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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 1, 1964

Studio Two, EMI Studios, London

The Beatles' first Sunday session for EMI, recording three songs in three hours, 7:00-10:00 pm. The first was "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You", written by John for George to sing, and recorded in four takes. They then taped two songs which would end up not as part of "A Hard Day's Night", but on an EP: "Long Tall Sally" and "I Call Your Name". (Surviving paperwork suggests that the latter, if not both, were intended for the film soundtrack at this early stage).

"Long Tall Sally" was a stupendous recording: Just as John had once captured "Twist And Shout" to perfection in a single take, so Paul, performing his greatest ever Little Richard impersonaton, put his all into "Long Tall Sally" - and, again, one take was all that was required. The Beatles backing - including George Martin on piano - was perfect too, so they didn't even bother with a second take.

"I Call Your Name" was also a recording of merit, the Beatles lending a ska beat to the middle-eight section of this Lennon composition. The song had been released before, by Billy J Kramer with the Dakotas as the B-side of their August 1963 number one "Bad To Me" (also written by John). The Beatles' recording was completed in seven takes, the "best" being take seven but the finest ska solo coming in take five, so this was edited into take seven at mising stages.

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