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"Can't Buy Me Love"

Categories: Beatles songs

With America now at their Cuban-heeled feet, "Can't Buy Me Love" became 1964's first single — released in March — and maintained the band's headspinning pace to perfection. Their BBC recording was broadcast the same month.

Deftly delivered 12-bar pop 'n' roll, threatening to fry what passed for speakers back then. Paul's vocal is probably his raunchiest since "I Saw Her Standing There". Early takes have John and George singing support, but it was quickly decided that no backing was required, "No-no-no, n-o-o-o!" Macca was still in great voice when he retackled it on his 2003 tour.

It went directly to number one on both sides of the Atlantic. On the back of the breakthrough of "I Want To Hold Your Hand", canny Capitol had re-released the band's previous 45s and by mid-April the Beatles held the top five positions of the Hot 100: a first that has yet to be seconded.

Composed in the George V Hotel in Paris during their 'Mersey Beaucoup' stint at the Olympia Theatre in January, the backing track was also recorded in the French capital. You can still hear parts of Harrison's original solo under the Abbey Road overdubs, picked up by the microphones. And man, what a cracking little solo it is!

As the band's most current hit, it's hardly surprising that A Hard Day's Night's director, Dick Lester, decided to feature the track in the movie. It actually crops up twice, but the fire escape/sports pitch sequence, cut like what would later become known as a 'promo video', is one of the most memorable scenes in the film. "Sorry we 'urt yer field, mister!"
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