Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Several versions of "How Do You Do It?"

Here's the Beatles' version of "How Do You Do It?" (1962), which George Martin was hoping they would agree to release first as their debut single and then, once that fell through, as the follow-up to "Love Me Do." As mentioned in my last post, the second attempt failed as well. Even so, it's apparent that Martin possessed sturdy instincts for chart-toppers. In the Beatles' handling, "How Do You Do It?" is a sporty and efficient earworm with winning harmonies and a pleasant melody. It's lightweight for sure, but in a likeably breezy way. Though, at the risk of overly harping on an unpolished 19 year-old guitarist, I must point out that George's solo once again sounds slapdash and unnecessary (it's always instructive to bear their youth in mind when assessing their early work). Regardless, I don't doubt that the Beatles would've found success in the song's release.

Gerry and the Pacemakers actually did issue it as a single and, with Martin as their producer, earned a number-one on the UK Singles Chart in early 1963 (need I repeat that Martin had an ear for effective pop). Their rendition isn't considerably different than the Beatles' but there are noteworthy disparities. Though unharmonized, Gerry Mardsen's lead vocal is more jaunty and expressive than John's thinner piece of singing. And, in place of a guitar, one of the (I suppose) Pacemakers performed the solo on a piano which proves more richly rocking and full-bodied than George's guitarwork. But both are entirely worthwhile listens. According to Wikipedia, the song's popularity persists to this day. Enjoy.

And why not? Here's a spirited live performance of the song from G and the Ps. The band is terrific. The crowd? Unmoved; elsewhere, nonplussed?

Update: The second video has been removed. If either of the other two is, go here and here, respectively.

No comments: