Twenty Flight Rock

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"Twenty Flight Rock"
Cochran Twenty Flight Rock record label.PNG
Single by Eddie Cochran
B-side"Cradle Baby"
ReleasedNovember 1957
RecordedMay/August 1957, Gold Star Studios
GenreRock and roll, rockabilly
Length1:42
LabelLiberty
Songwriter(s)Eddie Cochran
Ned Fairchild
Producer(s)Simon Jackson
Eddie Cochran singles chronology
"Drive In Show"
(1957)
"Twenty Flight Rock"
(1957)
"Jeannie Jeannie Jeannie"
(1958)
Official audio
"Twenty Flight Rock" on YouTube

"Twenty Flight Rock" is a song originally performed by Eddie Cochran in the 1956 film comedy The Girl Can't Help It, and released as a single the following year. The song was published in 1957 as written by Ned Fairchild and Eddie Cochran, by American Music Incorporated and Campbell, Connelly and Company.[1][2][3] Cochran's contribution was primarily on the music. His version is rockabilly-flavored, but artists of a variety of genres have covered the song.

Background[edit]

The first version of "Twenty Flight Rock" was recorded by Cochran in July 1956 at Gold Star Studios, with Connie Smith on the bull fiddle and Jerry Capehart thumping a soup carton. Cochran re-recorded the song sometime between May to August 1957. This later version was released in the United States (Liberty 55112) with "Cradle Baby" as a flipside. It was a moderate seller, but was more popular in Europe and had steady sales for a long period. The song is from the point of view of a boyfriend whose girlfriend has an apartment on the twentieth floor; the building elevator is not operating; consequently the boyfriend has to climb the stairs, making him too tired to “rock” by the time he reaches her.

The song follows the twelve-bar blues format, using the device of counting upwards ("One flight, two flight, three flight, four/five, six, seven flight, eight flight, more") in the refrain in a manner similar to "Rock Around the Clock". The final verse ends on a surprisingly morbid note compared to other pop songs of the time: "All this climbin' is a-gettin' me down. They'll find my corpse draped over a rail."

The barely 15-year-old Paul McCartney used "Twenty Flight Rock" as his first song when he auditioned for John Lennon on July 6, 1957 in Liverpool, England. The 16-year-old Lennon, introduced that day to McCartney at St. Peter's Church Hall prior to a church garden fete, was impressed by his new acquaintance's ability to play the song on the guitar.[4] The good first impression of McCartney's performance led to an invitation to join the Quarrymen—Lennon's band that would eventually evolve into the Beatles. On The Beatles Anthology, McCartney noted that: "I think what impressed him most was that I knew all the words."

Cochran appeared in the film The Girl Can't Help It performing "Twenty Flight Rock" as a tongue-in-cheek example of the supposed lack of talent required to perform rock and roll. The guitar solo was edited out in the movie. The song also featured in the film The Delinquents (1989).

Musicians, 1956 version[edit]

Musicians, 1957 version[edit]

Notable cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ned, Fairchild; Eddie, Cochran; Eddie, Cochran; Cats, Stray (September 10, 2007). "Twenty Flight Rock". Musicnotes.com.
  2. ^ "Eddie Cochran – Twenty Flight Rock (1957, Vinyl)" – via www.discogs.com.
  3. ^ "Eddie Cochran – 20 Flight Rock" – via www.45cat.com.
  4. ^ Philip Norman, John Lennon: The Life, Doubleday Canada, 2008, page 107 (ISBN 978-0-385-66100-3)
  5. ^ "Cliff Richard & The Shadows – Twenty Flight Rock (The Cliff Richard Show, 21.05.1960)" – via www.youtube.com.
  6. ^ "The Beatles Bible – John Lennon meets Paul McCartney". 6 July 1957.
  7. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Choba B CCCP – Paul McCartney". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  8. ^ "Le Rock C'est Ça! - Vince Taylor & the Playboys". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  9. ^ "Dickie Rock And The Miami Showband – From The Candy Store On The Corner To The Chapel On The Hill / Twenty Flight Rock – Piccadilly – UK – 7N 35202". 45cat.com. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  10. ^ Pendragon, Jana. "Lost in the Ozone". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  11. ^ Book, John. "Montrose - Warner Bros. Presents Montrose! review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  12. ^ "Twenty Flight Rock" – via www.youtube.com.
  13. ^ "Still Life - The Rolling Stones". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  14. ^ Allmusic review
  15. ^ Mapes, Jillian (2010-11-09). "Conan O'Brien Rocks With Jack White for TBS Premiere". Billboard. Retrieved 2023-01-20.

External links[edit]