Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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I’ll Follow the Sun

First recorded by The Silver Beetles (1960).
Hit album version by The Beatles (EP UK #5 1965/SWE #4 1965).

From the wiki: “‘I’ll Follow the Sun’ was written and sung by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. It appears on the Beatles for Sale album in the UK and on Beatles ’65 in the US, but was written long before. A version recorded in 1960 can be found in the bootleg record You Might As Well Call Us the Quarrymen.

“When asked about the lyrics, McCartney would recall, ‘I wrote that in my front parlour in Forthlin Road. I was about 16. ‘I’ll Follow The Sun’ was one of those very early ones. I seem to remember writing it just after I’d had the flu and I had that cigarette. I remember standing in the parlour, with my guitar, looking out through the lace curtains of the window, and writing that one.’

“From Rolling Stone magazine re: the original 1960 recording: ‘There is a Buddy Holly vein, but, more importantly, one that is full-on McCartney, with that lilting melody seeming to come from behind the burning orb in the title, to beckon you on a journey well worth taking.’

From Beatles Music History: “Former drummer Pete Best has stated that he remembers Paul playing the song on piano in-between sets at The Kaiserkeller during their first visit to Hamburg, Germany. Having played at this club from October 4th to November 30th, 1960, Paul was said to announce to anyone around, ‘I’ve written a song’ and then proceed to regale the meager crowd with this tune. The long hours in Hamburg, as well as their frequent dates at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, brought a band performance of the song to the stage through 1961, while they thereafter put the song on the backburner for more recent compositions. It was not until October of 1964 that it was dusted off and fitted with a new bridge (and a change in rhythm from a rockabilly shuffle to a gentle cha-cha) for recording purposes in EMI studios.

“A rough home recording of the song exists on bootleg, believed to date from around Spring 1960.

“Eight complete takes are said to have been recorded at EMI in 1964, with the final version featuring an electric guitar instead of the planned acoustic.

“McCartney also said of the song, ‘The next [single] had to always be different. We didn’t want to fall into the Supremes trap where they all sounded similar, so we were always keen on having varied instrumentation. Ringo couldn’t keep changing his drum kit, but he could change his snare, tap a cardboard box or slap his knees.’

“‘I’ll Follow the Sun’ was released on the mono extended play 45 Beatles for Sale No. 2 in June of 1965. The EP peaked at #5 on the UK music sales chart. Issued as a single in Sweden, it peaked at #4 in July and August 1965.”

The Beatles, “I’ll Follow the Sun” (1964):

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