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The Beatles single that John Lennon said "didn't work out"


Throughout their history, The Beatles recorded 213 individual songs, of which 188 were original compositions. Considering how the band only existed for roughly a decade, that’s a remarkable output in a relatively short amount of time. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were constantly coming up with song ideas, and thanks to their demanding recording contract with EMI, there was always a need for new material.

‘I’ll Get You’ is an early-period single that perfectly illustrates the almost effortless ability of Lennon and McCartney to churn out pop singles. Released in the summer of 1963, ‘I’ll Get You’ was the original B-side for the first ‘She Loves You’ single released, which went on to become one of the biggest-selling singles in British history. Millions of listeners turned over ‘She Loves You’ to hear ‘I’ll Get You’, and even though it remains a solid song 60 years later, The Beatles themselves clearly didn’t think very highly of it.

“That was Paul and me trying to write a song and it didn’t work out,” was the only commentary that Lennon could provide to David Sheff in 1980. In an otherwise comprehensive and thoroughly detailed round-up of nearly every song in The Beatles’ catalogue, Lennon clearly didn’t think much of ‘I’ll Get You’. Even ‘Why Don’t We Do It In the Road’ was analysed and dissected by Lennon, but ‘I’ll Get You’ gets treated like the quick tossed-off song it probably was.

McCartney is only slightly more generous, pointing out what he saw as the only notable part of the song: one wacky chord. “It’s got an interesting chord in it: ‘It’s not easy to pre-tend…’ That was nicked from a song called ‘All My Trials’ which is on an album I had by Joan Baez: ‘There’s only one thing that money can’t buy.’ It’s like D, which goes to an A minor, which is unusual, you’d normally go from a D to an A major,” McCartney said in the book Many Years From Now

This was a few years prior to The Beatles’ folk phase, which they showed off on albums like Beatles for Sale and Rubber Soul. The Beatles’ listening habits were diverse enough that they were taking in all kinds of different influences from the very start, including picking up folk music chord progressions. “It’s a change that had always fascinated me, so I put it in,” McCartney added. “I liked that slightly f***y way we sang. ‘Oh yeah, oh yeah,’ which was very distinctive, very Beatley.

Check out ‘I’ll Get You’ down below.