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Song facts: She Loves You

She Loves You was released in the UK on August 23rd 1963 and in the US on Septemer 16th. I'll Get You featured as the B-side on both sides of the Atlantic. The song became The Beatles' first single to sell over one million copies, marking a huge turning point for the group that would quickly usher in the era of Beatlemania. 

George Harrison and John Lennon recording She Loves You, July 1st, 1963. 

George Harrison and John Lennon recording She Loves You, July 1st, 1963. 

Origins

She Loves You was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney on June 26th 1963, after a concert at the Majestic Ballroom in Newcastle. The Beatles were on tour in the UK with Roy Orbison and began writing the lyrics at the back of a tour bus. The idea of writing the song about a third party was Paul's idea, but She Loves You was truly a collaborative effort between John and Paul.

"We were in a van up in Newcastle. I'd planned an 'answering song' where a couple of us would sing 'She loves you...' and the other one answers, 'Yeah, yeah.' We decided that that was a crummy idea as it was, but at least we then had the idea for a song called She Loves You. So we sat in the hotel bedroom for a few hours and wrote it." - Paul McCartney
"It was again a she, you, me, I, personal preposition song. I suppose the most interesting thing about it was that it was a message song, it was someone bringing a message. It wasn't us any more, it was moving off the 'I love you, girl' or 'Love me do', it was a third person, which was a shift away. 'I saw her, and she said to me, to tell you, that she loves you, so there's a little distance we managed to put in it which was quite interesting." - Paul McCartney
"I remember it was Paul's idea: instead of singing 'I love you' again, we'd have a third party. That kind of little detail is apparently in his work now where he will write a story about someone and I'm more inclined to just write about myself." - John Lennon
The Beatles recording She Loves You, July 1st, 1963. 

The Beatles recording She Loves You, July 1st, 1963. 

Recording

The Beatles recorded She Loves You less than a week after it was written, on July 1st, 1963 at Abbey Road. There is no documentation kept about how many takes were recorded on the day. 

Chart Success

Backed by I'll Get You as the B-side, She Loves You reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 21st 1964, knocking I Want to Hold Your Hand off the top spot. She Loves You stayed at number one for two weeks before being succeeded by Can't Buy Me Love. It also reached number one on the UK Singles Chart on September 14th 1963, staying there for four weeks; regaining the top spot for a further two weeks on November 30th.

She Loves You remains The Beatles' best-selling single in the UK, and was previoulsy the best-selling single by any UK artist for 14 years, until Paul McCartney released Mull of Kintyre with Wings.

She Loves You singles sleeves, 1963.

She Loves You singles sleeves, 1963.

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German version

The German division of EMI felt that The Beatles needed to re-record the song in German for the single to have any success in their country. The Beatles reluctantly complied at the request of producer George Martin.

Sie Liebt Dich (She Loves You) and Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand (I Want to Hold Your Hand) were recorded at the Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris, on January 29th 1964. The Beatles were able to use the original backing track for I Want to Hold Your Hand but had to record a new rhythm track for She Loves You as the original recording had been scrapped.

At this same session in Paris, The Beatles also recorded the rhythm track for a new Paul McCartney song Can't Buy Me Love. 

Both German recordings of She Loves You and I Want to Hold Your Hand were later released on The Beatles' Past Masters and Mono Masters albums.

Personnel

  • John Lennon – vocal, rhythm guitar
  • Paul McCartney – vocal, bass
  • George Harrison – harmony vocal, lead guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums
  • George Martin – producer
  • Norman Smith – engineer
John Lennon and Paul McCartney recording She Loves You, July 1st, 1963. 

John Lennon and Paul McCartney recording She Loves You, July 1st, 1963. 

The Beatles at Abbey Road, 1963.

The Beatles at Abbey Road, 1963.

George Harrison recording She Loves You, July 1st, 1963. 

George Harrison recording She Loves You, July 1st, 1963. 

The Beatles recording She Loves You, July 1st, 1963. 

The Beatles recording She Loves You, July 1st, 1963. 

The Beatles at Abbey Road, 1963.

The Beatles at Abbey Road, 1963.

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