Friday, February 11, 2011

The Beatles: I Saw Her Standing There

I’ve wanted to feature the flip to The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold your Hand” for some time now and yesterday’s feature on their Ed Sullivan performance reminded me of this tune. “I Saw Her Standing There” made the single a double sided hit by charting at #14 in the US.

Ironically, it was recorded 48 years ago today on February 11, 1963. Capitol Records released it as a single almost exactly a year later on February 8, 1963 – the day before the first Ed Sullivan performance. It had previously appeared on the US LP “Introducing… the Beatles” on the VeeJay label.

Typically the countdown to a song was edited out, but producer George Martin not only decided to leave it in, he made it better by taking a more rousing countdown by Paul McCartney found on the ninth take and tape spliced it to the beginning of take one – and the rest was rock and roll history.

On “Please Please Me,” The Beatles’ first UK LP, “I Saw Her Standing There” was the lead cut. This was repeated on the VeeJay release; however, part of the countdown was edited with only the four remaining. On the first Capitol LP, “Meet the Beatles,” the song appears second to “I Want to Hold your Hand.” While “I Saw Her Standing There” was the US flip to the #1 “I Want to Hold your Hand,” “This Boy” appeared as the flip in the UK.

I have one more thing to add about this song and it shows what a strange family from which I come. Even after all of these years, I remember my brother’s parody of the tune that went as follows:

She was just ninety-nine;
And looked like Frankenstein.
And the way she looked was way beyond repair.
So how could I dance with her mother, when I saw her standing there?

If there was any more to this parody I don’t remember it, but I’m sure Chuck will call and let me know.

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