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"She Loves You" is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney based on an idea by McCartney, originally recorded by The Beatles for release as a single in 1963. The single set and surpassed several records in the United Kingdommarker charts, and set a record in the United Statesmarker by being one of the five Beatles songs which held the top five positions in the American charts simultaneously. It is The Beatles' best-selling single in the United Kingdom, and was the best selling single in Britain in 1963.

"She Loves You" was credited to "Lennon/McCartney" as were all subsequent songs written by the pair and released during the remainder of the band's tenure. With the exception of the single version of "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You", all prior songs were credited as "McCartney/Lennon". The sequence was a source of controversy when McCartney changed it to "McCartney/Lennon" for some live versions released later in his career.

This was the first song by The Beatles to be heard by a substantial number of Americans; the only United States release by The Beatles that had even charted before that was "From Me to You", which lasted three weeks in August 1963, never going higher than number 116.

In November 2004, Rolling Stone ranked "She Loves You" as the 64th Greatest Song of All Time. In October 2005, Uncut magazine named "She Loves You" as the third biggest song that changed the world, behind Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" and Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone".

In August 2009, at the end of its "Beatles Weekend", BBC Radio 2 announced that "She Loves You" was The Beatles' all-time best-selling single in the UK based on information compiled by The Official Charts Company.

"She Loves You" (as "Sie liebt dich") was one of the two songs rerecorded by The Beatles in German, the other being "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (as "Komm gib mir deine Hand"). "Sie liebt dich" was released in Germany and in the USA b/w "I'll Get You" by "Die Beatles" on 21 May 1964, (Swan 4182).


McCartney and Lennon were inspired to write "She Loves You" after a concert at the Majestic Ballroom in Newcastlemarker as part of their tour with Roy Orbison and Gerry & The Pacemakers. They began writing the song on the tour bus, and finished it later that night at their hotel in Newcastle. In 2003, plans to install a plaque at the hotel concerned were stalled after it turned out neither Paul McCartney nor Ringo Starr, the surviving Beatles, could recall whether it was the Imperial Hotel or the Royal Turk's Head where the group had stayed.

The other circumstances under which the song was written are generally agreed upon. In 1963, McCartney said, "There was a Bobby Rydell song out at the time "Forget Him" and, as often happens, you think of one song when you write another. We were in a van up in Newcastle-Upon-Tynemarker. I'd planned an 'answering song' where a couple of us would sing 'she loves you' and the other ones would answer 'yeah yeah'. We decided that was a crummy idea but at least we then had the idea of a song called 'She Loves You'. So we sat in the hotel bedroom for a few hours and wrote it — John and I, sitting on twin beds with guitars." It was completed the following day at McCartney's family home at Forthlin Road, Liverpoolmarker.

Unusually for a love song, the lyrics were written in the third person. This idea was attributed by Lennon to McCartney, in 1980: "It was written together (with Paul) and I don't remember how. I remember it was Paul's idea — instead of singing 'I love you' again, we'd have a third party. The 'Woooo' was taken from the Isley Brothers' 'Twist and Shout', which we stuck into everything."

George Martin, The Beatles' producer, argued with Lennon and McCartney about the major sixth chord that ends the song. McCartney said in 1982: "Occasionally, we'd overrule George Martin, like on "She Loves You", we end on a sixth chord, a very jazzy sort of thing. And he said, 'Oh, you can't do that! A sixth chord? It's too jazzy.' We just said, 'No, it's a great hook, we've got to do it.'"

Eventually McCartney opened up, giving a fuller description of the disagreement, in 1988: "We rehearsed the end bit of 'She Loves You' and took it to George. And he just laughed and said, 'Well, you can't do the end of course... that sixth... it's too like The Andrews Sisters.' We just said, 'Alright, we'll try it without,' and we tried it and it wasn't as good. Then he conceded, 'You're right, I guess.'"


The recording of the song on 1 July 1963 was done on a two-track recording machine. Standard procedure at Abbey Road Studios at the time was to erase the original two-track session tape for singles once they had been "mixed down" to the (usually monaural) master tape used to press records. This was the fate of two Beatles singles (four songs): "Love Me Do", "P.S. I Love You", "She Loves You", and "I'll Get You". These tracks only exist as a mono master, although several mock-stereo remixes have been made by EMI affiliates worldwide, including a few made in 1966 by Abbey Road engineer Geoff Emerick.

The Germanmarker division of EMI (the parent of the Beatles' British record label, Parlophone Records), decided that the only way to sell Beatles records in Germanymarker would be to rerecord them in German. The Beatles found the idea stupid, but were asked by George Martin to comply, recording "Sie Liebt Dich" on 29 January 1964, along with a German version of "I Want to Hold Your Hand", at the Pathe Marconi Studios in Parismarker. The Beatles recorded new vocals over the backing tracks of the original versions (it had been thought that "Sie Liebt Dich" was recorded from scratch, but aural evidence suggests it is the original recording, slightly sped up), before embarking on a new song, "Can't Buy Me Love." Other than the earlier sessions backing Tony Sheridan (recorded in Hamburg), and the "new" songs "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love" (recorded at McCartney's Scotland farm over demos recorded by Lennon in New York City), it was the only time in their career that The Beatles recorded outside Londonmarker. The track was a big hit in Germany, but today the English versions are much better known in Germany (The Beatles' Red and Blue albums still feature the English hits on the German pressings).

