While I was out driving today, I was listening to Peter Asher’s From Me To You show on The Beatles channel (#18 on SiriusXM). I do enjoy this show for two reasons. Not only did Mr. Asher have a great music career as both a member of Peter and Gordon but also as a Grammy winning producer. Not to mention that his sister Jane was a longtime girlfriend of Paul McCartney (before he was Sir Paul). This gives him inside knowledge about almost all things Beatles.
One of the cool things about his show is that he always starts off with a Peter and Gordon song that sets the theme for that particular episode. Today’s opening song was “Nobody I Know”, which was written by Sir Paul, but credited to Lennon and McCartney.
One of The Beatles songs featured today was “I Want to Hold your Hand”. A monster hit in the UK.
“I Want to Hold Your Hand” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and recorded on 17 October 1963, it was the first Beatles record to be made using four-track equipment.
With advance orders exceeding one million copies in the United Kingdom, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” would have gone straight to the top of the British record charts on its day of release (29 November 1963) had it not been blocked by the group’s first million-seller “She Loves You“, their previous UK single, which was having a resurgence of popularity following intense media coverage of the group. Taking two weeks to dislodge its predecessor, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” stayed at number one for five weeks and remained in the UK top 50 for 21 weeks in total.
It was also the group’s first American number-one hit, entering the Billboard Hot 100 chart on 18 January 1964 at number 45 and starting the British Invasion of the American music industry. By 1 February it topped the Hot 100, and stayed there for seven weeks before being replaced by “She Loves You”. It remained on the Billboard chart for 15 weeks. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” became the Beatles’ best-selling single worldwide selling more than 12 million copies. In 2018, Billboard magazine named it the 48th biggest hit of all time on the Billboard Hot 100. In the UK, it was the second highest selling single of the 1960s, behind “She Loves You”.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Want_to_Hold_Your_Hand
Now what I found amazing about this piece was a cover by none other than Al Green. I had never heard this cover, and it quite literally blew my mind. OK, maybe not literally, but it came close.
So without further ado, from the 2011 album “Come Together: Black America Sings Lennon & McCartney”, here’s the Rev. Al Green with an amazingly funky “I Want to Hold Your Hand”.