The song has become the most recorded song in history, appearing in the Guinness Book of Records, with over 3000 released recorded versions by artists from every end of the music spectrum. Artists that have recorded the song include Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Dionne Warwick, Boyz II Men and others. The song was named the greatest pop song since 1963 by MTV and Rolling Stone magazine. It is also the song that has received the most airplay year after year.
McCartney, while staying with his friends the Ashers, woke up one morning with the complete tune for "Yesterday" in his head. Although the dream song had no lyric at this point, McCartney was worried that he might be unconsciously plagiarizing someone else's song. He began to perform the song for anyone that would listen, asking them if they had ever heard it before. Time after time, listeners would compliment McCartney on the tune but say that they had never heard it before.
For a brief time, McCartney used a nonsense working lyric - "Scrambled eggs, Oh you've got such lovely legs".
In June of 1965, McCartney, while on holiday in Portugal at The Villa of Shadows, finally completed the released lyric about the death of his mother. McCartney recorded the song at Abbey Road Studios two days after returning home. It was the first time a Beatle had recorded a song without the other Beatles.