Anna (Go To Him) - The Beatles

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"Anna (Go To Him)" - The Beatles (1963)

The Beatles recorded this cover version of Arthur Alexander's 1962 soul single, “Anna” because the song was a particular favorite of John Lennon, who sang lead.  Floyd Cramer's piano lick on Alexander's original was played on guitar by George Harrison.

Lennon's passion-fuelled vocal reached a peak during the middle sixteen ("All of my life I've been searching for a girl, to love me like I love her..."); singing slightly above his normal range. This added an emotional depth to the track.

The electronic manipulation of vocals was generally confined in these years to balancing them against the instrumental mass and the provision of occasional reverb and echo.

Beatle expert Walter Everett commented that when singing solo Lennon produced his own unique, very broad array of contrasting vocal colors, as with falsetto, which can be heard on “Anna.” 

Musicologist Alan Pollack points out that the original version of “Anna” is in the key of C and is slightly less syncopated (syncopation modifies the rhythm of a song) than that of the Beatles. He writes that The Beatles' arrangement closely follows the original with two main differences:

“It does not mimic the way that Alexander adds a string section to the backing starting in the second verse. This sort of layering would later become a common technique for The Beatles, but they didn't take the hint this time. Also, they replace the fade-out ending of the original with a complete one; already this had become a marked preference in their own material.”

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