Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Beatles: Long Tall Sally EP

Between With The Beatles and A Hard Day's Night, the Beatles released the Long Tall Sally EP, featuring three covers and one original not released anywhere else in the Beatles discography (now available only on the Past Masters discs.) The title track, a Little Richard classic, is one of the great covers of the whole Beatles canon, up there with "Twist & Shout" and "Money (That's What I Want.)" A Larry Williams cover, "Slow Down" is no slouch either, and "Matchbox," originally by Carl Perkins, helps Ringo's transition from screamers like "Boys" and "I Wanna Be Your Man" through rockabilly and boogie-woogie, which ended up in sprightly tunes like "Yellow Submarine" and "Octopus's Garden." Not that there's anything wrong with that. This is just the first time his distinctive tone was heard clear.

But for me, the highlight is "I Call Your Name," an early peek at the songwriting growth between With The Beatles and A Hard Day's Night. Lyrically, this is one of John's best, and while it's upbeat, it has this measured exasperation to the phrasing "I can't sleep at night - but just the same - I never weep at night - I call your name!" And the band sounds so good, with the unsympathetic percussion and tangled guitars.

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