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I Feel Fine

Composer(s) : Lennon and McCartney
Year : 1964

Chords/Tabs: I Feel Fine

Notes on "I Feel Fine" (IFF)

KEY G Major

METER 4/4

FORM Intro -> Verse -> Verse -> Bridge -> Verse -> Verse (guitar solo) ->

Verse -> Bridge -> Verse -> Outro (fadeout)

GENERAL POINTS OF INTEREST


Style and Form

- The form of this song is unusually bulky as a result of the individual sections themselves being rather short. Note especially the unusual series of three verse sections in the middle, one of which is for solo guitar.

- The alternation found here in the penultimate phrase of the verses between "I'm" and "She's" might be described, at this stage of their career, as almost equally nostalgic as it is characteristic.


Melody and Harmony

- The entire song stays firmly rooted in the home key of G Major, and the harmonic diet is limited to only four chords; with the bluesy triumverate of I, IV, and V sufficing for the verses, and the iii chord being thrown in for the bridges. The only harmonic feature here that is even slightly unusual is the use of iii to bridge the gap between I and IV; i.e. iii more often than not is generally followed by vi.

- The verse sports a number of other kinds of trademarks -- the melodic noodling on just a couple or three notes in a narrow range; the bluesy flat sevenths found in the early part of the section followed by the flat third only near the end of it; and the static harmonic rhythm in the opening phrase.


Arrangement

- The guitar feedback at the very opening is much celebrated for its serendipitous, experimental origin. It's worth emphasizing though that this effect is not random "noise", but rather a clever isolation of the naturally ocurring harmonic resonance one octave above the original note that was plucked. Furthermore, the specific choice of note plucked was far from random; see below.

- The lead guitar is prominently featured on the backing track to an extent that its recurring presence provides a secondary hook of sorts. Beyond the solo section itself, the licks which appear during the intro and in between the two phrases of each verse create the impression of the guitar always lurking there in the background.

- The vocal arrangement has John double tracked on lead with continually intermittent support from Paul and George. Note how in the verse, the chorus joins John for the second half of the section, whereas the gambit is reversed in the bridge -- there, the chorus loudly reinforces the first half of each phrase, only to retreat for the remainder of it to a sotto-voce "ooh-ing" support role. The consistent placement of John's singing of the tune on the *below* the other two lines adds a characteristic tang.

- On top of all else, the particular style of the drumming lends an offbeat, slightly 'Latin' flavor to the overall production.

SECTION-BY-SECTION WALKTHROUGH


Intro

- The intro starts off with the feedback sequence mentioned above. They may have had some specific duration for this in mind, but the listener's impression of it is as though it were performed ad libitum, out of tempo.

- This effect is immediately followed by a strange small noise, and then comes the intro proper, a section of eight measures in length that is later quoted again almost verbatim in the second half of the guitar solo section:

--- 4X --- |D |- |C |- |G | G: V IV I

- Once the music gets rolling, one hears the opening note retrospectively as having implied an A Major chord (V-of-V) in relationship to the D Major (V) which follows it. The V-IV-I progression itself helps set the quasi-bluesy tone of the song from the start.

- This intro is also a good example of the Beatles trademark layered opening, an effect created primarily by the manner in which entry of the other instruments, especially the drums, is delayed until the end of measure 6.


Verse

- The verse is ten measures long, and breaks down into two phrases of 6 and 4 measures respectively as a matter of the rhetorical inner subphrasing of the lyrics and melody. In spite of the asymmetry, the overall dramatic shape of the section remains arch-like and closed:

|G |- |- |- |D |- | I V |D |C |G |- | V IV I

- The ensemble singing is ever so slightly ragged. With the exception of the third verse, they seem rather incapable of making a clean, coordinated cut-off at the phrase endings.


Bridge

- The bridge is eight measures long and built out of two repeats of what is essentially the same four-measure phrase. In contrast to the verse, the shape of this section is open ended and leads nicely back around to the verse which follows it:

--------------- 2X -------------- |G |b |C |D | I iii IV V

Verse (Guitar Solo)

- Though clearly based upon the verse, the length of this section is adjusted slightly, to add a tad more dramatic emphasis to the second half (note the re-entry of those drums!), as well as to make an associative allusion back to the intro.

- The solo part itself mimics the pitch content and rhetoric of the tune. The original backing track already had some solo guitar work on it, to which a final solo part was later overdubbed (you can check this on your bootlegs), and the intersection of the two parts in a few instances makes for a surreal effect.

- John vocally introduces this section with a moan. This is an infintesimal gesture perhaps, but it sets up a subtle point of reference that resonates nicely when the same effect returns in the outro.


Outro

- The outro starts off as another one of those petit reprises of the last phrase of the final verse; in this case, a winding back to the V-IV-I phrase yet again.

- This is followed by a vamping into the fadeout over the sustained I chord, accompanied by guitar riffing reminiscent of the intro, as well as moans, whoops, and handclaps. The latter are barely audible on the finished release, but reference to the bootleg of unretouched and unedited take 9 (misleadingly identified on all boots as "take 7" -- you heard this hear first!!), betrays the extent to which this horsing around went on during real time in the studio.

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS

- Viewed in perspective of the Beatles stylistic development over the long run, this song very much builds directly on the innovations and new trademarks of the _AHDN_ album.

- Perhaps the single most exceptional gesture in this particular number is to be found in its unaccustomed display (for John) of such effusive romantic euphoria, completely uncomplicated for a change by even the slightest second thoughts, anxiety, or self-doubt.


