Released: December 4, 1964
Appears on: Beatles For Sale
Lead vocal: John
From the start of their career, the Beatles made it pretty clear that even if the song wasn't a hit, they'd still cover it. "Mr. Moonlight" was originally recorded by Piano Red under the name "Dr. Feelgood And The Interns". It was released as a B-Side in 1962 and somehow, it quickly became a favorite of a certain group of Liverpudlian rockers.
I have no idea what made the Beatles want to actually record the song. It's cheesy beyond all reason, but their cover seems to make fun of that aspect. John seems to purposefully pull off the worst vocal of his career and Paul's organ solo seems to make the song sound older than it is. The song was only two years old when they covered it, but the Beatles make it sound as if it was written as a 1940's show-tune. In fact, if you go back and listen to Piano Red's original, it sounds like a silly, throwaway rock song.
It really is one of the worst covers the Beatles ever did and probably in the same class as "Devil In Her Heart", but through practically satirizing the song, the Beatles still keep it interesting.
The Beatles needed just four takes to get it right and an edit of Takes 1 and 4 is on Anthology 1. In the US, it was on Beatles '65.