Paul McCartney once named this ‘hilarious’ Beatles song as his favourite

Song was a ‘comedy’ track recorded over several years

Jacob Stolworthy
Saturday 17 July 2021 10:30
Paul McCartney: 'I dream about John Lennon a lot'

Every fan of The Beatles agrees that it’s hard to pick a favourite song. But this hasn’t stopped Paul McCartney from being asked numerous times which one he would pick.

Considering he’s behind some of the band’s greatest tracks, it’s no surprise that McCartney doesn’t seem to have a fixed top choice. Over the years, the musician has name-checked several.

However, it’s the song he selected during a 1988 interview with Mark Lewisohn that registers as his most unexpected choice.

McCartney picked a B-side that featured on the original single of his very own “Let It Be”.

“People are only just discovering the B-sides of Beatles singles,” he said at the time, adding: “They’re only just discovering things like ‘You Know My Name’ – probably my favourite Beatles track! Just because it’s so insane.”

Described by John Lennon as a “comedy record", the song – whose full title is “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)” – is comprised of several recordings from 1967 and 1969. Each one has a different music style and were eventually stitched together as one four minute song.

Far Out notes that McCartney said: "What would you do if a guy like John Lennon turned up at the studio and said, ‘I’ve got a new song.’ I said, ‘What’s the words?’ and he replied, ‘You know my name, look up the number.’ I asked, ‘What’s the rest of it?’ 'No. No other words, those are the words. And I wanna do it like a mantra.’

He continued:  "We did it over a period of maybe two or three years. We started off and we just did 20 minutes, and we tried it again and it didn’t work. We tried it again, and we had these endless, crazy fun sessions.

John Lennon once described ‘unique’ Beatles song as a ‘comedy record’

“Eventually, we pulled it all together. it was just so hilarious to put that record together. It’s not a great melody or anything, it’s just unique. Some people haven’t discovered that song yet.”

Rolling Stones star Brian Jones performed saxophone on the track.

At another stage, McCartney said that Revolver track “Here, There and Everywhere” was his top choice, but levelled that “Yesterday” would probably be his favourite Beatles song “if it wasn’t so successful”.

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He also revealed there was one Beatles song he never played bass on as he’d had a fight with his band mates.

On Friday (16 July), Hulu released a new six-episode documentary series titled McCartney 3, 2, 1, which sees the musician look back at a selection of his songs.

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