Regards,
Alan (awp@bitstream.com *OR* uunet!huxley!awp)


---
"Congratulate me, boys,  I'm engaged." 		      	     050792#55
---

                Copyright (c) 1992 by Alan W. Pollack
                          All Rights Reserved

       This article may be reproduced, retransmitted, redistributed and
       otherwise propagated at will,  provided that this notice remains
       intact and in place.


Ook op Past Masters, Vols. 1:

ChordsNotes On
Love Me Do Love Me Do
From Me to You From Me to You
Thank You Girl Thank You Girl
She Loves You She Loves You
I'll Get You I'll Get You
I Want to Hold Your Hand I Want to Hold Your Hand
This Boy This Boy
Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand
Sie Liebt Dich 
Long Tall Sally Long Tall Sally
I Call Your Name I Call Your Name
Slow Down Slow Down
Matchbox Matchbox
I Feel Fine I Feel Fine
She's a Woman She's a Woman
Bad Boy Bad Boy
Yes It Is Yes It Is
I'm Down I'm Down

Ook op 1962-1966:

ChordsNotes On
Love Me Do Love Me Do
Please Please Me Please Please Me
From Me to You From Me to You
She Loves You She Loves You
I Want to Hold Your Hand I Want to Hold Your Hand
All My Loving All My Loving
Can't Buy Me Love Can't Buy Me Love
A Hard Day's Night A Hard Day's Night
And I Love Her And I Love Her
Eight Days a Week Eight Days a Week
I Feel Fine I Feel Fine
Ticket to Ride Ticket to Ride
Yesterday Yesterday
Help! Help!
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
We Can Work It Out We Can Work It Out
Day Tripper Day Tripper
Drive My Car Drive My Car
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
Nowhere Man Nowhere Man
Michelle Michelle
In My Life In My Life
Girl Girl
Paperback Writer Paperback Writer
Eleanor Rigby Eleanor Rigby
Yellow Submarine Yellow Submarine

Ook op Live At The BBC:

ChordsNotes On
Beatle Greetings (speech) 
From Us To You 
Riding On A Bus (speech) 
I Got A Woman 
Too Much Monkey Business 
Keep Your Hands Off My Baby 
I'll Be On My Way 
Young Blood 
A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues 
Sure To Fall 
Some Other Guy 
Thank You Girl Thank You Girl
Sha La La La La! (speech) 
Baby It's You Baby It's You
That's All Right (mama) 
Carol 
Soldier Of Love 
A Little Rhyme (speech) 
Clarabella 
I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (over You) 
Crying, Waiting, Hoping 
Dear Wack! (speech) 
You've Really Got a Hold on Me You've Really Got a Hold on Me
To Know Her Is To Love Her 
A Taste of Honey A Taste of Honey
Long Tall Sally Long Tall Sally
I Saw Her Standing There I Saw Her Standing There
The Honeymoon Song 
Johnny B. Goode 
Memphis, Tennessee 
Lucille 
Can't Buy Me Love Can't Buy Me Love
From Fluff To You (speech) 
Till There Was You Till There Was You
Crinsk Dee Night 
A Hard Day's Night A Hard Day's Night
Have A Banana! 
I Wanna Be Your Man I Wanna Be Your Man
Just A Rumour 
Roll over Beethoven Roll over Beethoven
All My Loving All My Loving
Things We Said Today Things We Said Today
She's a Woman She's a Woman
Sweet Little Sixteen 
1822! 
Lonesome Tears In My Eyes 
Nothin' Shakin' 
The Hippy Hippy Shake 
Glad All Over 
I Just Don't Understand 
So How Come (no One Loves Me) 
I Feel Fine I Feel Fine
I'm a Loser I'm a Loser
Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby
Rock & Roll Music Rock & Roll Music
Ticket to Ride Ticket to Ride
Dizzy Miss Lizzy Dizzy Miss Lizzy
Kansas City-Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey! [Medley] Kansas City-Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey! [Medley]
Set Fire To That Lot! 
Matchbox Matchbox
I Forgot To Remember To Forget 
Love These Goon Shows! 
I Got To Find My Baby 
Ooh! My Soul 
Ooh! My Arms 
Don't Ever Change 
Slow Down Slow Down
Honey Don't Honey Don't
Love Me Do Love Me Do

Ook op 1:

ChordsNotes On
Love Me Do Love Me Do
From Me to You From Me to You
She Loves You She Loves You
I Want to Hold Your Hand I Want to Hold Your Hand
Can't Buy Me Love Can't Buy Me Love
A Hard Day's Night A Hard Day's Night
I Feel Fine I Feel Fine
Eight Days a Week Eight Days a Week
Ticket to Ride Ticket to Ride
Help! Help!
Yesterday Yesterday
Day Tripper Day Tripper
We Can Work It Out We Can Work It Out
Paperback Writer Paperback Writer
Yellow Submarine Yellow Submarine
Eleanor Rigby Eleanor Rigby
Penny Lane Penny Lane
All You Need Is Love All You Need Is Love
Hello Goodbye Hello Goodbye
Lady Madonna Lady Madonna
Hey Jude Hey Jude
Get Back Get Back
The Ballad of John and Yoko The Ballad of John and Yoko
Something Something
Come Together Come Together
Let It Be Let It Be
The Long and Winding Road The Long and Winding Road

(c) 2019 Serge Girard