I'm Down


I'm Down

Single infobox
Name = I'm Down


Artist = The Beatles
A-side = "Help!"
Released = 1965-08-06 (UK)
1965-08-13 (U.S.)
Format = 7"
Recorded = Abbey Road: 14 June 1965
Genre = Rock
Length = 2:18
Label = Parlophone (UK)
Capitol Records (U.S.)
Writer = Lennon/McCartney
Producer = George Martin
Chart position =
* #1 (UK Singles Chart)
Last single = "Ticket to Ride"
(1965)
This single = "Help!"
(1965)
Next single = "We Can Work It Out" / "Day Tripper"
(UK-1965) -----
"Yesterday" (US-1965)|

"I'm Down" is a song by the Beatles written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon/McCartney) and first released as the B-side to the single "Help!" in 1965. According to critic Richie Unterberger of Allmusic, "I'm Down" is "one of the most frantic rockers in the entire Beatles catalog."web cite |author=Richie Unterberger |url=http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=&sql=33:n2fm96howep6 |title=Review of "I'm Down" |publisher=Allmusic |accessdate=2007-03-04] The song was influenced by 1950s rhythm & blues artists—Amazon.com called it an "homage to Little Richard."cite web |url=http://www.amazon.com/Past-Masters-Vol-1-Beatles/dp/B000002USY/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-3232693-6612636?qid=1173040139&sr=8-1 |publisher=Amazon.com |title=Past Masters, Vol. 1 |accessdate=2007-03-04] —and some critics see it as a rewrite of Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally", but Unterberger says there are significant differences, too. Another example of this style song by McCartney is 1964's "She's a Woman", the B-side of "I Feel Fine".

Recording

Paul McCartney alone recorded "I'm Down" on 14 June 1965 in the same session as "Yesterday" and "I've Just Seen a Face".cite book |first=Mark |last=Lewisohn |authorlink=Mark Lewisohn |title=The Beatles Recording Sessions |year=1988 |pages=59 |publisher=Harmony Books |location=New York |isbn=0-517-57066-1] The backing vocals done by John Lennon and George Harrison, in which Lennon sang the baritone repeat of the word "down" in the chorus, were later dubbed. The song was produced by George Martin.

Release

The official release date for the "Help"/"I'm Down" single was 23 July 1965 in the UK and 19 July in the U.S. "I'm Down" was never released on an official Beatle studio album, and was only available in the U.S. in mono as the B-side of the "Help!" single until the summer of 1976. That year, it appeared in stereo on "Rock 'n' Roll Music", a compilation LP released in America by Capitol Records featuring uptempo Beatles' tracks. The first CD release was in 1988 on the compilation "Past Masters, Volume One", where it appeared in true stereo.cite book |first=Mark |last=Lewisohn |title=The Beatles Recording Sessions |year=1988 |pages=59-60, 62, 200-201]

There is also an alternate version of the song (take 1) on "Anthology 2". The tempo is slower and there are no backing vocals.cite album-notes |title=Anthology 2 |albumlink=Anthology 2 |year=1996 |bandname=The Beatles |format=booklet |publisher=Apple Records |location=London |publisherid=34448]

Live performances

The Beatles used "I'm Down" to close concerts in their final year as a live act replacing "Long Tall Sally" for most of those shows.cite book |first=Craig |last=Cross |title=The Beatles: Day-by-Day, Song-by-Song, Record-by-Record |year=2005 |pages=378 |publisher=iUniverse, Inc. |location=Lincoln, NE |isbn=0-595-34663-4]

During their historic performance at Shea Stadium in August 1965 (the largest audience the Beatles ever drew during their career as a live touring band), the band played a memorably frenzied version of the song, with Lennon playing a Vox Continental Organ with his elbows at times. Footage of this performance may be seen on "The Beatles Anthology" video.

The band would later play this song during their 12 September 1965 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, as well as their 1966 concert in Tokyo. During the Ed Sullivan performance, Lennon mimicked his actions at Shea Stadium, playing the keyboard with his elbow.

McCartney played the song to open his set at The Concert for New York City following the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. The concert was held at Madison Square Garden in support of firefighters, policemen, and other public workers who suffered from the aftermath of the attacks.

Credits

*Paul McCartney – lead vocal, bass guitar
*John Lennon – backing vocal, organ
*George Harrison – backing vocal, rhythm guitar, lead guitar
*Ringo Starr – drums, bongos

Cover versions

Aerosmith recorded a cover version of this song for the band's 1987 album "Permanent Vacation". According to Aerosmith vocalist Steven Tyler, the band played this song during the audition that won the band its first recording contract.

Heart covered this song as a medley with "Long Tall Sally" on their 1980 album "Greatest Hits: Live". It was on their "live" side of the album.

A live cover of this song appears on the YesYears box set by Yes, featuring Alan White.

In 1982, guitarist and songwriter Adrian Belew released his second solo record, "Twang Bar King", which began with a postmodern take on this Beatles' classic.

In the 1980s, the Beastie Boys wanted to sample portions of the song for a recording of their own but were turned down by the then and current owner of most of the Lennon/McCartney publishing rights, Michael Jackson.

Deacon Blue released a live cover version of this song as a B-side on their 1991 single, "Twist and Shout" (which is a different song than the Beatles' recording of the same name).

A cover version was also recorded by country rock band The Kentucky Headhunters on their 2006 album "Big Boss Man".

The Punkles recorded a cover version of this song for their second album "Punk!".

In 1984, Jimmy Page joined Yes on stage, playing "I'm Down" during a concert in their 9012Live tour at Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany.

Notes


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