50 years ago this month The Beatles released a song that marked a major turning point for the young band. “From Me to You” was the tune that convinced producer George Martin that The Beatles were destined to be great—and deserved his full attention.
The record became the group's first #1 hit in Britain. (Their previous single, “Please Please Me,” made it to #2.) It also happened to be the first key change in a Beatles' composition, a sophisticated songwriting trick (for a rock & roll band) that would later become part of their aural brand. For music critics paying attention in Britain, the song served notice that these Liverpool rockers were breaking new ground in popular music. They were defiantly original, passionately engaged, and dramatically distinct. (Think there’s a business lesson in there somewhere?)
Here’s Walk Off the Earth’s take on the tune, adding their own innovative spin to it.
Singer Del Shannon—who always had an eye for talent and would later produce musical acts of his own—heard The Beatles perform “From Me to You” at the Albert Hall in April 1963 and released a version of the song two months later in the US, becoming the first performer to dent the American charts with a Beatles’ tune. The Fab Four themselves could not achieve that feat for another six months.
For those taking notes, “From Me to You” was one of the few Beatles' songs that was co-written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney side by side, “eyeball to eyeball.” Usually John or Paul would write the song by himself—though it would always be a joint credit. Occasionally one would write most of the song and toss it to the other to finish. But a few were co-written real time, such as “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”
Yes, reading this blog may actually help you ace that History of Pop Music exam.