Sunday, October 16, 2016

Beatles – "She Loves You" (1964)

She loves you
And you know you should be glad

(The fangirls always went crazy when the Beatles sang that falsetto “Oooooh!”)

The Liverpool Football Club is one of the 20 soccer teams in the Premier League, the highest-ranking division of the English Football League.  It has more first- and second-place finishes than any other team in the Premier League except Manchester United, and has officially recognized fan clubs in at least 50 foreign countries.

The most fanatic Liverpool F.C. supporters once watched the game while standing on the terrace at one end of the club’s Anfield stadium that was known as the “Spion Kop.”  

Originally, the Spion Kop was a steep embankment without seats – the fans in that area had to stand throughout the match. 

Spion Kop standees
At the height of Beatlemania in the early 1960s, the Spion Kop could hold up to 30,000 standing fans – most of whom were working-class men or younger fans who took advantage of the fact that admission to Spion Kop was much less costly than buying a seat elsewhere in the stadium.    

The absolute best thing about director Ron Howard’s new documentary, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years, is the film of thousands of “Kopites” — all males — swaying and singing “She Loves You” a cappella during a Liverpool match.

Here's the BBC television feature that film came from – the singing begins about 55 seconds into it:

Spion Kop got its name from a 4790-foot-tall mountain in South Africa that was the site of a Second Boer War battle.  The Battle of Spion Kop — the name means “Spy Hill” in Dutch – was a defeat for the British, who outnumbered the opposing Boer forces considerably.  

A few years after the battle, a local newspaperman compared the appearance of fans standing atop an embankment for spectators at the Arsenal F.C.’s London stadium to soldiers standing atop Spion Kop at the battle.  

Boers soldiers in front of Spion Kop
A couple of years after that, a Liverpool newspaper reported that a similar embankment at Anfield “has been termed ‘Spion Kop,’ and no doubt this apt name will always be used in future in referring to this spot.”  The name was made official in 1928, when a roof was built to shelter Spion Kop standees from the rain.  Many other English football and rugby clubs named their standing-only terraces “Spion Kop” as well.

Liverpool Kopites are famous for singing at soccer matches.  “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the musical  Carousel became the club’s official anthem after it was covered in 1963 by Gerry and the Pacemakers, a “British Invasion” group that rivaled the Beatles in popularity at one time.  (The band’s first three releases that year – “You’ll Never Walk Alone” was one of them – went to #1 in the UK, and the Pacemakers had three other top ten hits the following year.)

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Before producer/arranger George Martin became the “Fifth Beatle,” he produced a number of novelty records — including two Peter Sellers comedy LPs.  

After “She Loves You” became a hit, Sellers recorded four readings of the song’s lyrics in different accents – a Cockney accent, an upper-class English accent, an Irish accent, and a Dr. Strangelove accent.  That recording was released only after Sellers died in 1980. 

Here it is:

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“She Loves You” climbed to the #1 spot on the British record charts in September 1963, and surpassed a million units in sales by November.

But when the single was released in the United States, it sold barely a thousand copies and never cracked the Billboard “Hot 100.”

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” made it all the way to #1 in January 1964, and after the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in February, “She Loves You” quickly took the #2 spot.  

The two songs switched positions in March, and in April, the Fab Four held down the top five spots in the “Hot 100” with those two songs plus “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Twist and Shout,” and “Please Please Me.”  That’s never happened since and I doubt that it ever will. 

And here’s “She Loves You” by the Beatles:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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