This week on #askNat we are hearing from Stew Hall in Phoenix, AZ who writes:
Not sure if this one’s been asked yet… What do you know about “A Taste Of Honey?” Was it Paul McCartney’s idea or Brian Epstein’s to record and play it live, since it was recently on the hit parade (’62)? Also, the instrumental versions (namely Herb Alpert) are in cut time 2/2. The Beatles play the intro/outro & verses in 3/4 & 4/4 only on the choruses. I like both versions and was just hoping that you had some more info.
Interesting question Stew. I’ll tell you what I can.
Although I’ve no doubt that Brian was fond of The Beatles version of the song, it was very likely Paul’s idea to add it to their stage act and record it later for their first album. The song was actually a favorite of Paul’s who recalls in the Anthology documentary that they used to get a lot of requests for it and it was one of his big numbers in their Hamburg performances. Despite it’s slow and sentimental mood in comparison with other harder edged and faster paced Beatles performances of the time (e.g. “Long Tall Sally” or “I Saw Her Standing There”), it showed that the Beatles were a versatile band and also skilled at close harmonies.
The earliest known Beatles recording of the song was taped on October 25th, 1962 at the Playhouse Theatre in Manchester, U.K. before a live audience for the BBC radio program Here We Go. This was only the third time The Beatles performed for the BBC and the first with their new drummer, Ringo Starr, in the band.