Friday, September 18, 2009

"From Me to You"

There is a looseness about "From Me to You" that neither of The Beatles' first two singles shares. As likable as it is, "Love Me Do" goes through its motions too ploddingly and can't shake that earthbound feel. "Please Please Me" is an energetic thriller, and yet its tight construction doesn't let the song stretch out and breath. "From Me to You," by contrast, is spry and spacious; it's full of bounce and swing; and it witnesses The Beatles operating with a higher level of comfort and confidence. Success will bring that. The breezy joy they were undoubtedly experiencing reveals itself throughout the song. It's in the high notes that John reaches for on the harmony; it's in the playful jangle of the guitars; and it's in the funky, almost Caribbean-kissed rhythm. Apparently, "From Me to You" was a bit bluesy in its original form. George Martin didn't approve and suggested something snappier, starting with the opening "da-da-da" section. It's the pace and punch of this vocal lick, matched with a signature Beatles harmonica part, that kick-starts the song in such glowing fashion. The rest of it, especially John and Paul's giddy interplay on the harmony, converts the warm vibe into strutting, cocksure glee. Little surprise it was the boys' first across-the-board chart-topper in the U.K.

(If the video is removed, go here.)

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