Do you know these interesting facts about the Beatles song Ticket To Ride?

"Help!". The Beatles in Obertauern
"Help!". The Beatles in Obertauern / brandstaetter images/GettyImages

Like many other Beatles tracks, “Ticket To Ride” is a popular and well-loved favorite. The song, though, has some less well-known interesting facts. See how many of these you were aware of.

Released as a single in April 1965, “Ticket To Ride” was taken from the Help album. It flew to the top of the charts and became the Fab Four’s seventh consecutive number one in the UK charts and their third consecutive number one in the United States. 

A long ticket to ride for radio 

Back in the early to mid-'60s, radio stations were still adjusting to pop and rock and roll music. Most of the records were very short, certainly by today’s standards. “Ticket To Ride” broke the mold and format somewhat by being longer than the usual two and a half to a maximum of three minutes. It came in at three minutes and 10 seconds long. That was the first Beatles single to go over the three-minute mark.

John Lennon’s Beatles heavy metal claim 

In many ways, the single represented a step change in The Beatle's sound with sadder lyrics and a harsher,  heavier, and more aggressive sound compared to their previous bright pop style records. John Lennon spoke much later about the style of this track in his last ever major interview with David Sheff and made quite a claim. 

"That was one of the earliest heavy-metal records made"

John Lennon, 1980

Perhaps a bit dramatic as a statement, but Lennon had no real opportunity to explain it further. The interview was published on Dec 6, 1980, just two days before Lennon’s fatal shooting in New York. The discussions are in full in Sheff’s book All We Are Saying.

Covers and samples

Like many Beatles songs, “Ticket To Ride” was covered by many singers and bands, The Carpenters, Bee Gees and Mary Wells for example all released popular versions of it. But did you know it was sampled and used by two classic artists?

Brian Wilson used the melody and the vocal rhythm and pitch from “Ticket To Ride” for the Beach Boys' song “Girl Don’t Tell Me” a few months later in 1965 on their Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!) album. In December of that year, that song by the Beach Boys was used as the B side for their classic hit single “Barbara Ann.”

There’s a collectors special inclusion on a massive album you may be unaware of.  On some release versions of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, a brief excerpt of an orchestral version of "Ticket To Ride" appears at the end of the final track, “Eclipse.” That’s worth digging out your old vinyl for a listen to see if it’s on your version.

TV and film for Ticket To Ride

In the UK, BBC’s Top Of The Pops was a huge TV show to showcase pop records to the public. Naturally, The Beatles appeared many times, and “Ticket To Ride” was just one of the singles featured. Sadly though, the BBC at the time didn’t add the shows to their archives, and there aren’t any of those programs of the time surviving with The Beatle's appearances.

There is, however, a surprisingly short clip of their “Ticket To Ride” appearance remaining as it was featured in a different show. The BBC's Doctor Who Sci-fi TV programme broadcast in May 1965 included a brief excerpt of the Beatles on Top Of The Pops performing “Ticket To Ride” as part of a time travel story.

And of course, given that the single featured on the Help album, it’s no surprise that it was also included in a sequence on the group's second cinema film of the same title as the album.

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