28: Eleanor Rigby

NeilTop 30 - Beatles Songs

Album Release: Revolver
Date Entered Australian Charts: 31 August 1966
Highest Chart Position: 1
Total Weeks On Charts: 13
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Another song from Revolver and again, a really simple tune, which was the hallmark of Paul’s work at that time. This time, however, with a score written by George Martin, a string octet provides the musical backing. The octet was formed by combining two string quartets, using the parts that would be normally be played by two violins, a viola and a cello but doubling up.

Another unusual aspect to the recording of this song was that some versions have Paul’s voice coming from one channel and the instrumental backing from the other. The recording of the string backing has become freely available in recent times, including on one of the Beatles Anthology albums.

And for the record, despite stories and urban myths to contrary, Eleanor Rigby and Father McKenzie were not actual people but characters made up for the song.