She’s A Woman - The Beatles

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"She’s A Woman" - The Beatles (1964)

Recorded in October 1964, legend has it that "She's A Woman" was conceived by McCartney on the way to the studio- and then recorded that very same day.

McCartney said this was his attempt “at a bluesy thing”, using the Little Richard style of singing into one of his songs.

The song begins with the most awkward rhymes in the Beatles’ catalogue: “My love don’t give me presents/I know that she’s no peasant.”

A chocalho, which is a type of metal shaker, was used for percussion. They hits the spot right on with the style of the blues McCartney is singing.

The song approaches rhythm and blues more with a pop sweetness than with a dirty mind. The clipped guitar yelps that set it off teases the ear only after the band enters do George’s carefully yanked chords sink into the offbeat of the ensemble. There is added the purest distillation of a backbeat, an invarying succesion of snare hits and guitar chops whose only lateral linkage is supplied by Paul’s brilliantly strained lead vocal and his enormously loud and mobile bass guitar.

McCartney takes his keyboard work to a new level in his overdubbed Steinway line in this song- which substitutes for lead guitar in the second verse. (In addition o his newly highlighted bass and piano work, George’s Gretsch solo doubled at the unison in this song shows how double-tracking could alter the tonal qualities of a guitar solo.

Beatle scholar Alan Pollack writes:

"There is some nice, ongoing interplay established between the bassline and the piano, though for one precarious instant in the verse which follows the first bridge, the ensemble between the two of them sounds almost ready to fall apart. McCartney sings solo throughout, though he is rather loosely double tracked for the bridges. From one verse to the next, he employs an uncommon (for him) amount of improvised variation on the basic tune. These little twists seem to get steadily freer, louder, and more extroverted as the song progresses; as well they should."

If Paul’s verses side with the girl, John’s responses make sure the song is true to the complexity of human relationships. Speaking for the parents John leaves no doubt about their devotion to the girl even as he takes them to task for defining love in monetary terms. His finale line warns the rest of us against casting the first stone, though, for the parents are not malevolent so much as blind.

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