UNITED KINGDOM: Released as a single July 23, 1965, as the B side to "Help!" The Long and Winding Road: An Intimate Guide to the Beatles
UNITED STATES: Released as a single July 19, 1965. It did not crack the Hot 100. The Long and Winding Road: An Intimate Guide to the Beatles
AUTHORSHIP McCartney (.9) and Lennon (.1)
Written at Wimpole Street, in the Ashers' basement music room.
McCARTNEY: "I could do Little Richard's voice, which is a wild, hoarse, screaming thing, it's like an out-of-body experience. You have to leave your current sensibilities and go about a foot above your head to sing it. You have to actually go outside yourself. It's a funny little trick and when you find it, it's very interesting. A lot of people were fans of Little Richard so I used to sing his stuff but there came a point when I wanted one of my own, so I wrote 'I'm Down'.
"I'm not sure if John had any input on it, in fact I don't think he did. But not wishing to be churlish, with most of these I'll always credit him with 10 per cent just in case he fixed a word or offered a suggestion. But at least 90 per cent of that would be mine. It's really a blues song. We weren't raised in the American South, so we don't know about Route 66 and the levee and the stuff in all the blues songs. We know about the Cast-Iron Shore and the East Lancs Motorway but they never sounded as good to us, because we were in awe of the Americans. Even their Birmingham, Alabama, sounded better than our Birmingham.
"So 'I'm Down' was my rock 'n' roll shouter. I ended up doing it at Shea Stadium. It worked very well for those kind of places, it was a good stage song, and inasmuch as they are hard to write, I'm proud of it. Those kind of songs with hardly any melody, rock 'n' roll songs, are much harder to write than ballads, because there's nothing to them." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now
LENNON: "That's Paul, with a little help from me, I think." September 1980, All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono
June 14, 1965, at Abbey Road
McCARTNEY: bass, lead vocal
LENNON: Hammond organ, backing vocal
HARRISON: lead guitar, backing vocal
STARR: drums, bongos
This song was part of the Beatles' live repertoire in 1965 and 1966. The Complete Beatles Chronicle
COMMENTS BY OTHERS
STEVE TYLER, of Aerosmith: ". . . The first song we ever recorded was 'I'm Down.' It was something like eighteen years ago (1969), five years before Aerosmith was even formed. We needed a demo to present to MGM Records. So we went to this Beatles memorabilia store, got the tape, listened to it three times, ran back to the studio and put it down live. . . ." ENS (November 8, 1987)