In contrast to, say, “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” — which all the non-Paul Beatles bitched about and played grudgingly, if at all (John managed to avoid it altogether) — everyone seemed to like “Oh! Darling.” “The chord structure is very nice,” said George. “It’s typical of a 1955-type song.” That may sound like tepid praise, or even passive/aggressive shade, and maybe it is; but at this point in Beatle history you couldn’t ask for much more.

John, for his part, called it “a great one of Paul’s” and thought that Paul should have let him sing it. Ringo’s reaction is not recorded, but if the other three all liked something, chances are he did too.

The Super Deluxe Edition includes take 4, enabling us to hear “Oh! Darling” as a work in progress. This is a long way from the eventual master, which was take 26; you can hear that it’s still rough around the edges. And it doesn’t have the raspy vocal that Paul worked so hard to get, coming into the studio day after day to scream his little lungs out.

For some reason “Oh! Darling” is one of the less-recorded Beatles songs; lists a mere 55 covers. That includes versions from the Across the Universe and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band soundtracks, both of which are gawd-awful. Huey Lewis did it in 1995, Florence and the Machine in 2009. Probably the best cover is this one by the Persuasions:

Though this Spanish version by Las Moskas is not bad:

You know who would have sounded great singing this song? Otis Redding. Unfortunately Otis had been dead almost two years when it was written. While we’re at it, how about James Brown? Ooh, or Little Richard? Is that too much to ask, reality?

0 0 votes
Article Rating