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Beatles Songs In The ‘Yesterday’ Film: Everything You Need To Know

Richard Curtis’ movie depicts a world without The Beatles. Yet there are many Beatles songs in the ‘Yesterday’ film. Here’s everything we know.

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Photo: Apple Corps Ltd

It’s one of rock’s biggest clichés to suggest a band could have been “bigger than The Beatles”, but in Yesterday, a new musical comedy by Trainspotting’s Danny Boyle and Love Actually’s Richard Curtis, a struggling singer-songwriter actually achieves this distinction – but not without a little help from his Liverpudlian friends. From the first teaser trailer, it’s clear that there will be no shortage of Beatles songs in the Yesterday film, among them classics including ‘Let It Be’ and ‘Yesterday’ itself.

Set to arrive in cinemas on 28 June, Yesterday is one of 2019’s most eagerly-awaited movies. It stars EastEnders’ Himesh Patel as Jack Malik, a wannabe singer-songwriter who gets hit by a car, but when he regains consciousness he discovers he’s the only person who remembers The Beatles. When he performs the Paul McCartney-penned ‘Yesterday’ in front of his friends, they are amazed by his talent; very soon, Malik becomes a global superstar in a world where a Google search for “The Beatles” yields only pictures of insects.

Watch the trailer for Yesterday below, and scroll down to find out more about the Beatles songs in the Yesterday film.

The Beatles Songs In The Yesterday Film: Everything We Know So Far

‘Yesterday’

First appeared on: Help!
First released: 1965
Chart placement: US No.1
‘Yesterday’ first appeared on August 1965’s Help!, The Beatles’ fifth UK album and the soundtrack album to the film of the same name. ‘Yesterday’ featured just Paul McCartney on acoustic guitar and vocals, together with a string quartet. According to Guinness World Records, it was covered seven million times during the 20th Century.

‘Let It Be’

First appeared on: Let It Be
First released: 1970
Chart placement: UK No.2 / US No.1
‘Let It Be’ became the title track for The Beatles’ final album. The album was actually recorded prior to September 1969’s Abbey Road, but did not see a release until May 1970, after The Beatles had broken up.

‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’

First appeared on: non-album single (UK) / Meet The Beatles (US)
First released: 1963
Chart placement: UK No.1 / US No.2
‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ spent five weeks at the top of the UK charts after knocking the band’s first million-seller from the No.1 spot in late 1963. The first Beatles song to be made using four-track recording equipment, it was released as a non-album single in the UK, but appeared on Capitol Records’ Meet The Beatles album in the US, where it topped the Billboard 200 in February 1964.

‘Something’

First appeared on: Abbey Road
First released: 1969
Chart placement: No.4 (UK) / No.1 (US)
‘Something’ was penned by George Harrison and hailed by Frank Sinatra as “the greatest love song of the past 50 years”. Evidence of Harrison’s blossoming songwriting talent, the song remains a high point of the Abbey Road album.

‘Hey Jude’

First appeared on: non-album single (UK) / The Beatles Again (US)
First released: 1970
Chart placement: UK No.1 / US No.1
‘Hey Jude’ was the first single released on The Beatles’ own Apple Records imprint. A glorious ballad written by Paul McCartney and released in August 1968, it spent nine weeks at No.1 in the US (the longest chart-topping run of any Beatles single) and also appeared on a US-only compilation of Beatles singles and B-sides, The Beatles Again (later retitled Hey Jude).

‘I Saw Her Standing There’

First appeared on: Please Please Me
First released: 1963
Chart placement: US No.14
The rip-roaring opening cut from The Beatles’ debut album first appeared the B-side of ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, but entered the Billboard Hot 100 under its own steam in February 1964. It peaked at No.14, staying on the chart for 11 weeks.

‘Carry That Weight’

First appeared on: Abbey Road
First released: 1969
Chart placement: n/a
The seventh, and penultimate, song from Abbey Road’s climactic Side Two medley, ‘Carry That Weight’ features unison vocals from all four Beatles. On Abbey Road, the song is preceded by ‘Golden Slumbers’ and segues into the fittingly-titled finale, ‘The End’.

‘Here Comes The Sun’

First appeared on: Abbey Road
First released: 1969
Chart placement: UK No.58 / US No.14 (Billboard Hot Rock Chart)
Another George Harrison-penned Abbey Road highlight, ‘Here Comes The Sun’ was written at Eric Clapton’s country house. The song was recorded at London’s EMI Studios and features a Moog synthesiser, which Harrison had introduced to the band’s sound after acquiring an early model in California.

‘The Long And Winding Road’

First appeared on: Let It Be
First released: 1970
Chart placement: US No.1
Paul McCartney’s ‘The Long And Winding Road’ was issued as a single in the US, a month after The Beatles split, in April 1970. It became the group’s 20th Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper.

