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Friday, September 23, 2016

And I Love Her

It's a bit surprising that when it came time to record a fresh batch of songs for the soundtrack of the group's first feature film, Paul McCartney only brought in one new composition.  Yes, his hit Can't Buy Me Love was used in the movie - twice - but it had been released as a single well in advance and was not originally intended for the film.  Yet, while John Lennon clearly dominated the soundtrack in terms of the quantity of songs, the quality of Paul's offering cannot be denied.  And I Love Her is one of his minor gems - his first ballad, in fact.

The song was still unfinished, however, when the Beatles first attempted to record it on February 25th, 1964.  Take two, the only complete take that day, can be heard on Anthology 1.  While John is already playing his rhythm part on acoustic guitar, George's lead is electric and Ringo is on his full drum kit.  It wasn't until midway through the session on the following day that Ringo switched to bongos.  Producer George Martin and music publisher Dick James thought the song was pleasant but repetitive, so they urged Paul to flesh it out a bit.  During a subsequent tea break, a bridge was quickly written by John and Paul and added to the song.  This middle eight plus George's simple but sublime work on a classical acoustic guitar provided the perfect final touches.  The master take was achieved on the 27th with Paul double-tracking his vocal line and an overdubbing of claves played by Ringo.

The song is used only once during one of the television rehearsal sequences in the middle of the film A Hard Day's Night.  It is played at a slightly slower tempo and Paul sings solo...mostly - he is still curiously double-tracked in places.

The boys only played the song one more time.  They recorded it for the BBC radio program Top Gear on July 14th, returning to the original instrumentation of electric guitar and drums on that occasion.  This version can be heard on On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2.  Some sources claim that And I Love Her was part of the 5-song set performed live on the television variety show Blackpool Night Out on July 19th, 1964 but a listen to the surviving audio tape of that program disproves that claim.

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