Twist and Shout: Wikis


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"Twist and Shout"
Single by The Isley Brothers
B-side "Spanish Twist"
Released June 16, 1962
Format 7" single
Recorded New York, 1962
Genre Rock and roll
Length 2:27
Label Wand 653
Writer(s) Phil Medley, Bert Russell
Producer Bert Berns
The Isley Brothers singles chronology
(Part 1)"
"Twist and Shout"
"Twistin' With Linda"
"Twist and Shout"

Cover of the "Twist and Shout (EP)" (July 1963)
Single by The Beatles
from the album Please Please Me
B-side "There's a Place"
Released March 2 1964 (US)
Format vinyl record 7"
Recorded Abbey Road: February 11, 1963
Genre Rock and roll
Length 2:23
Label Tollie 9001 (US single, 1964)
Capitol 5624 (US-1986)
Writer(s) Medley/Russell
Producer George Martin
The Beatles singles chronology
"I Want to Hold Your Hand"

"The Beatles Movie Medley"
"Twist and Shout"

"Twist and Shout"
"Can't Buy Me Love"

"Baby It's You"
Please Please Me track listing

"Twist and Shout" is a song written by Phil Medley and Bert Russell. It was originally recorded by the Top Notes and then covered by The Isley Brothers. In the 60's Cliff Richard recorded it for a film, it is often hailed the best version. It was covered by The Beatles with John Lennon on the lead vocals and originally released on their first album Please Please Me. The song was covered by The Mamas & the Papas (in the style of a ballad) in 1967 on their album Deliver. It was also covered by The Tremeloes. Most recently Chaka Demus and Pliers (featuring Jack Radics and Taxi Gang) reached #1 on the UK charts with their version in January 1994. The Who performed it throughout their career, most notably on Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 and 1982's Who's Last.


Top Notes' version

In 1961, a year after Phil Spector became a staff producer at Atlantic records, he was asked to produce a single by an up-and-coming vocal group, the Top Notes (sometimes named "Topnotes"): "Twist and Shout." This was before Spector perfected his "Wall of Sound" technique, and the recording lacked all of the energy the group exhibited in its live performances. Songwriter Bert Berns felt Spector had ruined the song, and went out to show Spector how the song should be done.[1]

Isley Brothers' version

When the Isley Brothers decided to record the song in 1962, Berns opted to produce, and thus demonstrate to Spector what he had intended to be the "sound" of the record.[1] The resulting recording captured the verve of an Isley Brothers performance, and became the trio's first record to reach a Top 20 position in the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

The Isley Brothers' version, with Ronald Isley on lead vocals, was the first major hit recording of the song, peaking at #17 on the U.S. pop top 40 charts, and #2 on the US R&B charts. The song quickly became a frequently covered R&B tune in the early 1960s. According to Ronald, the song was supposed to be the b-side to the Burt Bacharach standard, "Make It Easy On Yourself", which had been a hit for Jerry Butler. When the Isleys recorded "Twist and Shout", the brothers didn't think the song would do well, as they hadn't had a hit in the three years since "Shout" established them. To their surprise, the song became their first Top 40 hit on both the pop and R&B charts, and for a time established the group's reputation for producing fast-paced songs during their earlier career.



The Beatles' version

The Beatles released the song on their first UK album, Please Please Me. The recording session for that album was their first album session, and is notable for eleven songs having been recorded in a mere 10 hours (the remaining four songs had previously been released as singles and one song was not released). "Twist and Shout" was the last song recorded; producer George Martin knew John Lennon's voice would suffer from the performance, so he left it until last, with only 15 minutes of scheduled recording time remaining for the album.