‘Help!’

First appeared on: Help!
First released: 1965
Chart placement: UK No.1 / US No.1
Penned primarily by John Lennon, ‘Help!’ was the title song from The Beatles’ fifth album, which also served as the soundtrack album for their film of the same name. Help! was nominated for Album Of The Year at the 1966 Grammy Awards, marking the first time that a rock band had been recognised in that category.

‘She Loves You’

First appeared on: non-album single (UK) / The Beatles’ Second Album (US)
First released: 1963
Chart placement: UK No.1 / US No.1
Once heard, never forgotten, ‘She Loves You’ arguably encapsulates Beatlemania more than any other song. The best-selling UK single of 1963, it still ranked at No.9 in a December 2018 round-up of the UK’s best-selling singles of all time, with a total of 1.9 million copies sold.

‘A Hard Day’s Night’

First appeared on: A Hard Day’s Night
First released: 1964
Chart placement: UK No.1 / US No.1
The title song from The Beatles’ third album (the first half of which contained songs from their film of the same), ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ was recorded in just three hours at London’s EMI Studios, on 16 April 1964. The band’s ninth run-through of the song that afternoon is the one we all know and love.

‘In My Life’

First appeared on: Rubber Soul
First released: 1965
Chart placement: n/a
Later covered by artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Ozzy Osbourne and Rod Stewart, John Lennon’s nostalgic ‘In My Life’ remains a fan favourite and one of Rubber Soul’s key tracks. George Martin played the song’s distinctive, Bach-inspired piano solo, which was later sped up to sound like a harpsichord.

‘Back In The USSR’

First appeared on: The Beatles (aka The “White” Album)
First released: 1968
Chart placement: UK No.19
‘Back In The USSR’ is a deliberate homage to Chuck Berry’s ‘Back In The USA’, with a nod to The Beach Boys’ ‘California Girls’, but it’s a storming track on its own terms and was given a UK single release in 1976, to promote the Rock’n’Roll Music compilation.

‘All You Need Is Love’

First appeared on: Magical Mystery Tour
First released: 1967
Chart placement: UK No.1 / US No.1
A performance of ‘All You Need Is Love’ served as the UK’s contribution to Our World, the first ever live global television broadcast, when, on 25 June 1967, The Beatles were filmed performing the song at London’s EMI Studios. The programme was broadcast via satellite and seen by an audience of over 400 million in 25 countries.

‘Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da’

First appeared on: The Beatles (aka The “White” Album)
First released: 1968
Chart placement: n/a
The Beatles decided not to release Paul McCartney’s light-hearted, Jamaican ska-influenced ‘Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da’ as a single, though Scottish pop outfit Marmalade’s cover of the song topped the UK chart in January 1969 and sold a million copies around the world.

Listen to the best of The Beatles on Apple Music and Spotify.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. jojo

    March 20, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    this movie represents Cultural Appropriation at its worst and 3rd world wish-fulfillment at its worst. (Pakistani becomes the Beatles with white girlfriend). Similar to how the cultural gifts of the West are being GIVEN to so many 3rd world peasants.
    PC bullshit. Pass!

    • Penta Swanson

      March 21, 2019 at 2:31 pm

      All You Need Is Love like the song says. I’m sure The Beatles would love your sentiments.

    • Hurr Durr

      September 27, 2019 at 3:00 am

      First – he’s Hindi, not Pakistani.
      Second – you suck

  2. David

    March 21, 2019 at 4:19 am

    I noticed that both Paul and Ringo are in the credits…..as themselves?

    Is this just about the head injury leading to it was all a dream ending or in this new world do PM and RS belong to an obscure group that wrote these songs and they want their credit.

  3. Penta Swanson

    March 21, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Really looking forward to this movie. Great premise. Let’s not forget that The Beatles also appropriated (in the most positive way) musical influences and instrumentation from India. As well as Rock N Roll which has it’s roots in America. They brought us some of the greatest music ever created as a result of mixing up cultures.

  4. Mark

    March 22, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    You say I want to hold your hand was number 2 in us it spent 7 weeks at number 1.

    • Howard

      May 30, 2019 at 2:18 am

      Absolutely right. And it was directly followed by She Loves You for 2 weeks and Can’t Buy Me Love for 5. That’s 14 weeks in a row at #1. In NYC, however, I’m pretty sure that I remember She Loves You being #1 on WMCA for 7 weeks in a row.

  5. Howard

    May 30, 2019 at 2:20 am

    I read this week that it cost the producers in the neighborhood of $10 million to get the rights to the songs for this film.

  6. Marius

    July 1, 2019 at 7:08 am

    you’re missing some great songs here. here’s a full list of the songs, credited or not https://soundtracki.com/yesterday-2019-soundtrack

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