"Paul and I were staying somewhere and he walked in and hummed the first few bars, with the words...and he says, "Where do I go from here?" I had been listening to Nina Simone--I think it was "I put a Spell On You." There was a line in it that went... "I love you, I love you, I love you." That's what made me think of the middle eight for "Michelle": 'I love you, I love you, I l-o-ove you.'"
-John Lennon, Playboy
Michelle is song by The Beatles, credited Lennon/McCartney. It appeared on the Rubber Soul album and one of the few Beatles songs that includes French lyrics. Uniquely, Paul, John and George all played acoustic guitars with capos on the 5th fret (the photo from the session shows Paul on his 6-string Epiphone Texan, John on his nylon-string acoustic guitar and George on John's Framus Hootenanny 12-string) while George played his solos on his Gibson J-160E in unison with George Martin on a Hohner Pianet out of microphone range and Paul even applied a capo to the 5th fret of his Rickenbacker bass when overdubbing his bass part.
Recording[edit | edit source]
November 3, 1965, 2:30-11:30 pm-The afternoon was spent filling four tracks with the rhythm track. Then, this was mixed down onto three tracks so they could fill the fourth track with overdubbed vocals and guitar. Occasional EMI tape operator Jerry Boys, on listening to playback of the song as they were working on it that night, said: "I stood there quite spellbound. It sounded lovely. George [Martin] asked me what I thought of the Beatles singing a song with French lyrics and I got the impression that with me being a young chap he was sounding me out, perhaps because they weren't too sure themselves. I said it sounded very pleasant, which it certainly did!"*
November 9, 1965- Mono mixing (unused) and stereo mixing.
November 15, 1965- Mono mixing.
*The Beatles Reocrding Sessions
Translation[edit | edit source]
|"Michelle, Ma Belle."||
"Michelle, My Beautiful."
|"Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble."||"These are words that go together well."|
Credits[edit | edit source]
- Paul McCartney - Lead Vocals, 6-String Acoustic Guitar (Epiphone Texan), Bass (Rickenbacker 4001S)
- John Lennon - Nylon-String Acoustic Guitar (Jose Ramirez), Backing Vocals
- George Harrison - 12-String Acoustic Guitar (Framus Hootenanny), Lead Guitar Solos (1962 Gibson J-160E), Backing Vocals
- Ringo Starr - Drums