Twist and Shout
"Twist and Shout" is a 1961 song written by Phil Medley and Bertrand Russell Berns (credited as "Bert Russell"). It was originally titled "Shake It Up, Baby" and recorded by the Top Notes and then covered by The Isley Brothers. It was covered by the Beatles with John Lennon on the lead vocals and originally released on their first album Please Please Me. The song was covered by the Mamas & the Papas in the style of a ballad in 1967 on their album Deliver, and on a film soundtrack by Cliff Richard. It was also covered by The Tremeloes. More recently, Chaka Demus and Pliers reached No. 1 on the UK charts with their version in January 1994. The Who performed it throughout their career, most notably on Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 and 1982'sWho's Last. It was heavily sampled by female rap trio Salt-N-Pepa in 1988. Bruce Springsteen has played it live more than 350 times since 1973, usually at the end of his concerts.
In 1961, a year after Phil Spector became a staff producer at Atlantic records, he was asked to produce a single by an up-and-coming vocal group, the Top Notes (sometimes named "Topnotes"): "Shake It Up, Babe." This was before Spector perfected his "Wall of Sound" technique, and the recording lacked all of the energy the group exhibited in its live performances. Songwriter Bert Russell felt Spector had ruined the song, and went out to show Spector how the song should be done.
|"Twist and Shout"|
|Single by The Isley Brothers|
|A-side||Twist and Shout|
|Released||June 16, 1962|
|Recorded||New York, 1962|
|Genre||Rock and roll|
|Writer(s)||Phil Medley, Bert Russell|
|The Isley Brothers singles chronology|
When the Isley Brothers decided to record the song in 1962, Russell opted to produce, and thus demonstrate to Spector what he had intended to be the "sound" of the record. The resulting recording captured the verve of an Isley Brothers performance, and became the trio's first record to reach a Top 20 position in the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
The Isley Brothers' version, with Ronald Isley on lead vocals, was the first major hit recording of the song, peaking at No. 17 on the U.S. pop top 40 charts, and No. 2 on the US R&B charts. The song quickly became a frequently covered R&B tune in the early 1960s. According to Ronald, the song was supposed to be the b-side to the Burt Bacharach standard, "Make It Easy On Yourself", which had been a hit for Jerry Butler. When the Isleys recorded "Twist and Shout", the brothers did not think the song would do well, as they had not had a hit in the three years since "Shout" established them. To their surprise, the song became their first Top 40 hit on both the pop and R&B charts, and for a time established the group's reputation for producing fast-paced songs during their earlier career.
- Ronald Isley – lead vocals
- O'Kelly Isley, Jr. – backing vocals
- Rudolph Isley – backing vocals
- Bert Russell – production
- Eric Gale; Guitar
- Trade Martin; Guitar
- Cornell Dupree; Guitar
- Chuck Rainey; Bass
- Paul Griffin; Piano
- King Curtis; Sax
- Gary Chester; Drums
|"Twist and Shout"|
Cover of the Twist and Shout EP (July 1963)
|Single by the Beatles|
|from the album Please Please Me|
|B-side||"There's a Place"|
|Released||March 2, 1964 (US)|
|Format||vinyl record 7"|
|Recorded||February 11, 1963,
EMI Studios, London
|Genre||Rock and roll|
|the Beatles singles chronology|
Released on the Beatles' first UK album, Please Please Me, the recording of which on February 11, 1963 was their first album session and is notable for 11 songs recorded in a mere 10 hours. "Twist and Shout", with John Lennon on lead vocals, was the last song recorded; producer George Martin knew Lennon's voice would suffer from the performance, so he left it until last, with only 15 minutes of scheduled recording time remaining.
Lennon was suffering from a cold, and was drinking milk and sucking on cough drops to soothe his throat. His coughing is audible on the album, as is the cold's effect on his voice. Even so, he produced a memorable vocal performance: a raucous, dynamic rocker. He later said his voice was not the same for a long time afterward, and that "every time [he] swallowed, it felt like sandpaper".
A second take was attempted, but Lennon had nothing left and it was abandoned. George Martin said, "I did try a second take ... but John's voice had gone."
