I Saw Her Standing There: Wikis


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"I Saw Her Standing There"
Song by The Beatles

from the album Please Please Me

Released 22 March 1963
Recorded Abbey Road Studios, 11 February 1963
Genre Rock and Roll, Beat
Length 2:55
Label Parlophone
Writer McCartney/Lennon
Producer George Martin
Please Please Me track listing
"I Saw Her Standing There"

US single cover
Single by The Beatles
A-side "I Want to Hold Your Hand"
Released 26 December 1963 (U.S.)
Length 2:55
Label Capitol

"I Saw Her Standing There" is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and is the opening track on the The Beatles' debut album, Please Please Me, released in the United Kingdom by Parlophone on 22 March 1963.

In December 1963, Capitol Records released the song in the United States as the B-side on the label's first single by The Beatles, "I Want to Hold Your Hand". While the A-side topped the U.S. Billboard charts for seven weeks starting 18 January 1964, "I Saw Her Standing There" entered the Billboard Hot 100 on 8 February 1964, remaining there for 11 weeks, peaking at #14. The song placed on the Cashbox charts for only one week at #100 on the same day of its Billboard debut. In 2004, "I Saw Her Standing There" was ranked #139 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.



The song was a Lennon and McCartney collaboration based on McCartney's initial idea.[1] Originally titled "Seventeen", the song was apparently conceived by McCartney while driving home from a Beatles concert in Southport, Merseyside[2] and later completed at his Forthlin Road home with Lennon.[1] McCartney later described in Beat Instrumental how he went about the song's composition: "Here’s one example of a bit I pinched from someone: I used the bass riff from 'Talkin’ About You' by Chuck Berry in 'I Saw Her Standing There'. I played exactly the same notes as he did and it fitted our number perfectly. Even now, when I tell people, I find few of them believe me; therefore, I maintain that a bass riff hasn’t got to be original".[3] The lyrics were written on a Liverpool Institute exercise book. Remember, a book by McCartney's brother Mike McCartney, includes a photograph of Lennon and McCartney writing the song while strumming guitars and reading the exercise book. It was typical of how Lennon and McCartney would work in partnership, as McCartney later commented: "I had 'She was just seventeen,' and then 'Beauty queen'. When I showed it to John, he screamed with laughter, and said 'You're joking about that line, aren't you?'"[2] "It was one of the first times he ever went 'What? Must change that...'"[4] The songwriting credit on the Please Please Me liner notes is "McCartney/Lennon" which differs from the more familiar "Lennon/McCartney" that appears on subsequent releases.[5]


The song was recorded at Abbey Road Studios on 11 February 1963, as part of the marathon recording session that produced 10 of the 14 songs on Please Please Me.[6] The Beatles were not present for the mixing session on 25 February 1963.[7] It was not common practice for bands to be present at such sessions at that time.

On the album, the song starts with a rousing "One, two, three, four!" count-in by McCartney. Usually, these count-ins are edited off the final audio mix. However, record producer George Martin wanted to create the effect that the album was a live performance: "I had been up to the Cavern and I’d seen what they could do, I knew their repertoire, and I said 'Lets record every song you’ve got, come down to the studios and we’ll just whistle through them in a day'".[8] Martin took the count-in from take 9, which was considered 'especially spirited'[4] and spliced it onto take 1.[9] Music journalist Richard Williams suggested that this dramatic introduction to their debut album was just as stirring as Elvis Presley's "Well, it's one for the money, two for the show…" on his opening track, Blue Suede Shoes, for his debut album seven years earlier.[10] In addition it also made the point that The Beatles were a performing band as, at that time, they opened their live set with this song[11] On the first American release of the song, issued on Vee Jay Records, the count was edited out -- but the "Four!" was still audible.



Personnel per Ian MacDonald[12]

Critical acclaim

Carr and Tyler, in The Beatles: An Illustrated Record, claimed it was only the third all-British rock classic up to that time, the previous two being Cliff Richard's "Move It" and Johnny Kidd's "Shakin' All Over".

Cover versions

A 1974 live version was released as a duet by Lennon and Elton John as the B-side to the latter's "Philadelphia Freedom" single. The song is available on the Lennon box set, and on Elton John's To Be Continued... box set as well as the expanded CD edition of his 1976 live album Here and There. Lennon's introduction:

I'd like to thank Elton and the boys for having me on tonight. We tried to think of a number to finish off with so I can get out of here and be sick, and we thought we'd do a number of an old, estranged fiancé of mine, called Paul. This is one I never sang, it's an old Beatle number, and we just about know it.

This was the last major live performance by John Lennon.

McCartney included "I Saw Her Standing There" on his live albums Tripping the Live Fantastic (1990), Back in the U.S. (2002) and Back in the World (2003). In 1987, he recorded a new version for his album CHOBA B CCCP, but left it to outtakes. The song has become a mainstay of McCartney's live sets, and a special version was played when McCartney and his band returned to Liverpool in June 2008. It featured special guest drummer Dave Grohl, the lead singer of the Foo Fighters.

McCartney performed "I Saw Her Standing There" at the 1986 Prince's Trust Rock Gala, as part of the 10th anniversary celebration of HRH Prince Charles' charity. He was supported by an all-star band featuring Elton John, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Mark Knopfler, and Ray King. . Interviewed at the time, McCartney said: "It is a good thrill playing with musicians of this calibre...since it was a birthday thing, they wanted to do something silly at the end, and that's me!!"[13] This performance was released to iTunes Stores in October 2009 as part of the Digital Video Singles label.

Other versions include:

In popular culture

  • In the 1988 motion picture Rain Man, the song is sung by the titular character (portrayed by Dustin Hoffman) to his younger brother Charlie.
  • The song is played in Superman III, as a background track during the Smallville High School reunion.
  • The CBS sitcom Petticoat Junction featured it as a performance on March 24, 1964 by an all-girl group "The Ladybugs."[14] Two nights earlier the cast members, in Ladybugs character, also performed the song on The Ed Sullivan Show.


  1. ^ a b Miles 1997, p. 93–94.
  2. ^ a b Badman 2000, p. 50.
  3. ^ Harry 1992, pp. 329.
  4. ^ a b Lewisohn 1988, p. 9.
  5. ^ Parlophone 1963, p. 3.
  6. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 24.
  7. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 28.
  8. ^ The Beatles 2000, p. 92.
  9. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 60.
  10. ^ Mojo 2002, p. 40.
  11. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 68.
  12. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 66.
  13. ^ YouTube 2009.
  14. ^ Dailymotion 2009.




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