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“Roll Over Beethoven”

Listen to “Roll Over Beethoven”

About “Roll Over Beethoven”

“Roll Over Beethoven” was a favorite of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison even before they had chosen “The Beatles” as their name, and they continued to play it live right into their American tours of 1964. Their version of “Roll Over Beethoven” was recorded on 30 July 1963 for their second British LP, With the Beatles, and features George Harrison on vocals and guitar. In the United States, it was released 10 April 1964 as the opening track of The Beatles’ Second Album.

In 1994, the Beatles released a live version of “Roll Over Beethoven” on Live at the BBC. This live version was recorded on 28 February 1964 and broadcast on 30 March 1964 as part of a BBC series starring the Beatles called From Us To You.

This version of “Roll Over Beethoven” was used in the film Superman III directed by Richard Lester who also directed a film for the Beatles, Help!

Meaning of “Roll Over Beethoven”

The song’s lyrics convey a message of musical revolution and a changing of the guard in the music industry. It’s a call for traditional classical music (represented by Beethoven) to make way for the new and energetic rock ‘n’ roll sound.

“Roll Over Beethoven” carries a theme of musical change and the passing of the torch from the old musical styles to the new and exciting sound of rock ‘n’ roll. The Beatles’ rendition of it helped further establish them as leading figures in the rock music revolution.


  • George Harrison – double-tracked vocals, lead guitar, handclaps
  • John Lennon – rhythm guitar, handclaps
  • Paul McCartney – bass, handclaps
  • Ringo Starr – drums, handclaps

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