Night Music: The Beatles, “I Want To Hold Your Hand”

One of the problems of the Beatles is that the music has been heard so often for so long that it’s hard to bring fresh ears to it. Gene’s comment about the innovations of this great hit brought me back to try to listen as if I haven’t heard it 10,000 times before.

Another issue is what mix one is actually listening to. I’m not enough of a student to talk about innovations. What I can say for sure listening to this clip is that it is a marvelously appealing concoction, that each of the instrumental lines and each of the vocal harmonies is utterly distinct and greater for being a part of the whole than notable on its own. Plus the song, as seemingly simple as it is, is really three songs in one lovely shell.

One can imagine any band taking one of the three sections and turning it into a hit pop song, but it is perhaps the schizo genius of Lennon-McCartney filtered through George Martin, with other important voices at hand, that makes this music not only simple pop but appealingly and enduringly complex.

This curiosity, with the German version of the song laid over the English lipsynch, shows that singing in one’s native tongue brings more passion (but the German version was a big hit with Germans). So there is that.

One thought on “Night Music: The Beatles, “I Want To Hold Your Hand”

  1. When my kids were little they rolled on the floor laughing at the German She Loves You. They would beg me to play it. Which brings to mind one day we’re driving in the car and Please Mr. Postman comes on and I crank up the volume. After it ends the voice of my Matthew, six or seven years old, comes from the back seat: “John at his best.” I almost drove off the road. You’re right, Peter, we’re so used to this stuff it’s sometimes hard to hear it.

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