Written by: John Lennon & Paul McCartney
Released: December 3, 1965
Appears on: Past Masters, Vol. 2
Lead vocal: Paul & John
On the same day as Rubber Soul, The Beatles released their first "double-A" sided single. The truth is that both "Day Tripper" and "We Can Work It Out" are such brilliant songs that it was impossible to place the insult of being a 'b-side' on one of them.
"Day Tripper" is probably one of the most unique songs you will ever hear. The song is dominated by a distinct guitar riff and really interesting vocal interplay, with Paul taking the solo one-liners and John coming in for the rest of the verses.
The subject of the song is certainly a foreign idea to today's audiences. The term 'day tripper' in the UK meant someone who took a (take a guess) day trip. Today, nobody (at least in the US) ever goes on day trips. Usually, we go out for a weekend or a week. Paul has been quoted as saying that it's about drugs, as if calling the girl in the song as someone who wan't fully committed to the idea of taking them. The idea came from John, although both John and Paul have said that Paul collaborated with him to finish it.
As John's song, he is allowed to take the rare turn on lead guitar. Although in later years (particularly throughout 1968-1970), John's playing sounded fairly messy, but here it feels pristine and smooth. This might be in part because he shares the parts with George...or that he just wrote such a damn good riff that there was no way he could screw it up.
By the time "Day Tripper", "We Can Work It Out" and Rubber Soul were recorded, there was no way the Beatles could take time to do their usual television spots, so they came up with the innovative idea of recording promo spots, which today is known as a music video. "Day Tripper"'s is included in this post.
As a single-only track, it didn't appear on a UK LP until it's appearance on A Collection of Beatles Oldies a year later. In the US, the song was included on Yesterday And Today.
For some strange reason, "Day Tripper" did not reach the top of the Billboard charts, only reaching #5. It did reach #1 in the UK, though, which is the reason why both songs are on 1. The song was also anthologized on 1962-1966. As one of the Beatles hardest rockin' songs, it's amazing that Capitol failed to include it on Rock 'N' Roll Music.
In conclusion, I have to say that this is definitely in my top 10 Beatles songs, without a doubt.