Obviously, this recording of “Sweet Little Sixteen” by The Beatles is their cover version. Of course, this was a successful Chuck Berry song which he charted with in 1958. Berry’s version reached number 16 in the UK charts while in America it got to number 2.
Recorded: 10th July, 1963
Genre: Rock and roll
Studio/Location: Aeolian Hall, London
BBC Radio Show: Pop Go the Beatles
Track Duration: 2:21
Record Label: Apple
Songwriter: Chuck Berry
Producer: Terry Henebery
Sweet Little Sixteen
In short, The Beatles would regularly play cover songs of their favourite rock and roll artists on their live circuits. Even though this was a popular song, the Fab Four only ever recorded it once on the 10th July, 1963. This was for their “Pop Go The Beatles” show on BBC Radio which aired on the 23rd July, 1963. However, there is a bootleg version from their days in the Star-Club, Hamburg from December, 1962.
Obviously the “Sweet Little Sixteen” version we get on the “Live At The BBC” album is that from the “Pop Goes The Beatles” radio show. While the lads are playing their instruments with confidence, John Lennon is singing like the rock ‘n’ roller he was. This version is near perfect, so you just have to wonder why they never done it again. In fact, it’s worth buying album for this recording alone!
With The Beatles being hungry for success, there was no real need to continue with cover versions once they became famous.
Listen to the following track in order to capture the flavour of the live atmosphere of the Star-Club when the performed the song there.