- You Can't Do That
Name =You Can't Do That
Caption =US (Capitol) single cover
alt Artist =
20 March 1964(UK) 16 March 1964(US)
Abbey Road Studios 25 February 1964
ParlophoneR5114 (UK) Capitol 5587 (U.S.)
Misc = Extra tracklisting
Album = A Hard Day's Night
Type = studio
Tracks =;Side one
# "A Hard Day's Night"
I Should Have Known Better"
If I Fell"
I'm Happy Just to Dance with You"
And I Love Her"
# "Tell Me Why"
Can't Buy Me Love";Side two
Any Time at All"
I'll Cry Instead"
Things We Said Today"
When I Get Home"
# "You Can't Do That"
# "I'll Be Back"
"You Can't Do That" is a song recorded by
The Beatlescredited to Lennon / McCartneyalthough it was wholly composed by John Lennon[Ian MacDonald "Revolution In The Head" p.96 ] [Bill Harry "The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia" p.715] [Paul McCartney & Barry Miles "Many Years From Now" p.164] .
"You Can't Do That" was recorded on Tuesday, 25 February 1964, in
Abbey Road Studiosin London, and initially released as the B-sideof the Beatles' single " Can't Buy Me Love. Later it was also included on the UK album "A Hard Day's Night" and the US album " The Beatles' Second Album".
With filming due to begin on "A Hard Day's Night", film director
Dick Lesterneeded the Beatles to provide him with original material ahead of production, and "You Can't Do That" was selected as one of the songs the Beatles played as part of the Scala Theatre"live performance" scene in the film, but it was dropped for the final cut. At one stage it was considered for the A-side of their next single until McCartney produced "Can't Buy Me Love".
Another of John Lennon's semi-autobiographical songs,cite book |first=Barry |last=Miles |authorlink=Barry Miles |title=Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now |year=1997 |pages=164 |publisher=Henry Holt & Company |location=New York |isbn=0-8050-5249-6] 'You Can’t Do That' "contradicted the genial tone with its tense threats, sexual paranoia and nagging, dragging groove" so wrote Robert Sandall.cite book |title=Mojo Special Limited Edition # M-04951 |year=2000 |pages=114] Lennon not only composed, but also played the guitar solo.cite book |first=Ian |last=MacDonald |title=Revolution in the Head |year=1998 |pages=95] The recording took nine takes to complete. The song's jealousy theme was re-visited in other Lennon compositions, such as "
Run for Your Life" and " Jealous Guy".
Influenced by the (then) relatively unknown
Wilson Pickett,cite book |first=Ian |last=MacDonald |authorlink=Ian MacDonald |title=Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties |year=1994 |pages=83 |publisher=Henry Holt and Company |location=New York |isbn=0-8050-2780-7] the song is essentially a twelve bar in its composition, with Lennon introducing a discordantflattened 3rd (F) on the D7th chord, pointedly emphasising "…I told you before…" and then pushing the same note for the exasperated "Oh!" before resolving to the song's key of G [The Beatles Complete Scores p.1077 ] .
New Yorkfor The Ed Sullivan Showguitarist George Harrisonwas presented with a Rickenbacker360 Deluxe electric 12-string guitar worth (in 1964) $900 [Bill Harry "The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia" p.715] [George Harrison "The Beatles Anthology" P.81] . Only the second one produced, it was heard for the first time on "You Can't Do That" (although actually used for the first time on "Can't Buy Me Love" but lost in the mix) and gave the song its distinctive chiming sound. [cite book |first=Bill |last=Harry |title=The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia |pages=715] It would be played extensively on the "A Hard Day’s Night" LP, greatly influencing Roger McGuinn, who later went on to form The Byrds.cite book |author=Tony Palmer|authorlink=Tony Palmer|title=All You Need Is Love The Story of Popular Music|year=1977|pages=243|publisher=Book Club Associates|location=London ]
*John Lennon – lead vocal, lead guitar (solo), rhythm guitar & 6 string guitar solo
Paul McCartney– backing vocal, bass guitar, cowbell
*George Harrison – backing vocal, 12 string lead guitar (throughout)
Ringo Starr– drums, conga:Credits per Ian MacDonald
The song was first released as the
B-sideof the Beatles' sixth UK single " Can't Buy Me Love". It was later featured in the "A Hard Day's Night" album. The song was filmed as part of the film's final concert sequence, but not used. Footage can be found on the documentary "The Making of "A Hard Day's Night" and can be easily viewed on YouTube.
"You Can't Do That" was covered by
Harry Nilssonfor his debut album " Pandemonium Shadow Show" (1967). Rather than simply covering it straight, Nilsson re-arranged the song making it somewhat slower. He also worked references to 20 other Beatles tunes in the mix, usually by quoting snippets of Beatles lyrics in the multi-layered backing vocals.
The track was Nilsson's first hit as a performer; though it stalled at #122 on the US charts, it hit top 10 in Canada. It also (along with the rest of the album) established Nilsson as a favourite performer of The Beatles. Famously, John Lennon listened to "Pandemonium Shadow Show" for 36 hours straight after being given a copy by
Derek Taylor; he then called Nilsson to congratulate him, which started a friendship that would last for the rest of Lennon's life. Later, in a 1968 press conference to announce the formation of Apple Corps, Lennon was asked to name his favorite American artist. He replied, "Nilsson". Paul McCartney was then asked to name his favorite American group. He replied, "Nilsson".
*The American band
Vanilla Fudgecovered it on their second album, "The Beat Goes On".
Andy Ellisonrecorded a version
Amanda Overmyerof " American Idol (season 7)" also did a faster rendition of the song on the Top 12 show of " American Idol"and likewise recorded a studio version of the song.
The Punklesdid a Punk cover of this song on their "1998-2003" album.
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