Here’s one of the videos that The Beatles made to promote their single “We Can Work It Out”. Clearly they are lip-syncing to the recording with George looking bored and John slyly grinning at the absurdity of it all. And who’s playing the tambourine?
Speaking of which. According to Ian MacDonald in his book Revolution in the Head:
The tambourine on WE CAN WORK IT OUT was the most effective and influential use The Beatles ever made of the instrument (which, as a result, turned up on every other ‘folk-rock’ record made around this time). While some sources say Harrison played it, it is here credited to Starr on the grounds of probability.
The song is one of the true collaborations between John and Paul. Paul was having difficulties in his relationship with Jane Asher; she wanted to pursue her acting career, he wanted her to tour with The Beatles, so Paul wrote the words and music to the opening verse/chorus, but asked John for help with the middle section.
Again quoting MacDonald:
Lennon’s middle eight – one of his cleverest – shifts focus from McCartney’s concrete reality to a philosophical perspective in B minor, illustrating this with a churchy suspension and a burlesque waltz that prefigures the solemn dance of Henry the Horse in BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR KITE.
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