I Want To Hold Your Hand (Lennon/McCartney)

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I Want To Hold Your Hand (Lennon/McCartney)


“‘From Me To You’ was released – a flop in America. ‘She Loves You’ – a big hit in England, big number one in England – a flop in the USA. Nothing until ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’.” – Paul McCartney, from Anthology

“We wrote a lot of stuff together, one on one, eyeball to eyeball. Like in ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand,’ I remember when we got the chord that made the song. We were in Jane Asher’s house, downstairs in the cellar playing on the piano at the same time. And we had, ‘Oh you-u-u/ got that something…’ And Paul hits this chord and I turn to him and say, ‘That’s it!’ I said, ‘Do that again!’ In those days, we really used to absolutely write like that—both playing into each other’s noses” – John Lennon

“No adult in the world at that time thought I Want To Hold Your Hand was any good. Look back on it dispassionately (if you can). The song really is off-putting. I mean, I love it and always will but the vocals were shaky and sour, the song too slow, it dragged on too long and it sounded wrong, sound wise. When the president of Capitol Records, U.S.A. played the acetate of I Want To Hold Your Hand for his wife in late 1963 and told her (sadly) that it was the future of music, she begged him not to release it. She said ‘It’s dreadful. You don’t want that on Capitol’.” – Steve Hoffman

BBC Performances

See THERE WILL BE A SHOW TONIGHT: The BBC Performances for complete information on BBC performances and recordings


  • John Lennon – vocal, rhythm guitar, handclaps
  • Paul McCartney – vocal, bass guitar, handclaps
  • George Harrison – lead guitar, handclaps
  • Ringo Starr – drums, handclaps

Release history

Chart performance

  • #1, December 12, 1963 – January 15, 1964 (5 weeks), Record Retailer (UK)
  • #1, February 1 – March 20, 1964 (7 weeks), Billboard (US)


  • Nominated for the Grammy for Record Of The Year, 1965
  • Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, 1998

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