Written by: John Lennon & Paul McCartney
Released: December 3, 1965
Appears on: Past Masters, Vol. 2
Lead vocal: Paul & John
"We Can Work It Out" is a true Lennon/McCartney collaboration. Paul wrote the main verses and John wrote the bridge sections. John called Paul's sections optimistic, but, if you actually read the lyrics, you can see that it is hardly the case. Both segments of the song are depressing and about a relationship that is not working and where both people do not understand each other.
The song's interesting instrumentation was created simply by John's harmonium. It's an interesting instrument that is hardly used today (then again, it was hardly used by rock musicians in 1965), which gives the song its unique sound that we know and love today.
As mentioned in the last entry, "We Can Work It Out" and "Day Tripper" were A-Sides that shared the same piece of plastic. Eventually American DJs somehow decided that "We Can Work It Out" really was the more commercial side and it reached #1 on Billboard. How anyone could decided that this song is better than the other, I'll never know.
Like "Day Tripper", it also appeared on A Collection of Beatles Oldies and Yesterday And Today. Both sides also appeared on 1962-1966, 1 and 1982's 20 Greatest Hits. The "Day Tripper" b/w "We Can Work It Out" 45 is also the opening tracks on Past Masters, Vol. 2.
Personally, I like "Day Tripper" a lot more, simply because it's a fantastic rock song, but "We Can Work It Out" is just as strong and you can see exactly why they made the single double A-sided.
You can see the promo film made for "We Can Work It Out" on the left. They made another one where they are wearing their Shea Stadium coats, but this version is much more serious in tone.