When it was first released in Britain in late 1964 on Beatles for Sale, "Eight Days a Week" was just an album track. America's appetite for Beatles product, however, was insatiable at this point, and the bigger and more affluent U.S. market far more accommodating for songs that could be sold on singles. So "Eight Days a Week," like "Twist and Shout" and "Do You Want to Know a Secret?" before it, and like "Yesterday" and "Nowhere Man" after it, was released on a 45, although it was not designed by the Beatles themselves as a featured single, and did not appear as such in their native U.K. Although it made number one in the States, it is not one of the songs that first comes to mind when early Beatles classics are summarized. That hardly means that it was forgettable; in fact, it was damned good. There are few Lennon-McCartney songs that are bouncier and cheerier than "Eight Days a Week," although there's plenty of yearning grit in John Lennon's lead vocal, particularly at a point near the end of the song, where he breaks into a brief peculiar wordless melisma. He's superbly supported by Paul McCartney's harmony vocals, and the necessary mixture of light and shade is supplied by the bridge, which suddenly goes into emphatic minor chords. At one point during this bridge, all the instruments drop out, leaving the voices unaccompanied for a line; everything comes to a dead stop for a nanosecond. Then a shoe-drop of Ringo Starr drums kicks the music into gear again, and the melody brightens as it explodes back into the verse; the Beatles' spirits could never be dampened for long. Becoming ever bolder in their studio experimentation even at this relatively early date, the track begins with a gradual fade-in, a device which had rarely been employed in rock music, and served to heighten the drama and immediately seize the listener's attention. Although the lyric is for the most part a standard celebratory love song, the title phrase "eight days a week" (like a previous Beatles title, "a hard day's night") betrays Lennon-McCartney's growing knack for unusual wordplay -- a trait that would soon become far more commonplace. Lennon, never the best judge of the Beatles' own work, was surprisingly disdainful of the song in a 1980 Playboy interview, claiming (erroneously) that "it was never a good song. We struggled to record it and struggled to make it into a song. It was [McCartney's] initial effort, but I think we both worked on it. I'm not sure. But it was lousy anyway."