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Sunday 8 December 2019

Retro Top Ten: This week in 1963

The Beatles in 1963
The Beatles in 1963

If Paul McCartney's father Jim had had his way, 'She Loves You' would have had a very different chorus.

Having started writing 'She Loves You' sitting on twin beds in a Newscastle hotel room, John Lennon and Paul McCartney finished their composition at the McCartney family home on Forthin Road in Liverpool.

Inspired by Ellvis Presley's 'All Shook Up', Lennon inserted the familiar, infectious refrain 'yeah, yeah, yeah', but when the pair went into the living room and played the song for Paul's father, he wasn't impressed. As Paul McCartney recalled: 'We said "Dad, listen to this. What do you think?" And he said "That's very nice son, but there's enough of these Americanisms around. Couldn't you sing 'She loves you, yes, yes, yes!" At which point we collapsed in a heap and said "No, dad, you don't quite get it!"'

Less than a week later, the Beatles recorded 'She Loves You'. It gave the band their second UK number one in spectacular fashion, breaking many chart records. Around half a million copies of the single had been ordered by fans in advance of its release and it spent 31 consecutive weeks in the charts - 18 of them in the top 3.

'She Loves You' would go on to become the Beatles' best-selling single in the UK, and total sales to dates top 1.92 million.

Reception to the release of 'She Loves You' was very different in the US where Beatlemania had yet to take hold. The song attracted very little radio play on release in September 1963 but by January of the following year the British invasion was well under way.

Four months after its initial release in the US, 'She Loves You' entered the Billboard chart on January 25, 1964. It spent five weeks at No. 2, behind 'I Want to Hold Your Hand', then replaced it for two weeks at number one.

The Beatles are one of only two artists ever whose first two Billboard Hot 100 singles held the top two positions simultaneously on that chart (Iggy Azalea being the other).

1 She Loves You The Beatles

2 It's All In The Game Cliff Richard

3 I Want to Stay Here Steve Lawrene and Eydie Gorme

4 Applejack Jet Harris and Tony Meehan

5 Just Like Eddie Heinz

6 I'll Never Get Over You Johnny Kidd and the Pirates

7 Do You Love Me? Brian Poole and the Tremeloes

8 If I Had A Hammer Trini Lopez

9 Then He Kissed Me The Crystals

10 Wishing Buddy Holly

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