"Anna (Go to Him)" is a song written and originally performed by Arthur Alexander. His version was released as a single by Dot Records on September 17, 1962. A cover version was performed by The Beatles and included on their 1963 debut album Please Please Me.
According to Richie Unterberger, music critic for Allmusic:
|“||'Anna' was one of the great early soul ballads, even if its loping groove was closer to a midtempo than a slow ballad. Like several of Alexander's songs, it would come to be more famous in its cover version than through its original release. And it was actually a small hit when it first came out in 1962, getting to #68 in the pop charts and #10 in the R&B listings.||”|
Despite the title, throughout the song the lyric is "go with him" rather than "go to him".
In the 1991 Married... with Children episode "Oldies But Young 'Uns", Al Bundy becomes obsessed with finding out the name of this song which has become his earworm.
The Beatles' version
A personal favorite of John Lennon, it became part of The Beatles' early repertoire and was consequently recorded by them for their 1963 debut album, Please Please Me. In the U.S., Vee Jay Records released it on Introducing... The Beatles (10 January 1964) and Capitol Records re-released it on The Early Beatles (22 March 1965). Vee Jay also released "Anna (Go to Him)" on the EP Souvenir of Their Visit: The Beatles in the US
The Beatles recorded the song on 11 February 1963 in three takes; the master take was number 3. It was remixed on 25 February. George Harrison played the distinctive phrase on guitar; Floyd Cramer played it on piano for the original.
Unterberger praised The Beatles' version in his review, saying:
|“||Ringo Starr faithfully [replicates] the unusual drum rhythm and high-hat crunches. Lennon's vocal, however, added a tortured pain not present in Alexander's model, particularly when he wailed in his upper register at the conclusion of the bridges. The Beatles' backup harmony vocals, in addition, were superb, and more effective [than on Alexander's version].||”|
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."
The Beatles recorded "Anna (Go to Him)" on 17 June 1963 for the BBC radio show Pop Go the Beatles. The show was broadcast on June 25. They recorded it once again on 1 August 1963 for the show broadcast on August 25.
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 this historic session, including the last song, "Twist and Shout".
- Personnel for studio album version per MacDonald
- ^ a b Unterberger, Richie. "Review of "Anna (Go to Him)"". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/song/t495124. Retrieved March 18, 2007.
- ^ "Arthur Alexander Billboard Singles". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p3519/charts-awards. Retrieved March 18, 2007.
- ^ Harry, Bill (2000). The Beatles Encyclopedia: Revised and Updated. London: Virgin Publishing. pp. 28–29. ISBN 0-7535-0481-2.
- ^ Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books. p. 200. ISBN 0-517-57066-1.
- ^ Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. p. 201.
- ^ 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.
- ^ Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. pp. 24, 26.
- ^ 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.
- ^ Harry, Bill (2000). The Beatles Encyclopedia: Revised and Updated. pp. 877–878.