Released as a single in the US on March 2, 1964, with "There's a Place" as its B-side, by Chicago-based Vee-Jay Records on the Tollie label, it reached number 2 on April 4, 1964, during the week that the top five places on the chart were all Beatles singles. (In the Cashbox singles chart for the same week, "Twist and Shout" was No. 1.) In the United States, "Twist and Shout" was the only million-selling Beatles single that was a cover record, and the only Beatles cover single to reach the Top 10 on a national record chart. The song failed to hit #1 because the Beatles had another song occupying the top spot, "Can't Buy Me Love".
In the UK, "Twist and Shout" was released by Parlophone on an EP with three other tracks, "Do You Want to Know a Secret", "A Taste of Honey", and "There's a Place", from the Please Please Me album. Both the EP and album reached No. 1 (see Twist and Shout (EP)). In Canada, it became the title track to the second album of Beatles material to be issued by Capitol Records of Canada, on February 3, 1964.
It is regarded as one of the finest examples of British rock and roll for its vocal performance. The song was used as a rousing closing number on Sunday Night at the London Palladium in October 1963 and at The Royal Variety Show in November 1963, the former signalling the start of "Beatlemania"; the latter was included on the Anthology 1 compilation album in 1995 (though because live tracks on that album began at the start of the song itself, Lennon's famous "rattle your jewelry" quip to the royal box actually appears on the previous track, "Till There Was You"). They performed it on one of their Ed Sullivan Show appearances in February 1964.
The Beatles continued to play the song live until the end of their August 1965 tour of North America. Additionally, they recorded "Twist and Shout" on nine occasions for BBC television and radio broadcasts, the earliest of which was for the Talent Spot radio show on November 27, 1962.
The song enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in 1986 after Matthew Broderick lip-synced to the Beatles' version of it in the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Coincidentally, the Rodney Dangerfieldfilm Back to School (released two days after Ferris) also featured the song, this one sung by Dangerfield himself and patterned after the Beatles' arrangement. The use in the two films help propel the single up the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at No. 23 late that summer, giving the group their second chart single of the 1980s (the other being "The Beatles Movie Medley" in 1982). The song's seven-week run in the U.S. Top 40 in 1986, combined with its original 16-week run in 1964, makes Twist And Shout the longest-running Top 40 hit for the Beatles, at 23 weeks. Its overall chart longevity, combined with its original four-week run at #2, statistically makes it the Beatles' second most successful single in the U.S. next to "Hey Jude".
In November 2010, 47 years after its recording, the Beatles' version of "Twist and Shout" made a debut on the UK singles charts. The highest charting Beatles track in the aftermath of their new availability on iTunes, it entered the charts at #48 in the first of a two-week run.
- John Lennon – lead vocals, rhythm semi-acoustic guitar
- Paul McCartney – bass guitar, backing vocals
- George Harrison – lead guitar, backing vocals
- Ringo Starr – drums
In 1962 the Decca label signed Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, a British group from Dagenham, Essex, in preference to the Beatles. Both groups auditioned on the same day, and it has become legend that the Beatles were rejected by the label. Ironically, Brian Poole and the Tremeloes had no chart success until the beat boom in British rock surfaced, following the success of the Beatles. This triggered the frenzied signing of most of the popular Liverpool rock groups of that period by the major record labels, and their distinctive "sound" became known as Merseybeat. Brian Poole and the Tremeloes imitated this style, and covered "Twist and Shout" four months after the Beatles had released their version, and achieved the number four position in the UK Singles Chart.
- In 1962, Booker T. & the M.G.s included an instrumental version on their album, Green Onions.
- In 1962, The Majors covered the song on the album Meet the Majors.
- In 1963, The Searchers covered the song on the album Meet the Searchers.
- In 1964, The Iguanas covered the song on the album Jumpin' with the Iguanas.
- In 1964, Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song on their album The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles Hits.
- In 1964, Johnny Rivers covered the song in a medley with "La Bamba" on the album At the Whisky à Go Go.
