Can't Buy Me Love

"Can't Buy Me Love"
Can't Buy Me Love - The Beatles (1964 US release).jpg
US picture sleeve
Single by the Beatles
from the album A Hard Day's Night
B-side"You Can't Do That"
Released16 March 1964 (US)
20 March 1964 (UK)
Recorded29 January 1964,
Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris;
25 February and 10 March 1964,
EMI Studios, London
GenrePop rock[1]
Producer(s)George Martin
The Beatles UK singles chronology
"I Want to Hold Your Hand"
"Can't Buy Me Love"
"A Hard Day's Night"
The Beatles US singles chronology
"Twist and Shout"
"Can't Buy Me Love"
"Do You Want to Know a Secret"
Alternative cover
1984 reissue
1984 reissue
Audio sample

"Can't Buy Me Love" is a song composed by Paul McCartney[2] (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and released by the English rock band the Beatles on the A-side of their sixth British single, with "You Can't Do That" as the B-side, in March 1964. The song was then released on the group's third UK album A Hard Day's Night. In September 2015, the Beatles donated the use of their recording of the song to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for a television commercial.[3]


While in Paris, the Beatles stayed at the five star George V hotel and had an upright piano moved into one of their suites so that songwriting could continue.[4] It was here that McCartney wrote "Can't Buy Me Love". The song was written under the pressure of the success achieved by "I Want to Hold Your Hand" which had just reached number one in America. When producer George Martin first heard "Can't Buy Me Love" he felt the song needed changing: "I thought that we really needed a tag for the song's ending, and a tag for the beginning; a kind of intro. So I took the first two lines of the chorus and changed the ending, and said 'Let's just have these lines, and by altering the second phrase we can get back into the verse pretty quickly.'" And they said, "That's not a bad idea, we'll do it that way".[5] The song's verse is a twelve bar blues in structure, a formula that the Beatles seldom applied to their own material.[6]

When pressed by American journalists in 1966 to reveal the song's "true" meaning, McCartney stated that, "I think you can put any interpretation you want on anything, but when someone suggests that 'Can't Buy Me Love' is about a prostitute, I draw the line." He went on to say: "The idea behind it was that all these material possessions are all very well, but they won't buy me what I really want."[7] However, he was to comment later: "It should have been 'Can Buy Me Love'" when reflecting on the perks that money and fame had brought him.[8]