Saturday, July 6, 2019

"Twist and Shout" by The Beatles

Song#:  2821
Date:  08/09/1986
Debut:  89
Peak:  23
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Rock 'n' Roll

Pop Bits:  After the Beatles split in 1970, they had a few scattered singles reach the Pop chart mainly do to compilation releases. In the 80s, they would have two chart entries. The first came in 1982 with the newly assembled "The Beatles' Movie Medley." The nostalgia factor of the track helped it get to #12. The other Beatles single to reach the Pop chart in the 80s was this reissue of "Twist and Shout," a song that originally peaked at #2 on the Pop chart back in 1964. The song became popular again due to its use in two hit 1986 films. The tune was prominently featured in the quirky comedy Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which starred Matthew Broderick. In the film, Broderick lip syncs the song while riding a float in a parade. The song was also featured in Rodney Dangerfield's Back to School. In that film, Dangerfield actually sings the song in a bar with a band. (His take was issued out as a single, but it did not chart.) The party atmosphere generated by the song in both films grabbed a lot of attention and soon a new generation of listeners were requesting the tune along with those who had long been fans of the song and of the Beatles. Capitol Records took notice and reissued the original single of the song along with its original b-side "There's a Place" (#74 Pop, 1964). It gained enough airplay and sales to get it back on the Pop chart where it nearly cracked the Top 20. While this would be the Beatles last single to chart in the 80s, overall it would not be their last. In the 90s, the band would have three chart entries including two brand new songs that made their debuts on the Beatles' Anthology series. "Free As a Bird" would hit #6 in 1995 while "Real Love" would get to #11 the following year. Both would be gold sellers. To this posting date, these have been the last songs from the Beatles to reach the Pop chart.

ReduxReview:  I was never a big fan of this song, but what made the Beatles' version was the ragged vocal done by John Lennon. Apparently, this was purposely saved as the last song to be recorded in the sessions for the band's Please Please Me album because producer George Martin knew it might wreck up Lennon's voice. Lennon was suffering from a cold and his throat was not in good shape when it came time to record this track. Lennon did one full take of the song and that was to be it. He tried a second take, but his voice was gone and that wrapped up the sessions for the album. Lennon apparently didn't like his voice on the track, but I still think it is what brought the song to life. His unhinged vocal gave the song it's party vibe. It was a true rock 'n' roll moment and I think it helped to make the song a long-lasting hit. Although I admire Lennon's vocal and it can be a fun listen, this song wouldn't make my list of favorites by the Beatles.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This song was written in 1961 by Phil Medley and Bert Berns. It was recorded by The Top Notes that year with Phil Spector producing. Spector had become a house producer for Atlantic Records the previous year and had yet to develop is famous "wall of sound." The single failed to chart and Berns thought that was because Spector ruined the song. Berns then decided to produce his own version and got The Isley Brothers to record the tune. When released in 1962, it became the Isley's first major chart hit getting to #2 at R&B and #17 Pop. The Beatles based their version on the Isley's take. Many artists have covered the song but only the versions by Isley Brothers and the Beatles have charted at Pop. However, a rap style version by Salt-N-Pepa did chart at R&B in 1988. It got to #45 (#18 Rap/#4 UK).  2) This song was part of the famous Top 5 sweep accomplished by the Beatles in 1964. For the week of April 4, 1964, songs by the Beatles held the top five positions on the Pop chart. It was the first time any artist had been able to accomplish such a feat. The songs that created the sweep were "Can't Buy Me Love" (#1), "Twist and Shout" (#2), "She Loves You" (#3), "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (#4), and "Please Please Me" (#5). No other artist since has been able replicate this chart record. A couple of artists have come somewhat close. Both 50 Cent and Justin Bieber have lodged three songs simultaneously in the Top 5, but neither were close to equaling the Beatles' record.


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