"Day Tripper" is a song by the Beatles, released as a double A-side single with "We Can Work It Out". Both songs were recorded during the sessions for the Rubber Soul album. The single topped the UK Singles Chart and the song peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in January 1966.
Main Guitar Riff
Under the pressure of needing a new single for the Christmas market, John Lennon wrote much of the music and most of the lyrics, while Paul McCartney worked on the verses. Lennon later cited Bobby Parker's 1961 song Watch Your Step as his inspiration for the famous guitar riff.
"Day Tripper" was a typical play on words by Lennon:
- "Day trippers are people who go on a day trip, right? Usually on a ferryboat or something. But [the song] was kind of ... you're just a weekend hippie. Get it?"
In the same interview, Lennon said:
- "That's mine. Including the lick, the guitar break and the whole bit."
In his 1970 interview with Rolling Stone, however, Lennon used "Day Tripper" as one example of their collaboration, where one partner had the main idea but the other took up the cause and completed it. For his part, McCartney claimed it was very much a collaboration based on Lennon's original idea.
In Many Years From Now, McCartney said that "Day Tripper" was about drugs, and "a tongue-in-cheek song about someone who was ... committed only in part to the idea." The line recorded as "she's a big teaser" was originally written as "she's a prick teaser."
According to music critic Ian MacDonald, the song
- "starts as a twelve-bar blues in E, which makes a feint at turning into a twelve-bar in the relative minor (i.e. the chorus) before doubling back to the expected B—another joke from a group which had clearly decided that wit was to be their new gimmick."
The released master contains one of the most noticeable mistakes of any Beatles song, a "drop-out" at 1:50 in which the lead guitar and tambourine momentarily disappear. There are also two more minor drop-outs at 1:56 and 2:32.Bootleg releases of an early mix (which present an extended breakdown as opposed to a polished fadeout) feature a technical glitch on the session tape itself, with characteristics of an accidental recording over the original take as the recorder comes up to speed. This was later fixed on the 2000 compilation 1 and on the remastered Past Masters.
In 1966, "Day Tripper" was featured on the US album Yesterday and Today and the British A Collection of Beatles Oldies compilation. It was later included on the 1962–1966 compilation (aka "The Red Album"), released in 1973.
The Beatles filmed three different music videos, directed by Joe McGrath.
- John Lennon – lead vocal (chorus), harmony vocal (verses), Epiphone Casino, lead guitar (solo)
- Paul McCartney – lead vocal (verses), harmony vocal (chorus), bass
- George Harrison – harmony vocal (chorus), lead guitar (riff)
- Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience covered this song on BBC Sessions.
- Mae West covered the song on her 1966 album Way Out West. The album was re-released in 2008 on CD.
- Otis Redding's version is available on Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul and on Live in Europe.
- Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 covered this song on Herb Alpert Presents
- Anne Murray covered this song on Highly Prized Possession
- Whitesnake covered this song on Trouble
- Electric Light Orchestra incorrectly written "Daytripper", covered this song on the The Night the Light Went On in Long Beach live album
- James Taylor covered this song on Flag
- Cheap Trick covered this song on the Found All the Parts EP
- Sham 69 covered this song on The Game
- Jose Feliciano covered this song on the 1969 double live album Alive Alive O!
- Yellow Magic Orchestra covered this song on the 1979 album Solid State Survivor
- Daniel Ash covered this song on Coming Down
- Gene Wooten covered this song on The Great Dobro Sessions
- Ocean Colour Scene covered this song with members of Oasis on a single
- Tok tok tok covered this song on 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover
- Ian Hunter covered this song on Missing In Action
- The Punkles covered this song on Pistol
- Tommy Shaw covered this song on Butchering the Beatles: A Headbashing Tribute
- David Cook covered this song on Day Tripper (American Idol Studio Version)- Single
- Bad Brains covered this song in dub reggae format as a staple at live shows during the tour for I Against I.
- Type O Negative recorded a medley of Beatles' songs including this one on World Coming Down.
- Lulu covered this song in 1967 on her album Love Loves to Love Lulu
- Nancy Sinatra covered the song on her album Boots
- Fever Tree covered the song on their album Fever Tree in a medley with "We Can Work It Out".
- Grateful Dead covered the song live on tour in 1984/85.
- Eagles borrowed the opening guitar riff of the song for the ending of the song "In the City" from their live album, Hell Freezes Over.
- April Wine borrow the opening riff in the bridge of the 1979 song "I Like To Rock"
- The Wildhearts borrow the opening riff in the bridge of the 1993 song "My Baby Is a Headfuck"
- Budos Band used the melody in their song "Reppirt Yad" ("Day Tripper" spelled in reverse) on their album Budos Band III.
- J. J. Barnes covered this song on a single released on the Ric-Tic label in 1966.
- Ramsey Lewis covered this song on the 1966 album Wade in the Water (album).
- Yes sampled this song in their cover of "Every Little Thing"
- John Mayall uses the opening riff (played by Eric Clapton, then his band's featured guitarist) as a sequeway between Hughie Flint's drum solo and the closing section of the song "What'd I Say?" on the album Blues Breakers by John Mayall with Eric Clapton, recorded in March 1966 and released that year (also known as "the Beano album".)
- Devo incorporated the solo from "Day Tripper" in their song "4th Dimension" from the album _Shout_.
- Beatallica, a band that both parodies the Beatles and Metallica, recorded a mashup of this song and Metallica's "Hero of the Day" called "Hero of the Day Tripper", on their 2009 album Masterful Mystery Tour.
- The song is playable in the music video game The Beatles: Rock Band.