Welcome to The Beatles Rarity of the Week. On October 17, 1963, The Beatles must have been thrilled to find that they now had 4-track recording capability for the first time. No longer would they have to record all instruments live in the studio. Even though they still did it that way from time to time, the 4-track equipment would make things easier and allow them to get much more experimental with their future endeavors in the studio. The goal for the day was to get their next single recorded to follow up “She Loves You,” which was still in Britain’s top 5 on the singles chart at the time (Melody Maker).
The new single would have “I Want To Hold Your Hand” as the obvious pick for the A-side and taking full advantage of the equipment, they recorded the backing track of Paul McCartney’s bass, John Lennon’s rhythm guitar and Ringo Starr’s drums on track 1. On the second track, George Harrison added his lead guitar fills, after which John and Paul added their live vocals on to track 3. By take 17 they were perfectly happy with the results. After adding the finishing touches of handclaps and a little more bass on to track 4, they moved on to recording “This Boy” for the B-side, which was also completed that day.