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IPFS News Link • Entertainment: Music

Celebrating 'Hey Jude,' the Beatles' Most Open-Hearted Masterpiece

•, Rob Sheffield

"Hey Jude" sums up the Beatles' turbulent summer of 1968 — a tribute to their friendship, right at the moment it was starting to fracture. The single was a smash as soon as they released it on August 26th of that year — their biggest hit, topping the U.S. charts for nine weeks. It's the Beatles at their warmest, friendliest, most open-hearted. John, Paul, George and Ringo sound utterly in sync, building to that power-drone "na na na na" chant. Yet it's a song born from conflict. Nobody knew they were falling apart — in fact, "Hey Jude" was released four days after Ringo officially quit the band, walking out on the White Album sessions. Paul wrote it during John's divorce, to cheer up his mate's five-year-old son. As Julian Lennon recalled, "He was just trying to console me and Mum." The world has been taking consolation from "Hey Jude" ever since.