This Boy


This Boy

Infobox Song
Name =This Boy


Caption =
Type =Single B-side to "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (UK)
Artist =The Beatles
Released =29 November 1963
Recorded =17 October 1963
Genre =Beat
Length =2:13
Writer =Lennon/McCartney
Label =Parlophone R5084
Producer =George Martin

"This Boy" is a song by The Beatles composed by John Lennon,cite book |first=Bill |last=Harry |authorlink=Bill Harry |title=The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia|year=1992 |pages=650|publisher=Virgin Books |location=London |isbn=0-86369-681-3] cite book |first=Ian |last=MacDonald |authorlink=Ian MacDonald |title=Revolution in the Head |year=1998 |pages=92|publisher=Pimlico |location=London |isbn=0-7126-6697-4] and was first released in November 1963 as the B-side of the UK Parlophone single "I Want to Hold Your Hand". The Beatles performed it live on 16 February 1964 for their second Ed Sullivan Show appearance in the USA. It also appears as the third track on side one of US release, "Meet the Beatles!."

Its composition was an attempt by John Lennon at writing a song in the style of Motown star Smokey Robinson, specifically his song "I've Been Good To You", which has similar circular doo-wop chord changes, melody and arrangement, and Paul McCartney cites The Teddy Bears 1959 hit “To Know Him Is To Love Him” as also being influential.cite book |first=Ian |last=MacDonald |authorlink=Ian MacDonald |title=Revolution in the Head |year=1998 |pages=92|publisher=Pimlico |location=London |isbn=0-7126-6697-4] Lennon, McCartney, and George Harrison join together to sing an intricate three-part close harmony in the verses and refrain (originally the middle eight was conceived as a guitar solo, but altered during the recording process)cite book |first=Mark |last=Lewisohn |authorlink=Mark Lewisohn |title=The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions |year=1988 |pages=36|publisher=Hamlyn |location=London |isbn=0-600-55798-7] and a similar song writing technique is exercised in later Beatles songs, such as "Yes It Is" and "Because" (which, interestingly, are among the few Beatles songs which also feature three-part harmonies).

An instrumental version of "This Boy", orchestrated by George Martin, is used as the incidental music during Ringo Starr's towpath scene in the film "A Hard Day's Night". The piece, under the title, "Ringo's Theme (This Boy)" was released as a single - but failed to chart in the UK - on 7 August 1964 with “And I Love Her” on the B Side, although it did reach #53 in the American Top 100 later that year. It was also included on Martin’s Parlophone album "“Off The Beatle Track”" and the EP "“Music From A Hard Day’s Night”" by the George Martin Orchestra, released 19 February 1965. It was also included on the American "A Hard Day's Night" soundtrack album.

Instrumentation

*John Lennon – Acoustic guitar, double-tracked lead vocal
*Paul McCartney – Bass guitar, double-tracked harmony vocal
*George Harrison – Lead guitars, double-tracked harmony vocal
*Ringo Starr – Drums

Recordings

Besides the initial recording, alternate recordings have also been officially released. A live version performed on "The Morecambe and Wise Show" in 1963 was released on "Anthology 1" and two incomplete takes from the original recording were released as a track on the single "Free as a Bird".

Cover versions

At the 2001 John Lennon "Come Together" concert in New York City, Rufus Wainwright performed this song with John's son Sean Lennon and actor/musician Robert Schwartzman.

References


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