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The Crazy Parisian Sessions That Spawned Three Classic Beatles Songs

The crazy Parisian sessions are truly a powerful quintessence of what made The Beatles such a colossal pop culture! Faced with a busy live schedule and a hysterical crowd in Paris, the band still managed to find time to write some of the most fun and popular songs of their early canon...

How the Beatles sessions in Paris were held - the events of 1964

When The Beatles landed at paris in 1964 year, they were already some of the most powerful songwriters the world has ever seen! It was during this period "Fab Four from Liverpool" quickly became the most in-demand band on the planet... The world was literally buzzing with Beatlemania, and as the group set about implementing their plan to achieve the title of pop idol, the demand for more and more "content" became stronger... This meant that during the tour the band will also have to actively write new material. But back to the topic...

So: January 14, 1964, without Ringo Starra, The Beatles went to Paris to play their first concerts in France, having already performed before a large German audience. During the performance, the group lived in a prestigious hotel. George V, and to increase productivity, a piano was installed in their room. With John Lennon and Paul McCartney's close songwriting collaboration, it was expected that the Beatles would do their best and write some new pop masterpieces. As a result, in the belly of a Parisian hotel, they will write three of them ...

How it all began: arrival in Paris

The Beatles in Paris, 1964
The Beatles in Paris, 1964

In a grueling set of performances that no artist could complete today, The Beatles played 18 days concerts at the Parisian theater "Olympia", playing up to three sets every day ... The group's fame quickly grew, and although France never hosted "Magnificent Four" too close to the heart, when the musicians landed, they were still greeted by a huge crowd ...

During this period, the group prepared A Hard Day's Night, and expected to submit songs for the album and film in three intense writing sessions, the first of which took place at the George V Hotel. "Can't Buy Me Love", "If I Fell" and "I Should Have Known Better" — they were all three of the most beloved songs on the album! They appeared when Lennon and McCartney staring at each other, banging on the piano keys and trying to find the right tune ...

John Lennon and Paul McCartney
John Lennon and Paul McCartney

The band's debut film has always put pressure on the two main songwriters - Paul and John. They felt the need to bring moments of pop perfection to the screen and ensure that the album surpassed their previous efforts. The upright piano set up in the Beatles' hotel room was most likely a demon looming in the corner, demanding that they sacrifice their blood, sweat, and tears in the name of their craft... And they did, writing three sumptuous tracks...

A little about the songs themselves

The Beatles in Paris, 1964
The Beatles in Paris, 1964

Faced with writing their new album, the band turned their attention to several aspects in songwriting − Lennon and McCartney wanted to give them a cheerfulness! New pop songs needed direction and Paul McCartney, in particular, has always looked for inspiration in the past:

“Can't Buy Me Love is my attempt at a blues style. The idea was that all these material things are very good, but they won't give me what I really want. It was a very interesting song. Later, Ella Fitzgerald performed her own version, for which I was very flattered ... "

Although the song was reportedly written by Paul in a hotel George V together with John, Lennon usually distanced himself from this track:

“It belongs entirely to Paul. Maybe I had something to do with the chorus, I don’t remember exactly… Anyway, I always thought it was his song…”

After a dazzling number Paul McCartney it seems right that Lennon should have released his ballad. So, the next song supposedly written in the hotel was a great "If I Fell"… Talking about this track, John confessed:

“This is my first attempt at writing a ballad properly… It was the precursor to In My Life. "If I Fell" has the same chord progression as "In My Life": D minor, B minor, etc. And it's semi-autobiographical, but not consciously. It shows that I wrote sentimental love ballads, stupid love songs, a long time ago…”

In its turn McCartney always noted that this song shows the other side of the usually polarizing figure John Lennon:

“People often forget that John wrote some good ballads. People tend to think of him as a sharp, aggressive wit, but in fact he always had a very warm side that he didn't want to show too much... We wrote "If I Fell" together, but with an emphasis on John, because he sang. It was a good harmonious number, very similar to a ballad!”

Another song, apparently the last one written with piano accompaniment, was "I Should Have Known Better". It is noteworthy, but one of the authors did not like this composition - Lennon said it was "just a song that doesn't mean a damn thing!" But the track is still an accurate reflection of a pop group that gained its strength as it was influenced by the nations New York, namely Bob Dylan and his harmonica! It's also one of the cleanest scenes in the movie where the group plays cards on the train while the wife-to-be George Harrison - Patty Boyd peacefully watching...

Finally…

The crazy Parisian sessions are truly a powerful quintessence of what made The Beatles such a colossal pop culture! Faced with a busy live schedule and a hysterical crowd in Paris, the band still managed to find time to write some of the most fun and popular songs of their early canon... Given a piano and a few hours a day to share their thoughts and sketches, Paul McCartney and John Lennon could write such a popular song as "Can't Buy Me Love"under the most unusual circumstances!

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