Ticket To Ride (Lennon/McCartney)

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Ticket To Ride (Lennon/McCartney)

Noted by John as “one of the earliest heavy metal records ever made”, Ticket To Ride indeed featured a driving riff and heavy beat and was influenced by the Kinks’ You Really Got Me. It was later revealed by journalist Don Short, a friend of the band, that John had coined the phrase “ticket to ride” during the band’s 1962 Hamburg trip in reference to one who was billed medically fit to ride the trains.


“That was one of the earliest heavy-metal records made. Paul’s contribution was the way Ringo played the drums.” – John Lennon

“We wrote the melody together; you can hear on the record, John’s taking the melody and I’m singing harmony with it. We’d often work those out as we wrote them. Because John sang it, you might have to give him 60 per cent of it. It was pretty much a work job that turned out quite well…John just didn’t take the time to explain that we sat down together and worked on that song for a full three-hour songwriting session, and at the end of it all we had all the words, we had the harmonies, and we had all the little bits.” – Paul McCartney

“Ticket To Ride was slightly a new sound at the time. It was pretty fucking heavy for then, if you go and look in the charts for what other music people were making. You hear it now and it doesn’t sound too bad; but it’d make me cringe. If you give me the A track and I remix it, I’ll show you what it is really, but you can hear it there. It’s a heavy record and the drums are heavy too. That’s why I like it.” – John Lennon

“I think the interesting thing was a crazy ending: instead of ending like the previous verse, we changed the tempo. We picked up one of the lines, ‘My baby don’t care’, but completely altered the melody. We almost invented the idea of a new bit of a song on the fade-out with this song; it was something specially written for the fade-out, which was very effective but it was quite cheeky and we did a fast ending. It was quite radical at the time.” – Paul McCartney

BBC Performances

See THERE WILL BE A SHOW TONIGHT: The BBC Performances for complete information on BBC performances and recordings

  • The Beatles Invite You To Take A Ticket To Ride – recorded May 26, 1965, broadcast June 7, 1965 (shortened version)
  • The Beatles Invite You To Take A Ticket To Ride – recorded May 26, 1965, broadcast June 7, 1965 and released on Live At The BBC (1994)


  • John Lennon – lead vocal, rhythm guitar
  • Paul McCartney – harmony vocal, bass guitar, lead guitar
  • George Harrison – 12-string lead guitar, rhythm guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine, handclaps

Release history

Chart performance

  • #1, April 22 – May 12 (3 weeks), Record Retailer (UK)
  • #1, May 22 (1 week), Billboard (US)

Notable covers

  • The Carpenters (from Ticket To Ride)

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