“I Wanna Be Your Man” is a Fab Four song on their 1963 album, “With The Beatles”. However, the track also appears on a few other Beatles’ albums. They also gave the song to Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones then took it into the charts.
Release Date: 22nd November, 1963 (UK), 20th January, 1964 (US)
Recorded: 11th, 12th, 30th September, 3rd, 23rd October, 1963
Genre: British R&B, beat, rock and roll
Track Duration: 1:58
Record Label: Parlophone (UK) Capitol (US)
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith
Ringo Starr: double-tracked lead vocals, drums, maracas, tambourine, handclaps
John Lennon: backing vocal, tremolo electric rhythm guitar, screaming, handclaps
Paul McCartney: backing vocal, bass, screaming, handclaps
George Harrison: electric lead guitar, handclaps
George Martin: Hammond organ
I Wanna Be Your Man
Written mostly by Paul McCartney, but credit goes to Lennon-McCartney, “I Wanna Be Your Man” became a single by The Rolling Stones and it reached number 12 in the UK charts. However, The Beatles would record their version as an album track sung by Ringo Starr.
“It was a throwaway. The only two versions of the song were Ringo and the Rolling Stones. That shows how much importance we put on it: We weren’t going to give them anything great, right?”
John Lennon, 1980
All We Are Saying, David Sheff
“We often used to say to people, the words don’t really matter, people don’t listen to words, it’s the sound they listen to. So I Wanna Be Your Man was to try and give Ringo something like Boys; an uptempo song he could sing from the drums. So again it had to be very simple.”
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
Although they gave the song to The Rolling Stones on the 10th September, 1963, The Beatles would often sing it at their gigs. In fact, they even sang it at their last paid concert in America. This was on the 29th August, 1966, at Candlestick Park, San Francisco.
The Beatles began recording “I Wanna Be Your Man” on the 11th September, 1963, in Studio Two of the EMI Studios, London during the 2.30pm-6.00 pm session. They recorded one take and on the same day also taped “Little Child” (takes 1–2) “All I’ve Got to Do” (takes 1–14) “Not a Second Time” (takes 1–4) “Don’t Bother Me” (takes 1–7)
Not content with their first take, the band recorded a further six the next day. In order to complete the song, further overdubs were necessary. For instance, on the 30th September George Martin added a piano piece. Then on the 3rd October, Ringo Starr added the maracas. The song wasn’t finally ready until further overdubs and tweaks occurred on the 23rd of October.
Perhaps the reason why it took so long to have the recording shipshape was because their new album, “With The Beatles”, wasn’t due out until the 22nd November, 1963. The release of The Rolling Stones’ single was on the 1st November, 1963, so maybe there was some other agreement between the bands.
The Beatles, never shy of publicity of course, sang it twice for BBC Radio shows. The first version, recorded on the 7th January, 1964, was for the “Saturday Show” airing on the 15th February. The second recording is from the 28th February for airing on the “From Us To You” programme on the 30th March. Indeed, the second version appears on their 1994 album, “Live At The BBC”.
On the 28th April, 1964, the Fab Four recorded a television special for ITV, “Around The Beatles” for airing on TV on the 6th May. As well as singing many other songs, The Beatles sang “I Wanna Be Your Man” for this show. This version is also commercially available on their 1995 album, “Anthology 1”.