Prestigious Ivor Novello award presented to EMI Records/Paul McCartney and John Lennon in 1966 for The Beatles' 1965 hit single We Can Work It Out. This is a well documented award dating from the height of "Beatlemania," and one of the few major Beatles awards in private hands. The Ivor Novello awards, which were first issued in 1956, are presented annually by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors (BASCA) in a number of categories. The offered award was issued for the category "The 'A' Side of the Record Issued in 1965 Which Achieved the Highest Certified British Sales." Composed by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, We Can Work It Out was recorded at EMI Studios in London on October 20, 1965, during The Beatles sessions for its Rubber Soul album. It was was released as a single in December 1965, and it quickly skyrocketed to the top of the charts in Britain, the USA, Australia, Canada, and Ireland.
The offered award acknowledges the song's popularity. The solid-bronze statuette, which is sculpted in the form of Euterpe, the muse of lyric poetry, stands upon a bronze platform that reads "An Ivor Novello Award." The wooden base below features an engraved plaque that reads "E.M.I. Records LTD./For Its Parlophone Recording Of/We Can Work It Out/1965." This was the third straight Ivor Novello award presented to Paul McCartney and John Lennon of The Beatles in this particular category, with the songs She Loves You and Can't Buy Me Love, winning, respectively, the previous two years. Future recognition in this category for the duo would be achieved by the songs Yellow Submarine (1967), Hey Jude (1969), and Get Back (1970).
As noted earlier, significant music awards issued to The Beatles are exceedingly rare. This is the first Beatles Ivor Novello Award we have ever handled and and to the best of our knowledge it has only appeared at auction one time previously, in 2001, when it realized $8,418. At the time of that sale, the auction house noted in its description that the award originated from Len Woods, who was the managing director of EMI throughout the 1960s. The award displays heavy handling wear along the wooden base, with much of the black paint having worn away. Aside from that, the piece remains in Excellent to Mint condition. Height: 11.5 inches. Base circumference: 2.5 inches. Opening Bid $5,000. Estimate $10,000+.