No Reply (song)

"No Reply"
Song by The Beatles from the album Beatles for Sale
Released 4 December 1964
Recorded 30 September 1964
EMI Studios
Genre Rock
Length 2:15
Label Parlophone, Capitol
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
Beatles for Sale track listing

"No Reply" is a song by The Beatles from the British album Beatles for Sale and the American album Beatles '65. It was written mainly by John Lennon and credited to Lennon/McCartney.[1]

Contents

Composition

Lyrics

The song is about a young man who is unable to contact his apparently unfaithful girlfriend, although he knows she is home ("They said it wasn't you, but I saw you peek through your window".)

According to Lennon in a 1972 interview, The Beatles' music publisher Dick James was quite pleased with "No Reply":

I remember Dick James coming up to me after we did this one and saying, 'You're getting better now — that was a complete story.' Apparently, before that, he thought my songs wandered off.

Reviewer David Rowley found its lyrics to "read like a picture story from a girl's comic," and to depict the picture "of walking down a street and seeing a girl silhouetted in a window, not answering the telephone."[2]

In his last major interview, Lennon said that lyrically, the song was inspired by "Silhouettes", a 1957 song first recorded and released by doo-wop group the Rays.[3]

In his book, "Revolution in the Head", Ian MacDonald remarks that the middle eight ("If I were you, I'd realize that I love you more than any other guy; and I'd forgive the lies that I heard before, when you gave me no reply") was the most powerful phrase featured in any Beatles song thus far.[4]

Music

The song is in the key of C major. The song form is standard AABA (verse-verse-bridge-verse), without a chorus as such, but including the refrain "No Reply". The instrumentation includes acoustic guitar, bass, drums and piano.

Originally Lennon had intended to sing the higher harmony part, as this was the original melody. However, his voice had deteriorated due to excessive use, forcing Paul McCartney to sing the part, and relegating Lennon to the lower harmony line.[5]

Personnel

Personnel per Ian MacDonald[6]

Notes

  1. ^ Dowlding 1989, p. 82.
  2. ^ Rowley 2002, p. 66.
  3. ^ Sheff 2000, p. 174.
  4. ^ "The Beatles - No Reply | Video". Nme.Com. 2008-10-16. http://www.nme.com/nme-video/youtube/id/QOOf-kmdBYc. Retrieved 2011-08-21. 
  5. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 49.
  6. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 131.

References

  • Dowlding, William J. (1989). Beatlesongs. New York: Simon & Schuster. 
  • Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 0-517-57066-1. 
  • MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 1-844-13828-3. 
  • Rowley, David (2002). Beatles For Sale. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. ISBN 1-84018-567-8. 
  • Sheff, David (2000). All We Are Saying. St Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0-312-25464-4. 

External links


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