Daily Beatle Break

Your Daily Beatle Break

FEBRUARY 21

Carol

Written by: Chuck Berry
Recorded: 2 July 1963

Released: 30 November 1994 (UK), 5 December 1994 (US)

John Lennon: vocals, rhythm guitar
Paul McCartney: bass
George Harrison: lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums

Available on:
Live At The BBC

This Chuck Berry song was recorded for the Pop Go The Beatles radio show on 2 July 1963.

The session took place at the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios in London, and was broadcast on 16 July.

When I got the [first] guitar I’d play it for a little bit then give up, then take it up again. It took me about two years, on and off, to be able to strum tunes without thinking. I think I had one lesson, but it was so much like school that I gave up. I learnt mostly by picking up bits here and there… I learnt the solos on Johnny B Goode and Carol, but I couldn’t play the one on Blue Suede Shoes. In those days I was very much influenced by Chuck Berry, Scotty Moore and Carl Perkins.

John Lennon, 1971
Anthology

The Beatles also recorded a number of other songs during the session; interestingly, five of the six songs were never attempted by the group for EMI. The songs played were:

  • That’s All Right (Mama)
  • There’s A Place
  • Carol
  • Soldier Of Love
  • Lend Me Your Comb
  • Clarabella

Only one song, There’s A Place, was a Lennon-McCartney original. What’s more, none of the cover versions were recorded again for the radio by The Beatles, making this one of the most interesting of the group’s 53 BBC sessions.

The 2 July session took place just over a fortnight before recording began for With The Beatles, and it’s possible that the group were trying out potential material for the second album.

Carol was one of the songs on The Rolling Stones’ self-titled debut in April 1964, almost a year after The Beatles’ version was broadcast. The Beatles’ attempt, however, wasn’t released until 1994, when it was included on the Live At The BBC collection.