The Beatles won the Best Music Video award at the 2024 Grammys Sunday night for the track “I’m Only Sleeping” — a song which was first released all the way back in 1966.
The song’s music video beat out other notable nominees such as Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Count Me Out,” as mentioned on the Grammys website.
After many decades, a music video was then directed by artist Em Cooper and launched to The Beatles’ YouTube channel in November 2022. The video, according to The Beatles’ website, took over 1,300 individual oil paintings to create the “visual exploration of the space between dreaming and wakefulness.”
The last time The Beatles won any Grammy award, according to the Grammys website, was for the 1996 event, where they received three awards for various categories.
Despite the win, the living band members will not receive the award. As reported by Forbes, the award will actually go to the directors and producers of the music video because The Beatles, themselves, were not involved with the project.
How did the song get made?
As stated on the band’s website, the song was primarily written by John Lennon but credit was given to both Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Per Rolling Stone, Lennon was “was known to be a sedentary sort” and he wrote “I’m Only Sleeping” after he allegedly was irritated at McCartney for waking him up for a songwriting session.
The song was released by The Beatles for both their 1966 albums “Revolver” and “Yesterday and Today,” according to the band’s website.
“Yesterday and Today” introduced the song in June 1966 to U.S. markets. Two months later, the track was featured with “Revolver” and launched in the United Kingdom — despite it being recorded in the U.K. between April and May of 1966.
George Harrison’s unique guitar solo, as reported by Rolling Stone, was actually due to an engineering error that combined the multitrack tape incorrectly, resulting in a blurred, warped type of sound.
This mistake excited everyone in the recording studio, as McCartney remembered saying, “My God, that is fantastic! Can we do that for real?”
Cooper’s music video: How it came to be
According to Variety, an expanded remix of “Revolver” was published in October 2022, including a stereo remix of “I’m Only Sleeping.”
Cooper was then appointed to direct the music video, and she expressed to the Grammys what brought her to the project.
“It feels as though it’s a bit of a protest against the calculus view of time and the idea that our time is for sale, we can just slice up our hours and sell it off by the chunk,” Cooper said. “I feel like in John’s desire for just letting himself sleep and rest, he’s saying to the world, ‘Let’s allow ourselves our own time, our own lives.’”
She, with the permission of upper-level producers and directors, was given creative control to convey the music video’s imagery through oil paintings, per the Grammys. And she was pleased with the project’s outcome: song and art form.
“I love the song,” Cooper said. “I was listening to little individual parts of it over and over again, whilst I was working on it, getting really into the detail of tiny bits of each line. And, it holds up, it’s so good. I do not get bored of it. I love it.”
How many Grammys have The Beatles won?
Despite the band’s breakup in the late 1960s, according to History, they to this day have still achieved success through the award show.
Per Forbes, the band has so far won seven Grammy awards out of 23 nominations. This amount could increase next year, as their track “Now and Then” recently launched and could be nominated for the 2025 award show.