This instrumental was written in the style of The Shadows – England’s premier instrumental band beginning in the 1950s. Although The Shadows served as Cliff Richard back-up band, they also recorded numerous sides as instrumentals featuring the guitar work of Hank Marvin.
The title, “Cry for a Shadow” pays homage to The Shadows, while George Harrison’s lead guitar parts echo Hank Marvin’s style. In additional to Harrison and Best, John Lennon played rhythm guitar and Paul McCartney is on bass and has the only vocal part on the recording – a yell.
The song wasn’t released in the US until 1964 when MGM Records secured the license from Polydor to release it on March 27. It was the flip side to a Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers recording of “Why.” On the US release, both sides were credited to The Beatles with Tony Sheridan; however, Sheridan didn’t appear on “Cry for a Shadow.”