Hear Karen Carpenter’s Isolated Vocal for The Beatles’ ‘Ticket to Ride’ Cover
viaRichard Carpenter / Youtube
The notion of an artist unveiling a debut album brimming with cover songs may seem absurd by today’s standards. However, back in the 1960s, it was quite common for popular groups to embrace this approach.
After all, a good song was simply a good song, and The Beatles happened to create some of the finest. Here, you can enjoy an acapella rendition of The Carpenters’ interpretation of “Ticket To Ride,” a track that featured on their inaugural album.
“Ticket To Ride” marked a significant milestone for The Beatles as their first song exceeded three minutes in length. It was not only the opening track of their album Help!, but also the first song released from the accompanying movie of the same name.
The group performed the song while situated on an Austrian ski slope. The songwriting credits are attributed to John Lennon and Paul McCartney, although there has been an ongoing debate about the true extent of their individual contributions.
In one of his interviews, Lennon asserted that he was primarily responsible for the song, considering it to be one of the earliest examples of heavy metal music. He acknowledged McCartney’s role in shaping the song through Ringo Starr’s drumming style.
McCartney’s Perspective on Collaborative Songwriting
In his 1994 autobiography, McCartney expressed his belief that the song was a collaborative endeavor. According to him, both he and Lennon contributed to the melody, as evident in the recording where Lennon took the lead while McCartney provided harmonies. McCartney explained that they often developed these aspects while writing the song together.
While acknowledging that Lennon sang the song, McCartney felt that he should be attributed around 60% of the credit. He emphasized that their songwriting process involved a dedicated three-hour session where they worked on every aspect, including the lyrics, harmonies, and finer details.
Unveiling the Unconventional
When “Ticket to Ride” was released, it was acclaimed as a departure from The Beatles’ previous work. Apart from Starr’s unique drumming and the somewhat melancholic lyrics, the song was notably heavier than anything The Beatles or any other artist had put out before.
However, what McCartney considered the song’s greatest strength was its iconic double-time coda. In his recollection in Many Years From Now, McCartney explains that the intriguing aspect was the unconventional ending: instead of concluding like the previous verses, they changed the tempo.
They took one of the lines, ‘My baby don’t care,’ but completely modified the melody. The fade-out included a new section of the song, which was almost like inventing an entirely new piece specifically for the ending. It had a powerful impact but was also somewhat audacious, featuring a fast conclusion that was considered quite groundbreaking at the time.
Listen to Karen Carpenter’s isolated vocals for “Ticket to Ride” cover below.