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Hold Me Tight

The history of this classic Beatles song


A rare Italian 78 of

A rare Italian 78 of "Hold Me Tight"

source: cool78s.com

Hold Me Tight

Written by: John Lennon (20%), Paul McCartney (80%)
(credited as Lennon-McCartney)
Recorded: September 12, 1963 (Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios, London, England)
Mixed: September 30 and October 29, 1963
Length: 2:28
Takes: 29
Musicians: John Lennon: harmony vocal, rhythm guitar (1958 Rickenbacker 325)
Paul McCartney: lead vocal, bass guitar (1961 Hofner 500/1)
George Harrison: harmony vocal, lead guitar (1962 Gretsch 6122 "Country Gentleman")
Ringo Starr: drums (1963 Black Oyster Pearl Ludwig kit)
Released on: (CDs in bold)
  • With The Beatles, (UK: Parlophone PMC 1206; PCS 3045, Parlophone CDP 7 46436 2, US: Capitol CLJ 46436)
  • Meet The Beatles, (US: Capitol (S)T 2047, Capitol CDP 7243 8 66875 2 4)
  • Largely composed by McCartney at his Forthlin Road home in 1961 (supposedly inspired by the Shirelles) with some last-minute touches by Lennon, the fairly nondescript "Hold Me Tight" was an early contender for a single and part of the band's live act off and on in the early years, but was never considered one of the group's better songs, by audiences, critics, or even the group themselves. Indeed, this track was first recorded during the legendary all-day sessions for the Please Please Me album, yet did not make the final cut, with the tapes from that session being destroyed (common practice at the time).
  • The original take of "Hold Me Tight" was recorded in 13 takes at the beginning of the evening session on February 11, 1963, just before work began on "Anna (Go To Him)," while the final released version of "Hold Me Tight" was recorded during the fourth session for With The Beatles, just before work began on "Don't Bother Me." (The final version is an edit of takes 26 and 29.)
  • This song is notable for three reasons: it's one of the very few Beatles songs featuring a sometimes off-key vocal by Paul, it contains a strange opening that makes it sound as if the song is already playing (different from other similar Beatles intro gimmicks, one that sounds like a editing error but isn't), and it's the first Beatles song wherein the tape itself was sped up slightly to make the track faster. (Also not uncommon practice at the time, but a first for the group.)
  • Paul McCartney's second album with Wings, 1973's Red Rose Speedway, contains a medley featuring a McCartney original called "Hold Me Tight" that has nothing whatsoever in common with the Beatle song.
  • Although several "White Album" and "Get Back" outtakes turned up reworked on later projects, this is the first of only two Beatles songs recorded for one LP and saved for the next, the other being "Wait," originally intended for Help! but remade for Rubber Soul.
Covered by: Count Basie, Todd Rundgren, The Smithereens, Stackridge, The Treasures, Evan Rachel Wood
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