|This article is the featured article for day 20 of the month cycle.|
The Beatles' eighth single was recorded on October 18 in one of the final sessions for Beatles For Sale. It took eight takes to capture the song's rhythm track. Vocals were added on take nine.
John hit upon the distinctive riff for "I Feel Fine" during the sessions for "She's a Woman" about a week earlier. Lennon originally played the opening riff on his Gibson Jumbo Acoustic Guitar equipped with a P-90 pickup though his Vox Amp, hence the woody tone. "I actually wrote 'I Feel Fine' around the riff which is going on in the background," John recalled. "I told them that I'd write a song specially for this riff so they said, 'Yes. You go away and do that,' knowing that we'd almost finished 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." Before this, "No Reply," "Eight Days a Week" or "I'm a Loser" were being considered for the next single.
Lennon's riff would seem to bear a striking resemblance to one found in "Watch Your Step," a 1961 release written and performed by Bobby Parker and covered by The Beatles in concerts during 1961 and 1962.
"I Feel Fine" is most famous for its use of feedback in the intro, the first intentional use of feedback on record. It was produced by Paul plucking a sustained A on his bass with the vibration feeding back from John's VOX AC 30 guitar amp. Although the press would later describe this as an "electronic accident," John would readily take credit for this deliberate sound all his life.
During the end fadeout, some believed barking dogs were audible. It is actually Paul "barking," which he seemed to have a habit of doing in the studio (also heard on the Anthology version of "I'm Down").
The song was #1 in the United Kingdom for 5 weeks and #1 in America for 3 weeks. Due to overwhelming pressure by Capitol in the United States, George Martin was forced to add extra reverb to the mixes of Beatles singles because Capitol preferred them that way. Martin intentionally put on so much reverb he was assured that they would reject the mix and use his "pure" UK version. They didn't, and USA got the reverb-laden mess which also appeared on Beatles '65.
Ringo Starr - drums