Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bald Headed Sally

The first song contained on the "Long Tall Sally" EP is the title track oddly enough entitled "Long Tall Sally". This cover version was originally performed by Little Richard and was written by Johnson, Penniman, Blackwell. A rip roaring song that features Paul screaming his lungs out, an incredible guitar solo by Harrison and exciting drums by Ringo. I have to admit that along with the cover version of "Twist and Shout" from the first LP, "Long Tall Sally" is one of the best cover versions I've ever heard. This song RAWKS. Full of excitement and it's at a great fast groove and the whole band is putting everything into it. It's always a joy to listen to this tune.

Like "Twist and Shout", "Long Tall Sally" was recorded in only one take with The Beatles and George Martin on piano. Paul was a huge Little Richard fan and the influence on the band was immense. The song was recorded on Sunday March 01 1964 at EMI Studio number two. This recording must have been familiar ground for the Beatles as it had been performed years prior to the explosion of Beatlemania namely in the clubs of Liverpool and Hamburg.

Oddly, the song was first mixed for stereo and then for mono on the same day: March 10 1964 and I'm assuming that these mixes were used for the upcoming US release of "The Beatles Second Album" on US Capitol. The mixes were done in EMI Studio number two; the same place were the performance was recorded. "Long Tall Sally" was re-mixed for mono a month later on June 04 1964. Again, a very odd thing that "Long Tall Sally" was once again mixed for stereo on June 22 1964 AFTER the release of the EP (which was mono, of course).

"Long Tall Sally" was not only available on the self-titled EP, but also on the Capitol of Canada 6000 series LP "Long Tall Sally", the US Capitol LP/CD "The Beatles Second Album", the song is on the double Capitol/EMI LP compilation "Rock 'N'Roll" and can be heard on the Parlophone/EMI UK version of the LP "Rarities". It's also on EMI/Capitol's "Past Masters Volume 1" and the Apple remasters "Mono Masters" and "Past Masters" in mono and stereo respectively.

A couple of live renditions are available as the Beatles basically performed this tune often in concert: the Lingasong double LP "The Beatles Live at The Star Club" has an early live version and a live performance of the song is also on EMI/Capitol's LP "The Beatles Live At the Hollywood Bowl".

"Long Tall Sally" was performed live on the BBC a total of seven times; Once on "Side By Side", three times on "Saturday Club", once on "Pop Go The Beatles" (episode 9), one time on "Top Gear" and the final time on "From Us to You".

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