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From Me To You

The history of this classic Beatles song


The original UK 45 of

The original UK 45 of "From Me To You"

source: jpgr.co.uk

From Me To You

Written by: John Lennon (50%) and Paul McCartney (50%) (credited as Lennon-McCartney)
Recorded: March 5th, 1963 (Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios, London, England)
Mixed: March 14th, 1963
Length: 1:56
Takes: 13
Musicians: John Lennon: lead vocal, rhythm guitar (1958 Rickenbacker 325), Hohner harmonica
Paul McCartney: co-lead vocal, bass guitar (1961 Hofner 500/1)
George Harrison: lead guitar (Gretsch Duo Jet)
Ringo Starr: drums (Premier)
First released: April 11, 1963 (UK: Parlophone R5015), May 27, 1963 (US: Vee-Jay VJ 522) also as b-side of "Please Please Me" (US: Vee-Jay VJ 584)
Available on: (CDs in bold)
  • Past Masters Volume 1, (UK: Parlophone CDP 7 90043 2, US: Capitol CDP 7 90043 2)
  • The Beatles Hits (EP), (UK: Parlophone GEP 8880)
  • The Beatles 1962-1966, (UK: Apple PCSP 717, US: Apple SKBO 3403, Apple CDP 0777 7 97036 2 3}
  • The Beatles 1, (Apple CDP 7243 5 299702 2}
Highest chart position: 1 (UK: May 4, 1963)
  • Written in a coach en route to a date in Shrewbury, England as an opening act for Helen Shapiro. John claims to have thrown out the first line, but the two finished it off on the bus together, having been inspired by a letters column in the legendary British music magazine [i[New Musical Express. The title of the column was "From You To Us." It was intended, at least in part, as a thank-you to the group's new fan base.
  • This is the first of many early Beatles songs to feature their signature falsetto "woo!" harmony at a key dramatic moment. Paul McCartney later identified Little Richard as the inspiration for this gimmick.
  • The bridge of this song was seen by both John and Paul as a significant stylistic step up from their earlier work, even a breakthrough.
  • "From Me To You" is in a major chord (C), but ends on a minor (A minor). This was almost unheard of at the time in pop music.
  • This became the group's first across-the-board Number One in England, and was the first Beatles single to be released in America. However, it missed the Billboard charts entirely, due in part to the difficulty in breaking English acts but also to a cover version by Del Shannon (which itself barely broke the Top 100). However, it did give John and Paul some key inroads in the States as songwriters.[nr]
Live versions: Star Club, Hamburg, Germany, December 31, 1962
BBC versions: 14 (for the BBC radio programs Side By Side, Easy Beat, Swinging Sound '63, Saturday Club, Steppin' Out, and Pop Go The Beatles; Miami, FL, February 18, 1964, for broadcast on that evening's Ed Sullivan Show broadcast (CBS TV)

  • English singer/songwriter Kenny Lynch, part of the Shapiro tour, was also on the bus at the time, and after journeying to the back to "help" the duo write a new song, declared it "rubbish" and remarked that the soon-to-be-trademark "woo" made John and Paul sound like "fairies."
  • The Beatles created a similar version of the same song, called "From Us To You," specifically for use on the BBC radio program of the same name (1963-1965).
Covered by: Del Shannon, Debby Boone, The Chipmunks, The Crickets, George Duke, The Flamin' Groovies, Lonnie Mack, George Martin, Bobby McFerrin, The Persuasions, Bobby Vee
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