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"If I Fell" is a song by 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 primarily by John Lennon, but credited to Lennon–McCartney.
The song is notable for its unusual structure, which includes an unrepeated introductory section sung by Lennon, followed by sequential verse sections, each having a slightly expanded form, but with no obvious chorus or bridge section. The demo version (just John 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, sung by Lennon and McCartney together into a single microphone at their suggestion, with Lennon singing the lower harmony while McCartney sings the higher one. It also features 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
On the stereo mix of the song, McCartney's voice strains and cracks on the second instance of the word "vain". On the mono mix, McCartney's voice does not crack. Also, Lennon's opening vocal is single-tracked in mono but double-tracked in the stereo mix.
Lennon and McCartney shared a single microphone for their Everly Brothers-like close harmonies.
"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".
- 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.
- 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.
- Personnel per Ian MacDonald
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.
Ex-members of the Beatles and the Quarrymen
- Len Garry (Tea-chest bassist, replacement for Bill Smith; 1956-1958)
- Nigel Walley (Tea-chest bassist, later became manager; 1957-1958)
- Bill Smith (Tea-chest bassist, with the band for only three weeks; 1956)
- Ivan Vaughan (Tea-chest bassist, 1957)
|Bert Kaempfert recordings|
(with Tony Sheridan)