This Boy - Reviews

Quoted from Recording Sessions: p.36

Thursday 17 October 1963. Abbey Road, Studio Two: 2.30-5.30pm, 7.00-10.00pm. Recording 'The Beatles' Christmas Record'; 'You Really Got A Hold On Me' (take 12); 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' (takes 1-17); 'This Boy' (takes 1-17). Producer: George Martin. Engineer: Norman Smith. 2nd Engineer: Geoff Emerick.

'This Boy', recorded for the B-side of 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' is technically superior to its A-side. While it lacks the immediacy and clever subtleties of 'Hand' it does display a songwriting talent remarkable in its maturity. That the Beatles could afford to virtually throw the track away as a mere B-side speaks volumes for the superb material that was now pouring from them.

The Beatles perform 'This Boy' on the Ed Sullivan Show, Sunday, February 9, 1964.

The song features intricate three-part harmony work, something in which John, Paul and George were naturally adept. "They always experimented with close harmony singing, " recalls George Martin, "all I did was change the odd note." The session tapes reveal that the song, although it took 15 takes to perfect (takes 16 and 17 were overdubs), was complete from the start, the only differences being that the middle eight originally featured a guitar solo, and that - like several Beatles recordings of the time - the song originally had a full ending. It was later given a fade-out.

Monday 21 October 1963. Studio Two (Control Room only): 10.00am-1.00pm. Mono mixing: 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' (from take 17); 'This Boy' (remixes 1 and 2, from take 15), Editing: 'This Boy' (of mono mixes 1 and 2). Stereo mixing: 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' (remix 1, from take 17). Producer: George Martin. Engineer: Norman Smith.

Mono mixes for the single, stereo for unforeseen future use.

Posted: 30 aug 2010

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