100 Greatest Beatles Songs

From 'Helter Skelter' to 'Sgt. Pepper's,' ranking of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison's output

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'I'll Follow the Sun'
K & K Ulf Kruger OHG/Redferns79/100

79. 'I'll Follow the Sun'

Main Writer: McCartney
Recorded: October 14, 1964
Released: December 15, 1964
Not released as a single

This Beatles for Sale track was already an oldie by the time it was recorded. McCartney wrote the song as a teenager and played it with Lennon and Harrison back when they were in the Quarry Men; a tape exists from 1960. But the Beatles didn't get around to cutting it until they were scrambling for new material.

One reason they didn't use the song before was because it wasn't tough enough for their leather-jacketed early image. By the time they did record it, the rhythm had changed from a rockabilly shuffle to a gentle cha-cha. And Starr kept the beat by smacking his palms on his knees.

"The next [single] had to always be different," McCartney said. "We didn't want to fall into the Supremes trap where they all sounded similar, so we were always keen on having varied instrumentation. Ringo couldn't keep changing his drum kit, but he could change his snare, tap a cardboard box or slap his knees."

Appears On: Beatles for Sale

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