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Thursday, April 22, 2010

100 Records That Shook The World, #74

She Loves You

The Beatles

In August 2009, at the end of its "Beatles Weekend", BBC Radio 2 announced that "She Loves You" was The Beatles' all-time best-selling single in the UK based on information compiled by The Official Charts Company.

The song was composed by John and Paul one night after a concert in Newcastle on the same bill as Roy Orbison and Gerry & The Pacemakers.  In 2003, plans to install a plaque at the hotel concerned were stalled after it turned out neither Paul McCartney nor Ringo Starr, the surviving Beatles, could recall whether it was the Imperial Hotel or the Royal Turk's Head where the group had stayed.

The inspiration for the song came from a Bobby Rydell tune, Forget Him.  The plan had been to do an answering song, but with a third-person viewpoint. The 'woooo's came from their admiration for the Isley Brothers, and, according to John, "I don't know where the 'yeah yeah yeah' came from. I remember when Elvis did "All Shook Up" it was the first time in my life that I had heard 'uh huh', 'oh yeah', and 'yeah yeah' all sung in the same song".

The song shook up the airwaves, and the establishment too. Those 'yeah yeah yeahs' were seen as very controversial. McCartney recalls them playing the finished song on acoustic guitars to his father at home immediately after the song was completed: "We went into the living room [and said] 'Dad, listen to this. What do you think? And he said 'That's very nice son, but there's enough of these Americanisms around. Couldn't you sing "She loves you, yes, yes, yes!". At which point we collapsed in a heap and said 'No, Dad, you don't quite get it!'"

In November 2004, Rolling Stone ranked "She Loves You" as the 64th Greatest Song of All Time. In October 2005, Uncut magazine named "She Loves You" as the third biggest song that changed the world, behind Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" and Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone".

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