Twist and Shout
Twist and Shout was written by Phil Medley and Bert Russell and released by the Top Notes in 1961. A year later the Isley Brothers propelled it to fame in the United States as an upbeat dance song, when doing "the Twist" was all the rage. The Beatles incorporated the song into their performance set, and it became the last track recorded during the historic February 11, 1963 session at the Abbey Road studios of EMI.
John Lennon has the lead in the song, but at the time he suffered from a cold, and his voice was nearly gone after the 10-hour recording marathon. With just 15 minutes left in the time slot, Producer George Martin took two takes. Take one, in which Lennon's cough is discernible, appears as the last track on the debut album, Please Please Me. Martin said that by take two, Lennon's voice had gone. Lennon himself said it took a long time for his voice to recover after that, and that every time he swallowed, "it felt like sandpaper." Nonetheless, the performance is raucous and uplifting. Many critics feel that Lennon's cold help to give his voice a unique timbre that would never be replicated in all the subsequent recordings of the Beatles.
This cover represents one of the first full harmony vocals of the Beatles, a sound that helped establish the group as fresh, new and innovative. In the U.S., Twist and Shout rose to number one on the U.S. charts, with There's a Place on the B-side. It would prove to be the only Beatles cover ever to break into the top ten. It also rose to number one in Canada and the U.K. A year after its recording, it became the title track in the Beatles' second album and was performed in the famous Ed Sullivan appearance in February of 1964.
February 11, 1963. The last song recorded, in two takes. Take 1 was used.