If I Fell

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"If I Fell"
Single by The Beatles
from the album 'Something New'
A-side "And I Love Her"
Released 20 July 1964
Label Capitol
The Beatles singles chronology
"A Hard Day's Night" /
"I Should Have Known Better
(US-1964)
"And I Love Her" /
"If I Fell"
(US-1964)
"I'll Cry Instead" /
"I'm Happy Just to Dance With You
(US-1964)
"If I Fell"
Song by the Beatles from the album A Hard Day's Night
Released 10 July 1964
Recorded 27 February 1964,
EMI Studos, London
Genre Folk rock, pop[1]
Length 2:22
Label Parlophone
Writer Lennon–McCartney
Producer George Martin
A Hard Day's Night track listing

"If I Fell" is a song by English rock band the Beatles which first appeared in 1964 on the album A Hard Day's Night in the United Kingdom and on the North American album Something New. It was written by John Lennon,[2][3] and credited to Lennon–McCartney. "That's my first attempt at a ballad proper....It shows that I wrote sentimental love ballads way back when", Lennon stated in his 1980 Playboy Magazine Interview.

Structure[edit]

The song opens with an unrepeated introductory section sung by Lennon, followed by a standard “Tin Pan Alley” AABA form. Each verse preceding the B section (or middle-eight) has a slightly different ending which creates a seamless transition between the two. The demo version (just John alone on acoustic guitar) from early 1964, does include the introduction, as well as an alternate ending. The remainder of the song features a two-part harmony, with Lennon singing the lower harmony while McCartney sings the higher one. It also features Lennon's intricate chord changes. The key changes from D flat major to D major between the introduction (a series of descending barre chords) and the main song, which uses mainly open chords, including an unusual D ninth.

Recording and performance[edit]

Lennon and McCartney shared a single microphone "for their Everly Brothers-like close harmonies."[4]

Like much of the Beatles' early work, the song was released in two different mixes for mono and stereo. Lennon's opening vocal is single-tracked in mono but double-tracked in the stereo mix.

"If I Fell" was a part of the Beatles repertoire during their US and Canadian tour in 1964. The group typically performed the song faster than the studio version, and Lennon and McCartney often sang it with barely suppressed laughter. On more than one occasion it was introduced as "If I Fell Over".[5]

Single releases[edit]

  • US: It was also the B-side of the US single "And I Love Her" on Capitol 5235.
  • Norway: The song was released as a single in Norway, where it hit number one.[6]
  • UK: In the UK it was released on 4 December 1964 as A-side (b/w "Tell Me Why") on Parlophone DP 562. The single was intended for export, but some retailers sold it in the UK anyway. It did not chart there and is generally not considered an "official" UK single.[citation needed]

Personnel[edit]

Personnel per Ian MacDonald[7]

Cover versions[edit]

According to Robert Fontenont of About.com, this was Kurt Cobain's favourite Beatles song, and was played by Nirvana whenever there were technical problems at their concerts.[8]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]