- In 1964, Jack Nitzsche and his orchestra included "Twist and Shout" on their release of Beatles instrumentals, Dance to the Hits of The Beatles on Reprise Records. It is now available on CD.
- In 1965, The Shangri-Las covered the song on the B-side to "Give Him a Great Big Kiss", reaching No. 18 in the US charts.
- In 1966, Mae West covered the song on her album Way Out West.
- In 1967, The Mamas & the Papas covered the song on the album The Mamas and the Papas Deliver.
- In 1969, Chuck Berry covered the song on his tour, recorded for his album Toronto Rock 'N' Roll Revival 1969 Vol. II.
- In 1981, David Lindley covered the song on his album El Rayo-X.
- In 1982, The Blockheads minus Chaz Jankel recorded a Funk version of the song after their break with Ian Dury.
- In 1986, Rap group Fila Fresh Crew recorded a version called "Drink It Up" produced by Dr. Dre, present on the N.W.A. 1987 compilation album N.W.A. and the Posse.
- In 1988, Salt-n-Pepa recorded a cover version on their album A Salt with a Deadly Pepa. It was released as a single in the UK, and reached No. 4.
- In 1988, Crvena Jabuka recorded a cover version on their album Sanjati in Serbo-Croatian with the title "Twist And Shout (Sviđa Mi Se Ova Stvar)".
- In 1993, Chaka Demus & Pliers recorded a reggae version featuring Jack Radics, which went to No. 1 on the UK charts in 1994.
- In 1997, Celine Dion sang a version during her Falling into You Tour.
- In 2001, 'N Sync performed the song for their PopOdyssey Tour.
- In 2001, Electric Light Orchestra spin-off group The Orchestra recorded a 6:36 version on their album No Rewind, starting with slow, picked chords before picking up the famous riff.
- In 2002, Svartur Dödur recorded a version on their album Absurdum ad Infinitatem.
- In 2002, Dee Dee Ramone and Youth Gone Mad recorded a version on their album Youth Gone Mad featuring Dee Dee Ramone.
- In 2003, Westlife performed the song on their Greatest Hits Tour.
- In 2006, Diplo unofficially remixed the Beatles' version.
- In 2008, Bon Jovi covered the song on their Lost Highway Tour and in their concert in Central Park.
- In 2008, Plan B also did a version of the song in their first live performance.
- In 2008, The View did a version of the song in their last live performance of the year in Dundee.
- In 2009, Olly Murs performed the song for "Songs from Films Week" on the sixth series of The X Factor.
- In 2010, Michael Bublé covered the song on his Crazy Love Tour.
- Del Shannon covered the song and can be found on The Del Shannon Definitive Collection Disc 2.
- The Who covered the song live during their career, with Roger Daltrey singing lead vocals at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970, and on their 1982 Farewell Tour, with John Entwistle singing lead. The 1982 version can be heard on the live album Who's Last.
- Bruce Springsteen has frequently played "Twist and Shout" live (including the Magic Tour in 2008), usually as an encore, and the song is readily available on bootlegs. Springsteen used it as an encore on December 8, 1980 inPhiladelphia after hearing of the assassination of John Lennon. At the Hard Rock Calling Festival in London on July 13, 2012, he performed this to close his set with Paul McCartney joining him, marking the first time since 1965 that any member of the Beatles had played this song. He also played the song in Hampden Park, Glasgow on June 19, 2013 as part of the Wrecking Ball World Tour.
- The song was covered as a part of the Backbeat soundtrack by a supergroup consisting of Dave Grohl, Dave Pirner, Thurston Moore, Mike Mills, Greg Dulli and Don Fleming (of Gumball).
- The Troggs recorded a "Louie Louie/Hang on Sloopy/Twist & Shout" medley.
- Alejandra Guzmán recorded a Spanish language version with the same melody called "Muévanse Todos" that itself is based in Vianey Valdés version released in the 1960s.
- The Punkles did a punk cover on their first album.
- Mookie Morris performed the song in the semi-finals of the sixth season of Canadian Idol.
- Tom Jones covered the song on his album Tom Jones Sings the Beatles.
- McFly have performed the song for their Biz Session in 2012 and also on Hyde Park.