Rock and Roll
Is this a happy little ditty, a Sixties British invasion song as it were, about different points of view? Maybe opposites attract. Anyway, the song was written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon-McCartney. It was released as a non-album single in 1967 backed with John Lennon’s “I Am The Walrus.” It was their first release after the death of their manager Brian Epstein in August, 1967. John, of course, wanted “I Am the Walrus” to be the A-Side, but Paul and producer George Martin thought “Hello, Goodbye” was more commercial. Goo goo g’joob and all that notwithstanding. Indeed, “Hello, Goodbye,” in its simple and pop way, had international charting success, as it went to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box as well as #1 in the U.K., Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, France, Norway, and West Germany. It rose to #2 in Austria, Belgium, Ireland, and Switzerland. The song has been released on the Magical Mystery Tour soundtrack EP and compilation albums.
The story behind the song goes something like this. Alistair Taylor, who had been an assistant to Epstein, and McCartney were talking and composing , respectively, doing an exercise where they would say something and then its opposite. And so “Hello, Goodbye” was born.
On the track were Paul McCartney (lead vocal, backing vocal, piano, bass, bongos, conga); John Lennon (backing vocal lead guitar, Hammond organ); George Harrison (backing vocal, lead guitar); and Ringo Starr (drums, maracas, tambourine). Other musicians included Kenneth Essex and Leo Birnbaum on viola.