The Beatles' videos with info


Published on 1963
Author: Lennon/McCartney
Track 2 on “Please Please Me

What the Beatles said about “Misery”

JOHN 1980: “It was kind of a John song, more than a Paul song… but it was written together.”

PAUL 1988: “John and I were a songwriting team, and what songwriting teams did in those days was wrote for everyone. ‘Misery’ was for Helen Shapiro, and she turned it down. It may not have been that successful for her because it’s rather a downbeat song… ‘the world is treating me bad, misery.’ It was quite pessimistic. And in the end Kenny Lynch did it. Kenny used to come out on tour with us, and he used to sing it. That was one of his minor hits.”

Info about “Misery”

“Misery” was co-written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. A 1963 single by Kenny Lynch made “Misery” the first Beatles’ song to be covered by another artist.

In February 1963, Helen Shapiro was Britain’s most successful female singer and The Beatles were fifth on the bill as part of her nationwide tour of the United Kingdom. Her artist and repertoire manager, Norrie Paramor, was looking for new material for a country and western album she planned to record in Nashville, Tennessee and suggested that the Beatles compose a song especially for her. “Misery” was started backstage before The Beatles’ performance at the King’s Hall, Stoke-on-Trent, on 26 January 1963, and later completed at Paul McCartney’s Forthlin Road home.

The Beatles recorded “Misery” on 11 February 1963 (marathon session) in 11 takes. Norman Smith was the engineer. George Martin played the piano solo, which was added at a later date, and preferred recording this onto the recorded track at half speed an octave below which would then sound correct at normal speed.


  • John Lennon – lead vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar
  • Paul McCartney – lead vocals, bass guitar
  • George Harrison – lead guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums
  • George Martin – piano

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