I Feel Fine

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"I Feel Fine" was recorded for Beatles For Sail but was only released as a single because it did not have a nautical theme.

"I Feel Fine" is a song by The Beatles. It is notable for its beginning-guitar-player-challenging guitar riff, which, although complex, is nowhere near as complex as the riff for "And Your Bird Can Sing". "I Feel Fine" is said to be proto-Psychedelic Rock, like how "Helter Skelter" is said to be proto-Heavy Metal; in actuality, "I Feel Fine" is proto-proto-Psychedelic Rock, and "Helter Skelter" is the very first Heavy Metal song.

edit Writing

"I Feel Fine" was written by John Lennon in the early autumn of 1964. Lennon stated that the song's complex riff was inspired by marijuana. Research has proven that the riff was also inspired by the events of a night in which The Beatles had consumed LSD and proceeded to partake in various forms of mischief whilst prancing down Abbey Road, all the time believing they were on fire. This is evident at the very beginning of the song, which contains a single chord played on Lennon's guitar, followed by a burst of low-pitched feedback. Paul McCartney has stated that the decision to keep the feedback in the song may or may not have been inspired by LSD.

The lyrics were mostly improvised. Before the recording of the song began, John had already come up with lyrics about diamonds, but after realizing that he hadn't written good enough lyrics and the tapes were already rolling, John quickly quipped lyrics about babies and the world. However, since he began to improvise without preparation, he could not come up with lyrics that were as varied as those of his other songs.

edit Recording

Recording sessions began in October. At the time, all four Beatles were hungover, so they weren't sure if their instruments were tuned. To make sure, John played a chord on his guitar, then the other Beatles rushed into the producers' room to listen to the playback. However, during the commotion, John set his guitar against his amplifier, creating an awesome-sounding burst of feedback that sounded so awesome, it was kept in the final mix. Most of the song was perfected in one take, with a few modifications made later. One of these modifications was the addition of backing vocals that did not mention diamonds or babies.

edit Session transcript

John: Okay, let's get this fucking thing over with. Are the tapes rolling?

Producer: Yes.

John: Good. Rock and roll. (Plays chord) (Whispering) Does that sound good?

Producer: Yes. Let's play that back.

Paul: (Whispering) I wanna hear this. Come on.

John sets down his guitar.


Paul: Whoa!

Ringo: Whoa!

Paul: Whoa! What was that?

Producer: Feedback.

Paul: Feedback. Cool. Let's---We should keep that in.

George: Yeah. Keep it in the final song.

Producer: Sure. Whatever.

edit Reception

edit Charts

"I Feel Fine" was a bestseller in its time, and stayed at #6 on The Charts for 49 weeks. It never made it to the Top Five.

Top Ten, December 25, 1964:

10. "That Old Song We Recorded But Never Released Until Now" by The Beatles (Phonogram)

9. "From Dodge to Denver" by Western Swagger (Gramopohone)

8. "Boring Whiny Song That Sounds Like It's Ten Minutes Long But It's Actually Two Minutes Long" by Whiny Brothers (Make It Big)

7. "A Hard-On's Night" by The Beatles (Parlorphone)

6. "I Feel Fine" by The Beatles (Parlorphone)

5. "How Do You Do It?" by Sneaky Innuendo Brothers (Hahaha)

4. "I Wanna Be in Your Band" by The Rolling Stones (Parlorphone)

3. "Jolly Keen" by Huddy Bolly (Make It Big)

2. "Cats and Whatnot" by Frank Sumatra (Make It Big)

1. "Twelve Bars" by Moldy Oldie (Gramophone)

edit Critics

"I Feel Fine" has received a steady flow of praise since its release. Ark Arkerson of The Crappington Review Tablet wrote this review of the song: "(sic) 'I Feel Fine' will go down in history as a true classic."

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