Released: July 10, 1964
Appears on: A Hard Day's Night
Lead vocal: John
A Hard Day's Night ends with the most obvious promise the Beatles could give: that they'll be back.
"I'll Be Back", which on the surface is just a song about a guy who assures his love that he'll be back even if she breaks his heart, seems to be a lot more than that. I think it's an important part of Beatles history because it really proves that these guys were thinking in terms of albums already, at a time when everything was just singles. Albums were supposed to be just a random collection of songs, with hardly any structure. Here, though, on their first 100% original record*, they care about the sequence. You can't tell me with a straight face that the group for once thought that "I'll Be Back" would not be the end of the album.
"I'll Be Back" is the Beatles being prophetic in that they will be back and they'll be sticking around. Of course, the immediate truth is that they'd be back in three months time with another fantastic single and in four months with an LP more introspective than a pop group in 1964 had any right to be.
*I haven't mentioned this before, but A Hard Day's Night really is the first album by a pop group to be fully written by members of the band. It was virtually inconceivable in 1964 for an album to actually read "WORDS & MUSIC BY JOHN LENNON & PAUL McCARTNEY".
Next is, of course, "I Feel Fine" b/w "She's A Woman" and Beatles For Sale and, in case you're wondering, here is "You Can't Do That".