The last real rock n’ roller produced by The Beatles, Back in the USSR ultimately is a gorgeous one with clever lyrics, jet-engines and faster than ever pace and still a favourite of Paul’s in his current tours. But it didn’t start out that way: a period of distinct tension had caused Ringo to leave the group for a while leaving Paul to do the basic drum work and the remaining three Beatles to ‘get it together’. Originally based on the British ‘I’m Backing Britain’ campaign of 1968 the title evolved from ‘I’m backing the UK’ through ‘I’m backing the USSR’ through Chuck Berry’s ‘Back in the USA’ until its ultimate title.
"I wrote that as a kind of Beach Boys parody. And 'Back in the USA' was a Chuck Berry song, so it kinda took off from there. I just liked the idea of Georgia girls and talking about places like the Ukraine as if they were California, you know? It was also hands across the water, which I'm still conscious of. 'Cuz they like us out there, even though the bosses in the Kremlin may not. The kids do. And that to me is very important for the future of the race." Paul McCartney 1984 Playboy interview
But most of all Back in the USSR opened The White Album, an opulent collection of solo works which once again would take us to a new level of what was possible with popular music.
That's another reason we love The Beatles.
24: Simply Different
25: A Time to Think
27: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
28: The B Side
29: The Philosophy