- Paul McCartney looked for John Lennon’s approval after he wrote The Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love.”
- Paul said John knew the song was good.
- It became a massive hit.
Paul McCartney revealed the circumstances under which he wrote The Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Subsequently, he compared penning the song to having sex. That comparison makes perfect sense.
Paul McCartney said The Beatles’ ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ felt right when he wrote it
In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul discussed writing “Can’t Buy Me Love.” “I have a recollection of walking ’round St. John’s Wood with that in my mind so I might have written it at home and finished it up on the way to the studio, finally polished it in the studio, maybe just taken John aside for a second and checked it with him, ‘What d’you think?’” he said. “‘Like it.’ ‘Good. Let’s do it!’”
Paul compared writing the song to sex and magic. “That creative moment when you come up with an idea is the greatest, it’s the best,” he said. “It’s like sex. You’re filled with a knowledge that you’re right, which, when much of your life is filled with guilt and the knowledge that you’re probably not right, is a magic moment.”
Paul McCartney felt a ‘very warm feeling’ while writing the hit for The Beatles
The “Silly Love Songs” singer revealed the feeling that came over his body when he wrote “Can’t Buy Me Love.” “You actually are convinced it’s right, and it’s a very warm feeling that comes all over you, and for some reason it comes from the spine, through the cranium, and out the mouth,” he said. “That was a quickie and it was a nice little thing which I liked.”
It makes sense that “Can’t Buy Me Love” gave Paul a warm feeling, as it’s a warm song with its heart on its sleeve. In addition, it’s fitting that he compared writing the track to sex. Like much of The Beatles’ early work, the song is dripping with sexuality, albeit in a way that wouldn’t upset the censors.
How ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ performed in the United States and the United Kingdom
The Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” was one of their biggest hits. The tune topped the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks, staying on the chart for 10 weeks. The tune was the lead single from the soundtrack album A Hard Day’s Night. That album was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for 14 weeks, remaining on the chart for 56 weeks.
According to The Official Charts Company, “Can’t Buy Me Love” hit No. 1 in the United Kingdom for three weeks. It spent a total of 15 weeks on the chart in the 1960s. Subsequently, it reached No. 53 in the 1980s. Meanwhile, A Hard Day’s Night was No. 1 for 21 of its 39 weeks on the chart.
“Can’t Buy Me Love” is a great song and the writing of it was so, so satisfying.