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"I'll Be Back"

Categories: Beatles songs

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As well as being the first time a Beatle composition had had the honour of closing an album, "I'll Be Back" was also the first non-rocker to hold the position. That said, Harrison's dramatic flamenquero intro — turning "And I Love Her" on its head — is every bit as compelling as any twist of money.

Lennon's vocal entry is no less incisive:

You know if you break my heart, I'll go;
But I'll be back again!

Is that a threat or a promise, Johnny boy?

In truth, he probably wouldn't've been able to tell you himself. His emotional instability and indecisiveness is a recurrent theme throughout most of his songs on A Hard Day's Night, "I thought that you would realise". This is no exception, only

This time,
I will try to show that I'm
Not trying to pretend...

'A nice tune, though the middle is a bit tatty', he said of it. Not quite as tatty as his attempt on Anthology 1, mind you, breaking into drunken pub singer mode in an attempt to break the studio tension ('It's too 'ard t'sing!') No less than sixteen takes were needed to get it tidy enough for the album.

Well played, George Martin, for his contributions to its feeling, and — I believe — for deciding its placement on the British LP, intuitively establishing a direct line to "No Reply" and the other dark depths to follow on Beatles For Sale, a little less than six months later...

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