Friday, March 7, 2014

50 years ago: The Beatles “Twist and Shout” charted in US

Twist and Shout

The Isley Brothers

Writer(s): Bert Russell, Phil Medley (see lyrics here)

Released: May 1962

First Charted: June 2, 1962

Peak: 17 US, 2 RB, 42 UK, 37 CN, 13 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 5.2 video, -- streaming

Twist and Shout

The Beatles

Released (album cut): March 22, 1963

Released (single): March 2, 1964

First Charted: March 7, 1964

Peak: 2 US, 11 CB, 11 HR, 35 RR, 1 CL, 5 CN, 5 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 98.5 video, 260.0 streaming

Awards (Isley Brothers):

Click on award for more details.

Awards (Beatles):

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Phil Medley and Bert Berns (later credited as Bert Russell) wrote “Twist and Shout” in 1961. The song was first recorded by the Top Notes, an R&B vocal group from Detroit. Despite the production of legendary producer Phil Spector and accompaniment by saxophonist King Curtis, their version went nowhere.

Then the Isley Brothers tackled it in 1962 with Berns as the producer. They “slowed the tempo substantially, putting it into a cha-cha-type rhythm with three ascending chords.” AMG They also put “squealing, gospel-fired soul passion into the lead” AMG vocal. It became “a memorable hit single” AMG reaching #2 on the R&B charts and giving the Isley Brothers their first trip inside the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.

That, however, was not the final word on the song. In 1963, the Beatles recorded “an even more exciting version” AMG for their debut album, Please Please Me. In the wake of Beatlmania in the United States a year later, the song was released as a single and climbed all the way to #2. It would be the Beatles only millon-seller which was a cover song.

The Beatles made the song “more rock than soul by building it around guitars and Ringo Starr’s skipping drumbeats” AMG and John Lennon’s “absolutely amazing raunchy…larynx tearing” lead vocal. AMG It was the last of ten tracks the Beatles recorded in one day and “Lennon’s voice was frayed.” AMG

Brian Poole & the Tremelones also charted in the UK in 1963 with the song, reacing #4. The Beatles’ version experienced a revival in 1986 after being featured in the movies Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Back to School and it recharted, reaching #23. Salt-N-Pepa later got to #45 on the R&B chart with their 1988 recording of the song. In 1993, the Jamaican reggae duo Chaka Demus & Pliers recorded the song and got to #1 in the UK.


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First posted 7/14/2022; last updated 10/28/2022.

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