Lennon was suffering from a cold, and was drinking milk and sucking on cough drops to soothe his throat. His coughing is audible on the album, and the cold's effect on his voice is audible in this recording. Even so, he produced a memorable vocal performance, a raucous, dynamic rocker. He later said his voice was not the same for a long time afterward, and that "every time [he] swallowed, it felt like sandpaper."[2]

They tried for a second take, but Lennon had nothing left and it was abandoned.[3] George Martin said, "I did try a second take ... but John's voice had gone."[4]

The Beatles' cover was released on 2 March 1964 in the U.S. as a single, with "There's a Place" as its B-side[5], by Vee-Jay Records on the Tollie label. It reached #2 on 4 April 1964, during the week that the top five places on the chart were all Beatles singles. (In the Cashbox singles chart for the same week, "Twist and Shout" was #1.) In the United States, "Twist and Shout" was the only million-selling Beatles single that was a cover record, and the only Beatles cover single to reach the Top 10 on a national record chart.

In the UK, "Twist and Shout" was released on an EP with three other tracks from the Please Please Me album. Both the EP and Album reached #1 (see Twist and Shout (EP)). In Canada, it became the title track to the second album of Beatles material to be issued by Capitol Records of Canada on February 3, 1964.

It is regarded as one of the finest examples of British rock and roll for its vocal performance.[6] The song was used as a rousing closing number on Sunday Night at the London Palladium in October 1963 and at The Royal Variety Show in November 1963, the former signalling the start of "Beatlemania". They performed it on their Ed Sullivan Show appearance in February 1964.

The Beatles continued to play the song live until the end of their August 1965 tour of North America. Additionally, they recorded "Twist and Shout" on nine occasions for BBC television and radio broadcasts, the earliest of which was for the Talent Spot radio show on 27 November 1962.[7]

1986 recharting

The Beatles' version of the song enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in 1986 after Matthew Broderick lip synced it in the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Coincidentally, the Rodney Dangerfield film Back to School (released two days after Ferris) also featured the song, this one sung by Dangerfield himself and patterned after the Beatles' arrangement. The use in the two films help propel the single up the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at #23 late that summer, giving the group their second chart single of the 1980s (the other being "The Beatles Movie Medley" in 1982). The song's seven week run in the U.S. Top 40 in 1986, combined with its original 16-week run in 1964, makes Twist And Shout the longest running Top 40 hit for the Beatles at 23 weeks.


Brian Poole and the Tremeloes' version

In 1962 the Decca label signed Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, a British group from Dagenham, Essex, in preference to The Beatles. Both groups auditioned on the same day, and it has become legend that The Beatles were rejected by the label. Ironically, Brian Poole and the Tremeloes had no chart success until the beat boom in British rock surfaced, following the success of The Beatles. This triggered the frenzied signing of most of the popular Liverpool rock groups of that period by the major record labels, and their distinctive "sound" became known as Merseybeat. Brian Poole and the Tremeloes imitated this style, and covered "Twist and Shout" four months after The Beatles had released their version, and achieved the number 4 position in the UK Singles Chart.[8]

Other cover versions

Appearances in the media

  • In an episode of A Different World, Whitley sings "Twist and Shout" on top of a bar when she and Kim decide to go out during their Thanksgiving break.
  • It is performed by Dale Gonyea with J.R. & the Z-Man in a scene from the film Tuff Turf.[10]
  • It is the opening track in the Career mode of The Beatles: Rock Band.

See also


  1. ^ a b "The Atlantic Story". 
  2. ^ The Beatles. The Beatles Anthology. Chronicle Books, LLC, 2000.
  3. ^ Ian MacDonald, "Revolution in the Head"
  4. ^ Mark Lewisohn, The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions
  5. ^ USA Discography
  6. ^ Ian Macdonald, Revolution In The Head, p.67
  7. ^ "The Beatles Bible: Twist And Shout". Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  8. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 565. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  9. ^ Live Performance
  10. ^
Preceded by
"Mr Blobby" by Mr Blobby
UK Singles Chart Number 1 single by Chaka Demus and Pliers
January 2, 1994 for 2 weeks
Succeeded by
"Things Can Only Get Better" by D:Ream


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