Anna (Go to Him)

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"Anna (Go to Him)"
Single by Arthur Alexander
B-side"I Hang My Head and Cry"
Released17 September 1962
GenreSoul
Length2:48
LabelDot Records
Writer(s)Arthur Alexander
Producer(s)Noel Ball[1]
Arthur Alexander singles chronology
"Soldier of Love (Lay Down Your Arms)"
(1962)
"Anna (Go to Him)"
(1962)
"Go Home Girl"
(1962)
 
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"Anna (Go to Him)"
Single by Arthur Alexander
B-side"I Hang My Head and Cry"
Released17 September 1962
GenreSoul
Length2:48
LabelDot Records
Writer(s)Arthur Alexander
Producer(s)Noel Ball[1]
Arthur Alexander singles chronology
"Soldier of Love (Lay Down Your Arms)"
(1962)
"Anna (Go to Him)"
(1962)
"Go Home Girl"
(1962)

"Anna (Go to Him)", or simply "Anna", is a song written and originally recorded by Arthur Alexander. His version was released as a single by Dot Records on September 17, 1962. A cover version was performed by English rock group The Beatles and included on their 1963 debut album Please Please Me.

Background[edit]

According to Richie Unterberger, music critic for Allmusic:

Critic Dave Marsh rates Alexander's "Anna (Go to Him)" as one of the top 1001 singles of all time.[1] He praises the "gently swinging rhythm," the tough, syncopated drumming, and Alexander's vocal, particularly at the beginning of the refrain, suggesting that John Lennon may have learned to sing ballads like "In My Life" by listening to Alexander's performance.[1]

Despite the title, throughout the song the lyric is "go with him" rather than "go to him".

The Beatles' version[edit]

"Anna (Go to Him)"
The Beatles - Anna.jpg
Cover of Japanese EP
Song by the Beatles from the album Please Please Me
Released22 March 1963
Recorded11 February 1963
GenreRhythm and blues
Length2:54
LabelParlophone
WriterArthur Alexander
ProducerGeorge Martin
Please Please Me track listing

A personal favorite of John Lennon,[4] it became part of the Beatles' early repertoire and was consequently recorded by them for their 1963 debut album, Please Please Me.[5] Consequently, it is the first song released by the group which specifically names a girl. In the U.S., Vee Jay Records released it on Introducing... The Beatles (January 10, 1964) and Capitol Records re-released it on The Early Beatles (March 22, 1965).[6] Vee Jay also released "Anna (Go to Him)" on the EP Souvenir of Their Visit: The Beatles in the US[7]

The band recorded the song on February 11, 1963 in three takes; Take 3 was the master. It was remixed on February 25.[8] George Harrison played the distinctive phrase on guitar; Floyd Cramer played it on piano for the original.[9]

Unterberger praised the Beatles' version in his review, saying:

Music critic Ian MacDonald had a different view of Lennon's vocal, saying it sounded like "a passionate youth grappling with a man's song".[9] Lennon sang "All of my life I've been searching for a girl, to love me like I love her..." slowly and added new emotions to a song.[10]

They recorded "Anna (Go to Him)" on June 17, 1963 for the BBC radio show Pop Go the Beatles. The show was broadcast on June 25. They recorded it once again on August 1, 1963 for the show broadcast on August 27.[11]

As noted in many references including Mark Lewisohn's The Beatles Recording Sessions, Lennon had a bad cold which accounts for his very rough, almost strange tone he demonstrates on all his vocals during the historic session of eleven songs recorded in ten hours, including the last song, "Twist and Shout".

Personnel[edit]

Engineered by Norman Smith

Personnel for studio album version per MacDonald[9][10]

In popular culture[edit]

In the Married... with Children episode "Oldies But Young 'Uns" (Season 5, Episode 17; airdate March 17, 1991), Al Bundy becomes obsessed with finding out the name of this song which has become his earworm (originally he can only tell people the nondescript misheard lyric "hmm hmm him").

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Marsh, D. (1999). The Heart of Rock and Soul. Da Capo Press. p. 320. ISBN 9780306809019. 
  2. ^ a b Unterberger, Richie. "Review of "Anna (Go to Him)"". Allmusic. Retrieved March 18, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Arthur Alexander Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved March 18, 2007. 
  4. ^ Harry, Bill (2000). The Beatles Encyclopedia: Revised and Updated. London: Virgin Publishing. pp. 28–29. ISBN 0-7535-0481-2. 
  5. ^ Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books. p. 200. ISBN 0-517-57066-1. 
  6. ^ Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. p. 201. 
  7. ^ Cross, Craig (2005). The Beatles: Day-by-Day, Song-by-Song, Record-by-Record. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc. p. 544. ISBN 0-595-34663-4. 
  8. ^ Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. pp. 24, 26. 
  9. ^ a b c MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised Edition ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). pp. 72–73. ISBN 1-84413-828-3. 
  10. ^ a b Anna (Go to Him) | The Beatles Bible
  11. ^ Harry, Bill (2000). The Beatles Encyclopedia: Revised and Updated. pp. 877–878.