Welcome to "Every Little Thing", a blog discussing all 214 songs released by the Beatles from 1962 to 1970....by Daniel Seth Levine.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

#41: Matchbox

Written by: Carl Perkins
Released: June 19, 1964
Appears on: Long Tall Sally (EP) & Past Masters, Vol. 1
Lead vocal: Ringo

The last song on the Long Tall Sally EP is the sole Ringo song that didn't appear on an album - a cover of Carl Perkins's "Matchbox".
"Matchbox" is one of only two songs that the Beatles covered where the singer on the recorded version was not the one that always sang it. John was the Beatle assigned to "Matchbox" all through the Cavern and Hamburg years. However, by 1964, it had become a Ringo song, who loved Carl Perkins almost as much as John loved Larry Williams, Paul loved Little Richard and George loved Chuck Berry.
Probably one of the reasons why Ringo got to do this song was because they knew they couldn't give him a shot on A Hard Day's Night, so they gave him a consolation prize.
Ringo has the perfect voice for this song and it proves that his real talent lied in singing rockabilly numbers (in fact, probably one of the best Beatle solo records is his country album, Beaucoups of Blues). It's like he was born in England, but should have come from some backwater Texas town.

As we all know, Capitol did some bizarre things to make as much money as they could off the Beatles name during 1964 and, probably the most bizarre thing they did was release the "Slow Down" b/w "Matchbox" 45. It made a lot of money for Capitol, reaching #17 on Billboard, but it was still a silly release. It was the only time where Capitol got its wish to make money off the Beatles' covers and it made Capitol even happier, since neither had appeared on an LP (yet...they appeared on Something New shortly after the 45). They also got a chance to cash in on America's bizarre love for anything Ringo. It also didn't hurt that the single would be popular in the Southeast, where Country is (still) king.

Next up: we get to the meat of A Hard Day's Night!!!!

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