by Bobby Parker[6] and covered by the Beatles in concerts during 1961 and 1962.[7] Paul McCartney said the drums on "I Feel Fine" were inspired by Ray Charles's "What'd I Say".[3]

At the time of the song's recording, the Beatles, having mastered the studio basics, had begun to explore new sources of inspiration in noises previously eliminated as mistakes (such as electronic goofs, twisted tapes, and talkback). "I Feel Fine" marks one of the earliest examples of the use of feedback as a recording effect in popular music. Artists such as the Kinks and the Who had already used feedback live, but Lennon remained proud of the fact that the Beatles were one of the first groups to actually put it on vinyl.


"I Feel Fine" is written in Gretsch Tennessean),[8] followed by the more "electric" sound of John's amped acoustic.[4][8][9][10] The song ends with a fadeout of the G major portion of the opening riff repeated several times.


"I Feel Fine" starts with a single, found object, an accident caused by leaning the guitar against the amp."[3] Although it sounded very much like an electric guitar, Lennon actually played the riff on an acoustic-electric guitar (a Gibson model J-160E),[8] employing the guitar's onboard pickup.

Later, Lennon was very proud of this sonic experimentation. In one of his last interviews, he said, "I defy anybody to find a record... unless it is some old blues record from 1922... that uses feedback that way. So I claim it for the Beatles. Before Hendrix, before The Who, before anybody. The first feedback on record." [11]

Music video

Two different music videos directed by Joe McGrath were filmed. Both feature various bits of gym equipment. In one, George, Paul and John perform the song while Ringo rides the exercise bike. In the other they are all eating Fish and Chips, while trying to mime to the song.


The single reached the top of the British charts on 12 December of that year, displacing the Rolling Stones' "Little Red Rooster", and remained there for five weeks.

"I Feel Fine" was also the first Beatles single to be released almost concurrently in the US and the UK. The song has sold 1.41 million copies in the UK.[12]

US Charts

The song topped the US Billboard Hot 100 charts for three weeks in late 1964/early 1965. The B-side was the #4 hit "She's a Woman".

"I Feel Fine" was the last of the six Beatles songs to go to #1 on the Hot 100 within one calendar year's time (1964), an all-time record. The song was the sixth of seven songs by the Beatles to hit #1 in a one year period; an all-time record. In order, these were "I Want to Hold Your Hand", "She Loves You", "Can't Buy Me Love", "Love Me Do", "A Hard Day's Night", "I Feel Fine", and "Eight Days a Week". For songwriters Lennon and McCartney, it was the seventh #1 they wrote in a calendar year (1964), an all-time record.(see List of Billboard Hot 100 chart achievements and milestones)

The song was the first of six Hot 100 #1 chart toppers in a row (not counting the EP "4 - by the Beatles") by one act, also a record at the time. The subsequent singles were "Eight Days a Week", "Ticket to Ride", "Help!", "Yesterday" and "We Can Work It Out".[13]

Other releases

In the United States, the song was released on their Capitol album Beatles '65, and is presented in a duophonic mix featuring a layer of reverb added by executive Dave Dexter, Jr.. This was on the stereo version of the album. The mono mix- released as a single on Capitol- features an exclusive mix with added reverb and a shorter fade as created by Beatles producer George Martin.

In the United Kingdom, the song was released on the LP format on A Collection of Beatles Oldies. A true stereo version can be found on the Past Masters Vol 1 and Beatles 1 CDs.

There is also another stereo version that sounds the same, but with whispering at the very beginning which appears on the original release of 1962–1966.

An outtake in mono is included in the On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2 compilation released in 2013.


Personnel per Ian MacDonald[14]

Cover versions

"I Feel Fine"
Single by Sweethearts of the Rodeo
from the album One Time, One Night
Released 1989
Genre Country
Label Columbia
Producer(s) Steve Buckingham
Sweethearts of the Rodeo singles chronology
"Blue to the Bone"
"I Feel Fine"
"If I Never See Midnight Again"

Chart performance

The Beatles

Chart (1964) Peak
Canadian RPM Top Singles 1
UK Singles Chart 1
US Billboard Hot 100 1

Sweethearts of the Rodeo

Chart (1989) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[15] 9

Year-end charts

Chart (1989) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[16] 99


  1. ^ "1" Liner Notes by Mark Lewisohn
  2. ^ RIAA 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Miles 1997, p. 172.
  4. ^ a b Beatles Interview Database 2009.
  5. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 36.
  6. ^ a b c The Beatles, p. 160.
  7. ^ , 29 March 2007One Note AheadShaheen J. Dibai, "Bobby Parker: The Real Fifth Beatle?", . Retrieved 2 November 2013
  8. ^ a b c Babiuk & 2002 146–147.
  9. ^ Leanord 1993.
  10. ^ Emerick & Massey 2006, pp. 94–95.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Ami Sedghi (4 November 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  13. ^ Wallgren 1982, pp. 38–45.
  14. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 136.
  15. ^ "Sweethearts of the Rodeo Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Sweethearts of the Rodeo.
  16. ^ "Best of 1989: Country Songs".  


Preceded by
"Come See About Me" by the Supremes
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
26 December 1964 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
"Come See About Me" by the Supremes
Preceded by
"Little Red Rooster" by the Rolling Stones
UK number one single
(UK Christmas Number One single)

10 December 1964 (five weeks)
Succeeded by
"Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames
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