Music Throwback Saturday: songs from A Hard Day’s Night

I listened to some early Wilson Pickett , but I’m not hearing the connection at all.

HardDaysNightThe Beatles, as influential as they were on other musicians, were also influenced by their predecessors and peers. I’m rereading Steve Turner’s “The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Write,” subtitled “the stories behind every song.”

Fairly often, the members of the group are quoted as having been inspired by a piece for their own creations. I thought I’d put some of their songs up against the source material, with links to most.

Actually, the videos I’m having the most difficulty finding recently are those of the Beatles themselves, with several of them banned at least in the United States by some UK entity. The links I’ve used WERE working…

Anytime at All (at 16:52):

[John] later admitted [it] was a rewriting of his earlier song ‘It Won’t Be Long’, using the same chord progression from C to A minor and back, and when it came to recording, employed the same bawling vocal style.

I hear the connection. Yet the latter song is arguably better.

When I Get Home (at 23:39):

Influenced by his love of Motown and American Soul Music. Around the time it was recorded, he was asked what song he wished he had recorded…His first choice would be Marvin Gaye’s ‘Can I Get A Witness‘.

Wouldn’t we all have liked to have written that?

You Can’t Do That (at 26:00): “The musical influence, John later said, was Wilson Pickett…who had only released three singles under his own name, only one of which had been a minor hit.” I listened to some early Pickett – I Found a Love, If You Need Me, It’s Too Late – but I’m not hearing the connection at all.

Beatlesebooks confirms this:

The problem is that Wilson Pickett had not come into his own as of January of 1964 when this song was written. By that time, Wilson had only released four early singles which were 6/8 ballads far unlike anything he’s known for, such as ‘In The Midnight Hour’ and ‘Mustang Sally,’ which were much closer to what Lennon was talking about… John obviously was thinking retrospectively and originally found inspiration elsewhere, such as the R&B classics coming out of Memphis at the time. Confirmation of where the inspiration actually came from may never be known.

Memory is a peculiar thing, I’ve discovered. And John’s recollection of events in the early 1960s was taking place in 1980.

I’ll Be Back (at 28:40):

John found the chords while playing a Del Shannon song. This was probably ‘Runaway‘, which the Beatles had played in their early shows and which also starts with a minor chord and has a descending bass line.

This is so transformative that even though I was well aware of the earlier song, I never made the connection.


If I Fell – MonaLisa Twins

It’s 9/9

EVERYTHING the Beatles put out, including music that stiffed in 1962 or 1963, charted in 1964.

Have I mentioned how much I like it when the month and the day are the same? 9/9, for instance, reads the same whether one is in the United States or the civilized world.

Here are some 99 songs:
99-Toto What the heck IS this song about? According to Wikipedia, it’s a tribute to George Lucas! I did not know that.

99 Luftballons – Nena
99 Red Ballons – Nena
Whether in German or in English, the song is about paranoia during the Cold War.

There’s an old gospel song called 99 & 1/2, sometimes written out Ninety-Nine And A Half, usual with the parenthetical (Won’t Do), about giving one’s all to God. You’ll find a LOT of versions of it on YouTube. I’m picking a version by Mavis Staples of the legendary Staples Singers, a tune that I own and love. This version has a civil rights orientation, thanks to additional lyrics by Ry Cooder & Mavis.

Also, there’s a soul classic of the same name by Wilson Pickett, with writing credits attributed to Wilson, Steve Cropper, and Eddie Floyd. It’s about wanting all of somebody’s love. The lyrics are different, but the two songs are pretty much the same.

Finally, this being the third anniversary of the Beatles’ digital releases, et al., I should put in something by that group. Revolution #9? Well, I guess not. The 18th song to chart on the US charts was one in which the Beatles were merely a backing band to a singer named Tony Sheridan. It only got to #88, but EVERYTHING the Beatles put out, including music that stiffed in 1962 or 1963, charted in 1964.
Here’s Why.

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