The Beatles Classic Paul McCartney Wrote in the Lovin’ Spoonful Style
When Beatles fans call Revolver their favorite album, they have plenty to support the pick. From the heavy George Harrison opener “Taxman” to Paul McCartney’s “Here, There and Everywhere” and John Lennon’s “I’m Only Sleeping,” the band was at or near its peak on this record.
In terms of subject matter, though, it’s among the Beatles’ darkest. If John wasn’t singing about “what it’s like to be dead,” George was offering advice “for those who die” or Paul was getting his hands dirty burying Eleanor Rigby. Weren’t these the lads who just wanted to hold your hand?
Well, Paul was still that guy in a lot of ways. He brought the sweet and innocent “Yellow Submarine” to the Revolver sessions. And he recorded the gorgeous “Here, There and Everywhere” on that record, too.
But the bounciest, most upbeat Revolver track has to be “Good Day Sunshine.” And Paul said he wrote that with the Lovin’ Spoonful track, “Daydream” in mind.
Paul had ‘Daydream’ on his mind while writing ‘Good Day Sunshine’
While The Lovin’ Spoonful might not be a household name these days, the New York-based band had several big hits in the mid-1960s that remain popular on the radio (and in TV commercials). The band’s run began with “Do You Believe in Magic,” a track from summer ’65 that hit No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The following year, the group had a No. 1 single in “Summer in the City.” By that point, The Lovin’ Spoonful could count The Beatles among their fans. And Paul said “Good Day Sunshine” came about because he’d admired “Daydream,” which the group had released in February ’66.
“It was really very much a nod to The Lovin’ Spoonful’s ‘Daydream.’ The same traditional, almost trad-jazz feel,” Paul said in Many Years From Now. “That was our favorite record of theirs. ‘Good Day Sunshine’ was me trying to write something similar to ‘Daydream.'”
Indeed, in an album full of distorted guitars (and rocking tracks in general), “Good Day Sunshine” stands out because it doesn’t feature any guitars at all. As Paul noted, it’s very much like a jazz trio of piano, bass, and drums.
Producer George Martin played more on this track than John Lennon
On such a stripped-down Beatles track, there wasn’t an instrument for John to play. Ringo was on drums, Paul took the main piano part on “Good Day Sunshine,” and most sources list George on bass guitar.
As for the barroom-style piano solo on the track, that came from producer George Martin. (Martin, the best piano player on hand, also took the solos on “In My Life” and “Lovely Rita” the following year.)
So that means John sat this one out, as far as musical instruments go. However, he did contribute backing vocals and handclaps. And, as always, you couldn’t keep John from making a bit of mischief.
After Paul sings, “She feels good” in the third verse, you can hear John repeat, “She feels good” in a hilariously deep voice. It sounds like Paul nearly breaks out laughing, but — ever the pro — he finished the take.