Release and legacy

On 23 August 1963, the "She Loves You" single was released in the United Kingdom with "I'll Get You" as the B-Side. The single set several British sales records, starting with becoming the biggest-selling single, up to that point. It entered the charts on 31 August and remained in the charts for thirty-one consecutive weeks, eighteen of those weeks in the top three. During that period, it claimed the ranking of number one on 14 September, stayed number one for four weeks, dropped back to the top three, then regained the top spot for two weeks starting on 30 November. It made its way back into the charts for two weeks on 11 April 1964, peaking at forty-two.

It was the best-selling single of 1963, and remains the best-selling Beatles single in Britain today. It was the best-selling single in the United Kingdom for fourteen years until it was surpassed by "Mull of Kintyre" by Wings.

The song's gigantic success posed an ever-bigger puzzlement for The Beatles' producer, George Martin, and manager, Brian Epstein: why were the Beatles running up hit after hit in Britain, but utterly flopping on the other side of the Atlantic Oceanmarker? Martin, who was angered by Capitol Recordsmarker' stubbornness in turning down the Beatles, and a chance to become their record label in America, later recalled: "I said, for God's sake, do something about this. These boys are breaking it, and they're going to be fantastic throughout the world. So for heaven's sake latch onto them." This did not take long for Capitol of Canada, for "She Loves You" was a chart-topping hit there.

Before Capitol came along, The Beatles had been with Vee-Jay Records, until Vee-Jay failed to pay the royalties on time. Transglobal Music, an affiliate of EMI, held the licenses to The Beatles' output in America, and promptly ordered Vee-Jay to halt their manufacturing and distribution of Beatles records. Epstein, who needed a record label to release "She Loves You" in the United States, asked Transglobal to find another record label for him, and Transglobal came up with Swan Records. To avoid potential disagreements and lawsuits, the contract signed with Swan licensed to them only "She Loves You" and "I'll Get You", enough only for the A- and B-Sides of a single — and only for two years. Even four songs would be enough to abuse the contract — in 1964, Vee-Jay released an album in America entitled Jolly What! England's Greatest Recording Stars: The Beatles & Frank Ifield on Stage, which in reality consisted of the only four Beatles songs that had been licensed to them, the rest of the album made up of performances by Frank Ifield.

When "She Loves You" came out as a single in America on 16 September 1963, nobody paid attention to it. Three months later, the Beatles released "I Want to Hold Your Hand", which climbed all the way to number one, launching the British invasion of the American music scene, paving the way for more Beatles records, and releases by other British artists. Swan re-released the "She Loves You" single, which began a fifteen-week run on the American charts on 25 January 1964, two of those weeks at number one. On 21 March, Beatlemania had landed in America, spurred by The Beatles' appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show in February, where they performed, among other songs, "She Loves You". During its fifteen-week run in the American charts, "She Loves You" was joined by four other Beatles songs at the top five in the American charts.

New York Citymarker deejay Murray The K later recounted: "In late '63 they brought a record to me and mentioned the possibility that the Beatles might be coming to America, so I said, 'Okay,' and I put it on air. I had a record review contest on WINS at the time, where I'd play five new records each day. The audience would then vote on which records they liked best, and the winners of each week would be played next Saturday. And when I ran the Beatles in a contest with their record 'She Loves You', it came third out of five. But I still continued to play it for two or three weeks. But nothing happened. I mean, really no reaction. Absolutely nothing! Two months later I received an urgent call from my station manager in New York telling me 'The Beatles are coming!' 'Fine,' I said, 'Get an exterminator.'"

When Beatlemania reached the US, the record labels holding rights to Beatle songs rereleased them in various combinations. Swan claimed the rights to "Sie liebt dich", the German version of "She Loves You", although they did not. After buying and playing a copy of the German single, on 21 May 1964, "Sie liebt dich" was released by Swan in America, featuring "I'll Get You" on the B-Side, just like the English-sung single. American consumers bought the single as well, leading to a one-week run in the charts at 97th on 27 June.

"She Loves You" was included on the US album, The Beatles' Second Album, which overtook Meet the Beatles! on 2 May 1964, reaching the top spot in the album charts. It was the first time an artist had taken over from themselves in the American album charts, and provided a hint of the successes The Beatles would continue to achieve.

"She Loves You" would also be featured in the albums A Collection of Beatles Oldies, 1962–1966, 20 Greatest Hits, 1 and in the 2004 CD release The Capitol Albums, Volume 1. It was also included on the American promotional version of the Rarities album, issued as the bonus disc in the limited edition boxed set The Beatles Collection, from November 1978.

Although no other act made "She Loves You" into a hit, a number attempted their own versions. American singer Neil Sedaka recorded it, as did comedians Peter Sellers and Ted Chippington. At a number of concerts, U2s Bono has snippeted "She Loves You" into the end of "Vertigo" — a song that has a 'Yeah yeah yeah' outro. In 1987, Cher features the "She loves you/yeah, yeah, yeah" chorus and chord progression in the bridge of the track "Working Girl", from her self-titled album. Avantgarde band The Residents worked a sample of the "yeah yeah yeah" outro to their Beatles collage "Beyond the Valley of a Day in the Life".

The Beatles sang the chorus of "She Loves You" in the long fade-out of "All You Need Is Love".

In Raffi on Broadway, Raffi sang this part during the end of "All I Really Need (Reprise)".

Melody and lyrics

"She Loves You" avoids the use of a bridge, instead using a refrain to join the various verses. The chords tend to change every two measures, and the harmonic scheme is mostly static.

The lyrics were largely unconventional, again contrasting with the simplicity of "I Want to Hold Your Hand". Critics panned the song, dismissing the "yeah, yeah, yeah," as an uncouth slang from a fad band. The "yeah"s were to have a great effect on The Beatles' image — in Europe, they became known as the Yeah-Yeahs.


Personnel per Ian MacDonald



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