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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'It Won't Be Long'
Michael Ward / Rex Features53/100

53. 'It Won't Be Long'

Writers: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: July 30, 1963
Released: January 20, 1964
Not released as a single

"It Won't Be Long" is the kind of song Bob Dylan had in mind when he wrote that Beatles chords were "outrageous, just outrageous." It was around the time the track was released that high-minded critics also began to realize how unique the Beatles were. "The guy in the London Times wrote about the 'Aeolian cadences of our chords,'" Lennon said, "which started the intellectual bit about the Beatles."

In addition to its unusual chord changes, the song also had a muscular aggression, storming out of the gate with call-and-response shouts of "yeah!" McCartney, though, was most proud of the lyrics. "I was doing literature at school, so I was interested in plays on words and onomatopoeia," he said. "'It won't be long till I belong to you' was the high spot of that particular song."

Lennon's assessment of the song was typically harsh. "It was my attempt at writing another single," said Lennon, adding that "it never quite made it" — possibly because the "yeah-yeah" parts too closely recalled "She Loves You."

Appears On: With the Beatles

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