The Story of a Song ~ I Wanna Hold Your Hand | Beatles, 1963 / David Levithan, 2006

US picture sleeve, 1963
John Lennon and Paul McCartney composed this song in Jane Asher’s basement,
in 57 Wimpole Street, London.
This was the first Beatles song recorded on 4-track equipment.The recording
was completed in 17 takes. at EMI Studios in Studio 2 on 17 October 1963.
The Beatles also cut a German version called “Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand.”
Brian Epstein convinced American label Capitol Records to release  “I Want to Hold Your Hand”.
The single had been intended for release in mid-January 1964.
Carroll James the DJ for WWDC, a radio station in Washington, DC, asked the station’s promotion
director to get British Overseas Airways Corporation to ship in a copy of “I Want to Hold Your
Hand” from Britain. The song proved to be a huge hit and Capitol came to the conclusion that
they could well take advantage of the publicity, releasing the single two weeks ahead of schedule
on 26 December.
It was also the group’s first American number-one hit, 1 February, 1964 it topped the Billboard
Hot 100 chart, and stayed there for seven weeks, starting the British Invasion of the American
music industry.
The American single’s front and back sleeves featured a photograph of the Beatles
with Paul McCartney holding a cigarette.

 “I flipped. It was like a shock went through my system …
I immediately knew that everything had changed”

 Brian Wilson


Dezo Hoffman, The Beatles, 1963


“You know the reason The Beatles made it so big?…’I Wanna Hold Your Hand.’ First single.
Fucking brilliant. Perhaps the most fucking brilliant song ever written. Because they nailed it.
That’s what everyone wants. Not 24/7 hot wet sex. Not a marriage that lasts a hundred years.
Not a Porsche…or a million-dollar crib. No. They wanna hold your hand. They have such a
feeling that they can’t hide. Every single successful song of the past fifty years can be traced
back to ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand.’ And every single successful love story has those
unbearable and unbearably exciting moments of hand-holding.”

David Levithan , Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, 2006

The Beatles – I Want To Hold Your Hand
Performed Live On The Ed Sullivan Show 2/9/64

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