Released: March 20, 1964
Appears on: A Hard Day's Night
Lead vocal: Paul
The big thing about "Can't Buy Me Love" is the unique fact that it starts with its chorus. Today, this doesn't seem like that much of an innovation, but in 1964, it was a little surprising. I think today we take this aspect of "Can't Buy Me Love" for granted, but the fact that it has no instrumental opening whatsoever is truly amazing. Right from the start, Paul gets us in with "Can't buy me love/Love/Can't buy me love/Ooohhhh....I buy you diamond ring my friend if it makes you feel all right...".
I can't imagine how that March day must have felt when "Can't Buy Me Love" came out. It was the first new Beatle product in nearly four months [Pause there for a second: Can you imagine an artist today having to pump out a single every two to four months today? Not only is it unthinkable, it's impossible!] and the first (Capitol) US release since "I Want To Hold Your Hand".
The Beatles were forced to keep such a tight schedule that "Can't Buy Me Love" was forced to become the first Beatles song recorded outside the confines of Abbey Road Studios. In fact, it was recorded at a Paris studio during a short break in their French tour. (During which, the recorded "Sie Liebt Dich" and "Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand", which will be covered much later.) An early and drastically different take is on Anthology 1 and, although they had to finish the track at Abbey Road, the majority of the version we know and love was recorded in the Paris studio.
By the way, in case you're wondering, "Can't Buy Me Love" b/w "You Can't Do That" was released before A Hard Day's Night, so that is why I'm covering them first. Also the "Long Tall Sally" EP was issued prior to A Hard Day's Night, so those four songs will be covered before I get to the Beatles' third LP.