July 6, 2009

"Baby's in Black"

Information from the Wikipedia entry:

"Baby's in Black" is a song by The Beatles, co-written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and released in the United Kingdom on Beatles for Sale and in the United States on Beatles '65.

The lyrics may be about Astrid Kirchherr, a friend and photographer the Beatles met during their first trip to Hamburg. She was Stuart Sutcliffe's fiancée, and was distraught over his death.

The Beatles recorded "Baby's in Black" on 11 August 1964, the first song recorded for Beatles for Sale.

Lennon and McCartney sang their vocal parts simultaneously through the same microphone. This was done at their own insistence in order to achieve a closer feel to the performance. McCartney was subsequently contacted by their music publisher in 1964 inquiring as to which melody line was the main tune (i.e. Paul's higher or John's lower melody). McCartney later said that he told the publisher they were both the main melody.

The Beatles performed "Baby's in Black" live during their appearances from late 1964 until their last tour in 1966, and usually as the third song in their set after "Rock and Roll Music" and "Long Tall Sally." McCartney said they introduced the song by saying, "'And now for something different.' ... We used to put that in there, and think, 'Well, they won't know quite what to make of this, but it's cool.'"

In 1996, a live version of "Baby's in Black" was released as a B-side to the second (and last) Beatles "reunion" single, "Real Love."

"Baby's In Black" was also performed at The Beatles' 1965 concert at Shea Stadium.

Here is that August 15, 1965, Shea Stadium performance. I love how John is temporarily distracted while introducing the song by a young fan who has managed to reach the field and break through a line of police guards. One does have to wonder though how this would have sounded through those stadium speakers:

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