“Chains” is a Beatles’ song from their 1963 album, “Please Please Me” but they have another version on the 2013 album “On Air – Live At The BBC Vol 2”.

In Detail


Release Date: 22nd March, 1963
Recorded: 11th February, 1963
Genre: Rock and roll
Track Duration: 2:23
Record Label: Parlophone
Songwriters: Gerry Goffin/Carole King
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith


George Harrison: lead vocals, lead guitar
John Lennon: rhythm guitar, harmonica, harmony vocals
Paul McCartney: bass, harmony vocals
Ringo Starr: drums

Track Sources

Please Please Me
On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2


Chains is a song on The Beatles' album, Please Please Me

Please Please Me Album (1963)

Chains is a song also on The Beatles' album, On Air - Live At The BBC Volume 2 Album

On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2 Album (2013)

Written by Goffin and King, “Chains” became a top 20 single in America for Little Eva’s backing singers, “The Cookies”. However, it became part of The Beatles live act too in both the Cavern Club and Hamburg. Sung by George Harrison, it also appears on The Beatles’ first studio album. His backing singers are Paul McCartney and John Lennon and that is some harmony without a doubt!

Liverpool was a hotbed for bands, thus we got the Merseybeat sound. This is the name for beat music from bands around the River Mersey and The Beatles were part of that scene, of course. Many bands in Liverpool would sing this song but The Beatles managed to make a commercial success of it.

Recording Studio

The Beatles recorded “Chains” on the 11th of February, 1963, in Studio Two at the EMI Studios in London, during a marathon recording session (10am-10:45pm). In fact, on this day they almost recorded all tracks for their debut album, “Please Please Me”. Despite their rush job, their professionalism shone through. Indeed, their first album was a remarkable success story and Beatlemania was about to take off.

John Lennon played the harmonica which he would often use in many other songs. The Fab Four recorded four takes with the first one becoming the master track for inclusion on the album. There it sits on side one after track 3, “Anna (Go To Him)” and before “Boys“. This represents the first time that people would hear George Harrison on a commercial release.

The Beatles also recorded this song for many BBC Radio programmes. For example, they sang it for the, “Here We Go” and “Side By Side”. However, their version for “Pop Go the Beatles” airing on the 25th June, 1963, is now commercially available. Their 2013 release of “On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2” has it sitting as track 15 on side one, just before another version of  “Ask Me Why“.

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About Bobby

I have been a Beatles fan since the early 1960s so I speak from my heart and soul. It was a pleasure to accept the role of Editor on The Beatles Forum when we left our old site. If you feel that something needs correcting with the information I provide, please contact me.

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