Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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If I Fell

First recorded (as a demo) by John Lennon (1964).
Hit version by The Beatles (US #53 1964).

From the wiki: “John Lennon got a head start on writing new material for the yet untitled first Beatles movie, in early January 1964, when he wrote and recorded the initial home demos for ‘If I Fell’ in his London flat. He later recalled ‘That’s my first attempt to write a ballad proper. That was the precursor to ‘In My Life’. It has the same chord sequence as ‘In My Life’: D and B minor and E minor, those kinds of things. And it’s semi-autobiographical, but not consciously. It shows that I wrote sentimental love ballads, silly love songs, way back when.’

“Brought into the studio for the group to record, ‘If I Fell’ was recorded in 15 takes on 27 February 1964. The song’s acoustic introduction – which is not repeated elsewhere in the song, musically or lyrically – made its first appearance on take 11. However, the home demo recorded by Lennon also contained the passage.

“The Beatles mimed to ‘If I Fell’ during the A Hard Day’s Night film. The scene takes place while the crew are setting up equipment prior to The Beatles’ ‘studio performance’. Amusingly, Lennon sings the love song to … Ringo Starr. The song became a part of The Beatles’ live repertoire in 1964. As the only ballad performed by the group at the time, it often suffered for their inability to hear themselves above the screams of Beatlemaniacs.”

The Beatles, “If I Fell” (1964):

The Beatles, “If I Fell” on the BBC’s Top Gear program (July 1964):

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