1964 The Beatles – I’ll Cry Instead/I’m Happy Just To Dance With You
When the Beatles finally caught fire in the US in early 1964, they found themselves with the top five records on the Hot 100 in the first week of April. I described the craziness that led to that in my blog as part of a preview for a book I still haven’t finished.
Beatlemania hit the country like nothing before or since, and twenty singles had already reached the US Hot 100 in the first six months of 1964.
The release of the first Beatles movie in the UK in July started a string of single releases. A Hard Day’s Night kicked things off, and Capitol Records released another single every week until they released the film in the US in August.
The first single was the title song from the film, and it easily reached the top of the charts. None of the next three singles even got into the top ten; perhaps Capitol miscalculated their attempt to push multiple singles by the Beatles into the top ten simultaneously. And I Love Her only reached #12, and I’ll Cry Instead stalled at #25. The latter single was on the soundtrack album, but the song wasn’t even used in the film!
A song that actually came from the movie that featured George singing lead filled the b-side of the single, I’m Happy Just To Dance With You. George had not yet started performing songs in public media that he had written. He usually only sang lead on songs he wrote himself. The only two songs written by John and Paul that George sang lead on were this song and Do You Want To Know A Secret. John and Paul wrote the song specifically so George could sing lead on a song in the movie.
The b-side charted, but only reached #95 on the Hot 100. Only two other records by the Beatles charted lower: the German version of She Loves You (#98) and The Inner Light (#96, the b-side of Lady Madonna). There were a few other b-sides that did not reach the Hot 100 at all. They used the song in the film, and as a result, the song got plenty of airplay on the radio in 1964 despite not charting higher.
Once the label began releasing singles on a schedule that was closer to one every three months, the Beatles scored five consecutive number one singles in late 1964 and 1965.
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