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It’s not a stretch to say The Beatles redefined popular music. When they still played live, their concerts caused mayhem and hysteria. Their singles ruled the charts on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Heck, “Lovely Rita” from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band changed the English language. Yet the early Beatles song “She Loves You” proved to be one of the best performances of their career, according to recording engineer Geoff Emerick.

Paul McCartney (from left), George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon with their instruments during a 1963 TV appearance on 'Thank Your Lucky Stars.'
(l-r) Beatles members Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon | David Redfern/Redferns

Geoff Emerick said The Beatles gave one of their most exciting performances recording ‘She Loves You’

Emerick worked on Beatles albums such as Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, the White Album, Abbey Road, and more. He didn’t work on the song but was at Abbey Road Studios while the band recorded “She Loves You.” For him to say that Beatles song was one of the most exciting performances he witnessed is really saying something. 

A horde of fans followed the group to Abbey Road and tried to work their way into the studio. Once security dispersed the rowdy crowd, The Beatles delivered the performance Emerick called one of their best (per Craig Brown’s 150 Glimpses of The Beatles):

“There was a level of intensity in that performance that I had not heard before and have rarely heard since. I still judge that single to be one of the most exciting performances of the Beatles’ entire career.”

Geoff Emerick

Emerick wasn’t the only Beatles insider bowled over by that recording session. Norman Smith, who engineered the track, was skeptical about the song when he saw the lyric sheet. When the Fab Four started performing it, he immediately changed his mind.

“’When they started to sing it — bang, wow, terrific,” Smith said (per 150 Glimpses). “I was up at the mixer jogging around.”

That recording session on July 1, 1963, produced the Beatles song that you could argue was a turning point for the band. 

‘She Loves You’ was the Beatles songs that solidified the band’s status as hit-makers


The Beatles’ ‘She Loves You’ Was Inspired by a Song That Wasn’t as Popular

The Fab Four were already big enough in England in the middle of 1963 that fanatics tried to crash the “She Loves You” recording session. Their fans proved how popular The Beatles were when the single hit shelves in late August.

Once it entered the English chart, “She Loves You” needed just two weeks before it ascended to the No. 1 spot. It held the top spot for six total weeks. Only “From Me to You” and “Hello Goodbye” lasted longer at No. 1 (seven weeks) in England. No other Beatles song came close to matching the 33 weeks “She Loves You” spent on the chart (per the Official Charts Company).

Fans in the United States came late to The Beatles. Once they got wise, they quickly warmed up to the Fab Four and sent them to the top of the charts. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was their first No. 1 in the U.S. (in early February 1964). “She Loves You” was the second, and it spent an equally impressive 15 weeks among the Billboard top 100

The chart performance in both countries was even more impressive when you realize John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote most of the song in a hotel room in an hour. The finished it at Paul’s dad’s house and ignored Jim McCartney’s push to change the lyrics.

“She Loves You” became an early fan-favorite. Geoff Emerick saw it coming. The engineer said the recording of that early Beatles song was one of the best performances of the band’s entire career.

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