Bad Boy - The Beatles

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"Bad Boy" - The Beatles (1965)

Recorded in just four takes, The Beatles’ cover version of the Larry Williams song “Bad Boy” features Lennon on lead vocal and rhythm guitar, Paul McCartney on bass, George Harrison on double-tracked lead guitar, and Ringo Starr on drums and tambourine.

All four Beatles cut loose on this one, as the ensemble playing is tight and ferocious. Ringo's contribution is the inevitable rhythmic shaking of a tambourine. John's vocal is scorching.

The Beatles never actually sing the words "bad boy" in this song, having decided to ditch the original's backing response of "He's a... bad boy" in favor of a guitar fill from George.

Larry Williams' original lyric is "he don't do nothing right, his report card looks no good". John either didn't like that line either or just couldn't be bothered- he sings:

"He won't do nothin' right/hizim frizzim card look so good"!

As the song was for many years only released in the US, it was assumed that the song was aimed in particular at Americans as it was thought the humor may be lost on the Brits and thus found to be incomprehensible to them. 

Beatle scholar Alan Pollack disagrees: 

“Granted, the amusingly disruptive behavior described in this song as somehow traceable to an unhealthy preoccupation with rock-and-roll is admittedly as American as almost any song by the Coasters. But I'm just a tad skeptical that we could have possibly had some kind of monopoly on this relatively benign strain of juvenile delinquency.”

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