A Musical Milestone
Reviewer: Jerry Grette
This one from 1964 has always been a favourite of mine. Primal and insistent, this is Lennon at his rock 'n' roll best. Punctuated by Ringo's cowbell throughout and dressed with call-and-response vocals from McCartney and Harrison, Lennon belts out everything he's got over chopping rhythm guitar sevenths (G7/C7/D7). This tune and its A-side "Can't Buy Me Love" were the first Beatles work in the studio in 1964.
This tune also marks the first use in the studio of the Rickenbacker 360, a new model the company gave to George Harrison during the Beatles' famed Ed Sullivan trip in February that year. A 12-string designed to look like a 6, the 360 gave a particular ringing quality used again a few days later in the studio for "I Should Have Known Better" and probably "I Call Your Name" as well- two more Lennon numbers. When these tunes emerged, Roger McGuinn incorporated the instrument into what would become the Byrds' signature sound, evidenced in "Tambourine Man", "Eight Miles High" and others. In "You Can't Do That" Harrison starts and ends the song with the 360 while Lennon takes the lead in the middle.
The resulting single also marks the beginning of Lennon-McCartney output that diverged into largely solo work as Lennon went on to dominate the Beatles' 1964 work before McCartney caught up in later years, so this particular tune is highly significant in the world of popular music on at least two fronts.
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