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“Bad Boy”

Listen to “Bad Boy”

About “Bad Boy”

The Beatles "Bad Boy" single cover
The Beatles “Bad Boy” single cover

“Bad Boy” is one of several Larry Williams songs the Beatles recorded during their career, a rock and roll song with a lively, energetic tempo typical of Williams’ style.

The group recorded it on May 10, 1965, (William’s birthday), along with his song “Dizzy, Miss Lizzy“, which was intended for North American release only. A version of “Bad Boy” was released on the American album Beatles VI in June 1965, while a version of “Dizzy, Miss Lizzy“appeared on the British album Help! in August of that year. After being released in December 1966 as part of the compilation A Collection of Beatles Oldies, “Bad Boy” was also released worldwide on the 1988 compilation Past Masters Vol. 1, as well as its 2009 reissue, Past Masters, which combined both volumes.

In 1966 “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)“, “I’m Looking Through You” and “In My Life” were released on an EP in Sweden together with “Bad Boy”. As a result of this EP’s success, the song hit number seven on the Swedish sales chart Kvällstoppen and number five on the Swedish radio chart Tio i Topp in December of the same year.

While not considered one of The Beatles’ standout tracks, “Bad Boy” still showcases their ability to infuse their style into cover songs and provides a snapshot of the wide range of influences that contributed to their sound. It remains a part of The Beatles’ discography and is appreciated by fans, though it’s not as frequently covered or performed as some of their more famous hits.

Meaning of “Bad Boy”

“Bad Boy” was written by Larry Williams, an American rock and roll and rhythm and blues singer, songwriter, and pianist. In this song, the term “Bad Boy” is used in the same sense as it is commonly understood in popular culture.

In the context of the song, a “Bad Boy” refers to a man who exhibits rebellious, non-conformist, or delinquent behavior. The lyrics suggest that the narrator is attracted to a woman who is described as a “Bad Boy,” which indicates that she possesses some of the qualities associated with this term.

The song’s lyrics do not delve into great detail about the specific behaviors or characteristics of the “Bad Boy” in question, but it conveys a sense of attraction and intrigue towards someone who may be seen as unconventional or edgy.

It’s worth noting that the term “Bad Boy” can carry various connotations depending on the context in which it is used, and interpretations may vary. In the case of this song, it appears to reflect a certain fascination with someone who exudes a rebellious or non-conformist aura.


  • John Lennon – lead vocal and rhythm guitar
  • Paul McCartney – bass
  • George Harrison – double-tracked lead guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums

Ho to play “Bad Boy” on guitar

“Bad Boy” features prominent electric guitar work, typical of the rock ‘n’ roll style prevalent in the 1950s and early 1960s. It is characterized by its bright and jangly tone and employs a classic rock ‘n’ roll chord progression, which gives the song its energetic and catchy feel. The rhythm guitar provides a driving force, keeping the song’s pace steady and lively. Additionally, there are melodic lead guitar lines that complement the vocal melody, adding texture and depth to the overall sound.

The guitar work in “Bad Boy” exemplifies the band’s ability to take a cover song and infuse it with their own style and energy. The Beatles were known for their adeptness at adapting and interpreting songs from various genres, and “Bad Boy” is no exception. The guitar in “Bad Boy” contributes to the song’s lively and upbeat character, and it showcases The Beatles’ proficiency in delivering rock ‘n’ roll music with their signature touch.

Here’s a video featuring the guitar parts of “Bad Boy”:

“Bad Boy” guitar parts

Ho to play “Bad Boy” on bass

The bassline in “Bad Boy” is characterized by its rhythmic pulse and melodic flair. It follows the chord progressions closely, providing a strong rhythmic backbone while also adding melodic embellishments that give the song a distinctive groove. McCartney’s bass playing style in “Bad Boy” showcases his ability to craft memorable basslines that enhance the overall musical arrangement.

The bass in “Bad Boy” contributes significantly to the song’s dynamic and infectious rhythm. It exemplifies McCartney’s skill as a bassist and his knack for creating engaging basslines that elevate the musicality of The Beatles’ songs.

The following video features a bass cover with tab of the song:

Bass cover with tab of “Bad Boy”

“Bad Boy” karaoke

For those who want to try singing “Bad Boy” the next video presents the karaoke version of the song:

Karaoke version of “Bad Boy”

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