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"Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!"

Categories: Beatles songs

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"Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!" provides us with Macca's mega-vocal for the fourth album — and the sixth! Egged on by John to give it some more bollocks with each run-through and take, the end product ended up surprising even the singer himself. After all, "It requires a great deal of nerve to just jump up and scream like an idiot, you know?"

Paul had been warming up for it for a while, in fact: the BBC session version had been broadcast the previous summer. Recording it for the album, the engineers apparently got more than a trifle miffed at having to re-set the levels every time. I swear he hits an 'eleven' at the end of the

ah-one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine... waaaahhhh!!!

"Kansas City", a Lieber and Stoller song, had been round for long enough and recorded by enough different acts to qualify as a standard even in The Beatles' day, though it was clearly the Little Richard take that had caught them tightest. Combining it with his own "Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!" had been his idea, too, and while taking considerable liberties with the lyrics, they pay tribute with a faithfully high-octane fusion of the two twelve bars. After all, the illustrious Mr Penniman never lacked the nerve "to just jump up and scream like an idiot", let's face it...


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