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Rolling Stones songs: I Wanna Be Your Man
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
Tell me that you love me, baby/ Tell me you understand…
Written by: Lennon/McCartney
Recorded: De Lane Lea Studios, Kingsway, London, England, Oct. 7 1963
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
John Lennon and Paul McCartney were developing this as a showcase song for Ringo when they ran into The Stones’ manager Andrew Oldham, who used to work for Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Oldham invited Lennon and McCartney to The Stones rehearsal space in London, and when they showed up, Lennon and McCartney finished the song and gave it to The Stones to record. Their version was released on November 1, 1963, three weeks before the Beatles version appeared on their album With the Beatles.
Mick Jagger said in 1968: “We knew (the Beatles) by then and we were rehearsing and Andrew brought Paul and John down to the rehearsal. They said they had this tune, they were really hustlers then. I mean the way they used to hustle tunes was great: ‘Hey Mick, we’ve got this great song.’ So they played it and we thought it sounded pretty commercial, which is what we were looking for, so we did it like Elmore James or something. I haven’t heard it for ages but it must be pretty freaky ’cause nobody really produced it. It was completely crackers, but it was a hit and sounded great onstage.”
Bill Wyman (1982): “We kind of learned it pretty quickly ’cause there wasn’t that much to learn. Then Brian got his slide out, his steel (guitar) out and dadaw… dadaw.. and we said, Yeah, that’s better, dirty it up a bit and bash it out, and we kind of completely turned the song around and made it much more tough.
(Ref. I wanna be your man)
This was the second Stones single released in England. Their first was a cover of a Chuck Berry song called “Come On.”
Watching Lennon and McCartney compose this inspired Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to write more original songs. The Stones had mostly covered American Blues songs to this point. It was a big step for Mick and Keith, since they didn’t consider themselves songwriters.
The Stones were just developing a fan base in England when they released this. It was a big boost to their career, since a song written by Lennon and McCartney was almost guaranteed to be a hit.
Brian Jones played a bottleneck steel guitar, marking the first time this was done on an English pop record.
The Beatles used this as a showcase song for Ringo from 1963-1966.
This was the first song performed on the first episode of the BBC music show Top Of The Pops. The debut show was January 1, 1964, and The Stones were followed by Dusty Springfield, The Dave Clark Five and The Hollies.
(Ref. I wanna be your man)
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
Excited as they may have been to hear “Come On” playing on the British
airwaves, Mick, Brian, Keith, Bill, and Charlie shared the opinion of certain
critics that their first single failed to convey the energy they generated
onstage, let alone reflect the music that really excited them. Andrew
Oldham was acutely aware of this too, all the more so as the group’s
repertoire at that time contained nothing that could be thought of as a
potential hit. Yet it was hoped that this putative second single would enable
the Rolling Stones to make a decisive leap forward, to present themselves
as the Beatles’ most serious challenger. They recorded a version of “Poison
Ivy” by the Coasters and “Putty in Your Hands” by the Shirelles, but the
results were unanimously rejected on the grounds of inadequate quality.
Where, then, to look for the successor to “Come On”?
As things turned out, it was the Lennon-McCartney songwriting duo that
was to set them on the right track. On September 10, 1963, while walking
along Charing Cross Road, Andrew Oldham spotted John Lennon and Paul
McCartney. The manager of the Stones mentioned that he was having
trouble finding a sufficiently catchy number for his protégés to record as
their second single. Magnanimously, the young Liverpudlian songwriters,
then in the process of recording their second album, With the Beatles,
offered to come to the aid of the London quintet. They suggested that the
Stones record one of their own compositions, an impassioned, direct love
song—and potential hit—that they were getting ready to record the
following day for their new album. Its title? “I Wanna Be Your Man.”
Andrew Oldham took Lennon and McCartney straight to Studio 51, Ken
Colyer’s jazz club on Great Newport Street, not far from Charing Cross
Road, where the Stones were rehearsing. The two Beatles showed them the
chords and the words, and then, as a few ideas began to be exchanged, took
themselves off into a corner for a moment—to everyone’s astonishment—to
finish the song off. “Paul, being left-handed, amazed me by playing my
bass backwards,” recalls Bill Wyman. In barely twenty minutes, it was as
good as done. Keith Richards also recalls this key incident: “They played it
through with us. Brian put on some nice slide guitar; we turned it into an
unmistakably Stones rather than Beatles song. It was clear that we had a hit
almost before they’d left the studio.” Oldham was suddenly able to see his
protégés’ future in a different light: “They gave us a real tutorial in the
reality they were forging for themselves.” Lennon maintained that from
this day on, the Stones started to write their own songs. He would later
acknowledge with some amusement that the song they had offered the
Londoners was not one of their best: “It was a throwaway,” he told David
Sheff in 1980. “That shows how much importance we put on them. We
weren’t going to give them anything great, right?”
(Ref. I wanna be your man)
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Categories: Can You Hear the Music?