Welcome to the Beatles Rarity of the Week. John Lennon got a head start on writing new material for the yet untitled first Beatles movie, in early January 1964, when he wrote and recorded the initial home demos for “If I Fell” in his London flat. Legend has it that the recordings were taped over an audio message sent to John by a fan who had seen The Beatles November 17, 1963 show in Coventry. Her message had been recorded on New Year’s Eve, 1963. “If I Fell” would go on to be one of the 7 new songs completed specifically for A Hard Day’s Night (film and album) as well as the B-side of a July 1964 single paired with “And I Love Her” as the A-side. The other new songs for the film would be written during the upcoming tour of France and America.
This historical recording is divided into five separate demo/fragments:
1) The tape starts with a take already in progress, but this is cut off for a complete attempt (0:00-0:13).
2) John plays through the complete song with the structure and lyrics nearly finalized. The melody line he sings would eventually be given to Paul McCartney, with John taking a lower harmony. Here John is obviously straining to reach the notes. Note that the ending riff would be removed from use on this song and used instead on I Should Have Known Better (another song for the film yet to be written) (0:14-2:40).
3) John sings the final verse an octave lower which is much more suited for his vocal range (2:41-3:08).
4) John tries singing falsetto again, but only the first verse (3:09-3:45).
5) John tries just a couple lines of the first verse, singing falsetto again and snaps off the tape (3:46-4:00).
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