Paul McCartney has often said that The Beatles were able to find "sparks" that made their songs different from anything anyone else was making at the time. Those "sparks" ranged from strange phrases, sounds, or interesting instrumental combinations. In the case of The Beatles' 1964 tune "She's A Woman," it was a jell of instruments.
The Beatles' 'She's A Woman' is based on classic R&B songs
The Beatles' "She's A Woman" comes from R&B, a genre the group loved. The R&B songs they tended to listen to referred to "a woman." There's "I Got A Woman" by Ray Charles, "Long Tall Sally" and "Good Golly, Miss Molly" by Little Richard.
However, The Beatles took their influences' music and changed it around. In his book, The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, Paul McCartney said, "A lot of what we were listening to was already there, but I think what we did was to take it in, send it through the tumble dryer, distil it and push it out the other end."
The Beatles didn't just push their idols' music through a tube and melt it together with something else, making it their own. They were geniuses in finding "sparks" that truly made their songs innovative.
Paul McCartney and John Lennon put a 'spark' in The Beatles' 'She's A Woman'
In The Lyrics, Paul McCartney explained that The Beatles were great at noticing accidents and acting on them. They took them for granted. In the recording studio, if they had a tape playing backward by accident in the recording studio, they would stop and say, "What is that?" Then, they'd use it somehow.
"A lot of other people would go, 'Oh God, what is that bloody noise?' But we always loved being sidetracked by these ideas," Paul said.
The Beatles were also great at finding or making "sparks" that took their songs to the next level. Paul spoke about the spark in The Beatles' "She's A Woman." He said, "Often one of us would come up with something that put a spark in the recording, and I think the spark on the recording of 'She's A Woman' was the combination of John's backbeat guitar and my bass."
That wasn't the first or last time John added a "spark" to a Beatles song with his playing.
John Lennon added a 'spark' to The Beatles' 'All My Loving' too
Like in The Beatles' "She's A Woman," John Lennon added the "spark" to "All My Loving." His guitar playing elevated the song.
He played the tune's chords as triplets. It transformed the tune and gave it "momentum." Paul said, "That driving rhythm of John's echoes the feeling of travel and motion. But it was often like that when we were recording. One of us would come up with that little magic thing. It allowed the song to become what it needed to be."
The Beatles became one of the most popular bands worldwide because of their skills in transforming their idols' songs into something new and finding the things that made them even better. They were like treasure hunters, always digging for more gold. They found the hoard many times.
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