Words Of Love - The Beatles

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The Beatles

Words Of Love (1964)

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Written and recorded by Buddy Holly in 1957, despite the admiration all four Beatles had for his music and Holly’s significant influence on their early signature sound, “Words Of Love” was the only song of his they would release.

McCartney comments in the documentary Anthology:

“Buddy Holly was completely different; he  introduced us to the country music scene. I still like Buddy's vocal style. And his writing. One of the main things about The Beatles is that we started out writing our own material. People these days take it for granted that you do, but nobody used to then. John and I started to write because of Buddy Holly. It was like, 'Wow! He writes and is a musician.”

They recorded “Words of Love” in just two takes, along with a vocal overdub. Ringo Starr played a suitcase along with his drums, in homage to Jerry Allison's performance on Holly's “Everyday.”

Russian music critic George Starostin wrote:

“That sure is the sweetest guitar tone ever to be heard from George Harrison's guitar.”

With its country overtones, handclaps, and very close (but not too close) harmony between John and Paul—the tone of the track is dreamy and calm despite the twang and jangle of the guitar riff.

In his essay American Styles in the Music of the Beatles, Charles Gower Price points out that in the Beatles' version of “Words of Love,” George Harrison closely duplicates the lead guitar line and timbre, while Lennon and McCartney effectively mimic The Everly Brothers' style of vocal harmony which Holly had overdubbed on the original.

Beatle scholar Alan Pollack adds:

“Buddy Holly’s original is a tad more Latin in its back-beat, but the choice of key, as well as much of the guitar work, is identical in both versions. But still, it remains essentially a sentimental and nostalgic Tribute To Buddy, rather than an outright imitation.”

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