- Published on (1962 – 1965)
- Author: Lennon/McCartney
- Track 17 on “Past Masters Volume 1“
JOHN 1980: “That’s me trying a rewrite of ‘This Boy,’ but it didn’t quite work.”
PAUL circa-1994: “I was there writing it with John, but it was his inspiration that I helped him finish off. ‘Yes It Is’ is a very fine song of John’s.”
About “Yes It Is”
Written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon–McCartney), it was first released in 1965 as the B-side to “Ticket to Ride“. It features some of the Beatles’ most complex and dissonant three-part vocal harmonies and showcases George Harrison’s early use of volume pedal guitar. Ian MacDonald describes the song as having “rich and unusual harmonic motion.”
Over the course of a five-hour recording session, the Beatles attempted 14 takes of the basic track before perfecting it. “Yes It Is” was recorded on 16 February 1965, the same day that they completed Harrison’s “I Need You“. After completing the rhythm track, Lennon, McCartney and Harrison recorded their vocal harmonies in three hours, singing live together using the suggestion of George Martin that they sing their three part harmony in the style of a barber shop quartet.
“Yes It Is” was released as the B-side of the “Ticket to Ride” single in both the US and the UK. American pressings of the single erroneously show “Yes It Is” as being from the film Eight Arms to Hold You (the original title for the film, Help!), in which it did not appear. It reached number 46 in the Billboard Hot 100.
Meaning of “Yes It Is”
“Yes It Is” encapsulates a profound exploration of love and its intricate complexities. The song is steeped in emotional depth and introspection, reflecting the following key themes:
The lyrics convey a palpable sense of uncertainty and doubt surrounding matters of love and relationships. The narrator grapples with conflicting emotions, uncertain about the depth of his partner’s feelings. There is an unmistakable yearning for a more profound and sincere connection with the beloved. The narrator craves a love that is authentic and genuine, transcending superficial or fleeting sentiments.
The song reflects a genuine desire for honesty and authenticity within the relationship. The narrator seeks a partner who reciprocates his feelings openly and sincerely, devoid of pretense or facade. The song’s melancholic melody and harmonies contribute to its introspective and reflective mood. It communicates a sense of longing and emotional depth.
“Yes It Is” offers a poignant and nuanced exploration of love’s intricacies. It encapsulates the uncertainties and longings often present in romantic relationships, while underscoring the yearning for genuine emotional connection. The song’s emotional profundity, combined with its intricate vocal harmonies, renders it a noteworthy and distinctive piece within The Beatles’ musical repertoire.
- John Lennon – double-tracked lead vocal, classical guitar
- Paul McCartney – harmony vocal, bass guitar
- George Harrison – harmony vocal, lead guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine