Beatles – Cry For A Shadow

I’ve always liked this instrumental because it is a fun listen. Nothing intricate but just a fun song. Its original name was Beatle Bop. This was not released on any Beatle albums during their time. This was before Brian Epstein and fame.

This instrumental is the only Beatles track to be credited to John Lennon and George Harrison alone (who play rhythm and lead respectively). It was intended as a parody of British rock band The Shadows (Hence the name), whose instrumental music was enjoying success. Whilst Harrison imitates Shadow’s guitarist Hank Marvin’s signature lead sound, McCartney can be heard replicating the style of bassist Jet Harris.

This song was recorded in Hamburg in 1961 when they were backing Tony Sheridan by the name of the Beat Brothers.

This song is one of only two officially released Beatles singles to feature Pete Best on drums. The other is “Ain’t She Sweet,” although it is alleged that a studio drummer “sweetened” the drum parts on this recording for American release. The producer Bert Kaempfert would take away Pete’s bass drum at these sessions and kept him only on the snare because of his timing issues.

From Songfacts

In a 1987 interview with Guitar Player magazine, George Harrison said: “In Hamburg we had to play so long, we actually used to play ‘Apache‘… But John and I were just bulls–tting one day, and he had this new little Rickenbacker with with a funny kind of wobble bar on it. And he started playing that off, and I just came in, and we made it up right on the spot.”

This track features the original Beatles drummer Pete Best, who received some royalties from the song when it was included on the 1995 Anthology collection.

This track was recorded in Hamburg whilst the Beatles performed under the moniker “The Beat Brothers” as a backing band for English singer Tony Sheridan. The track was produced by German big band leader and composer Bert Kaempfert.

Released on Polydor Records, the label declined further recordings from The Beatles, who returned to England, whilst Tony Sheridan stayed in Hamburg. At the request of The Beatles new manager Brian Epstein, Kaempfert dissolved his contract with the band in May 1962.



Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

16 thoughts on “Beatles – Cry For A Shadow”

    1. The “Love Me Do” version with him on it on Anthology…that shows why the Beatles let him go.
      This is a fun instrumental.


    1. The producer took his bass drum away from him because of his timing issues. He could play 4/4 no problem…take him out of that and he was in trouble.


      1. Like I said…even John said as long they played 4/4 he was fine…any other tempo and it was bad…
        They would have replaced him long before but he booked the gigs before Brian Epstein found them. That is why I’m happy he got a pay day because he did help them.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t know why John felt the need to try on that song lol. Probably a drunk night in Germany. It could be a rehearsal…glad they didn’t add the harmonica!


      1. lol… It was/is crazy. People STILL believe he is “Faul”…fake Paul…that just so happens to be an incredible bass player, songwriter, singer etc…


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