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  1. Abbey Road (album)
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  63. Nowhere man
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Can't Buy Me Love

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about The Beatles song. For the film, see Can't Buy Me Love (film).

"Can't Buy Me Love" is the name of a song written by Paul McCartney (although credited to Lennon-McCartney) and released by The Beatles on the A side of their fifth British single, "Can't Buy Me Love/You Can't Do That." It was recorded on February 25, 1964 at Abbey Road Studios, London, but an earlier recording was made in Paris the month before, where The Beatles were performing 18 days of concerts at the Olympia Theatre. They stayed at the five star George V hotel and a grand piano was moved into one of their suites so that songwriting could continue. It was here that McCartney came up with "Can't Buy Me Love."

The song was written under the pressure of the success achieved by "I Want to Hold Your Hand." When George Martin arrived at the Pathe Marconi Studios to record it, he suggested that the song start with the chorus, aside from which it was a simple twelve bar blues number in C. It became one of the first pop songs to begin with its chorus and one of the first Beatles songs not to include any other singers besides the lead vocalist (in this case, McCartney). It was also the only occasion that a Beatles song was recorded outside of Britain.

When pressed by American journalists in 1966 to reveal the song's "true" meaning, McCartney denied that "Can't Buy Me Love" was about prostitution, saying that, although it was open to interpretation, that suggestion was going too far. It became their fourth UK number-one single and their third single to sell over a million copies in the UK. It also topped the charts in the U.S.

Rolling Stone ranked "Can't Buy Me Love" at #289 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

U.S. music charts

The Beatles established four records on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Can't Buy Me Love" at number one:

  1. Until Billboard began using SoundScan for their charts, it had the biggest jump to number one: (number twenty-seven to number one; no other single ever did this).
  2. It gave The Beatles three consecutive number-one songs ("I Want to Hold Your Hand" was replaced at number one by "She Loves You" which was in turn replaced by "Can't Buy Me Love").
  3. When "Can't Buy Me Love" went to number one (April 4, 1964), the entire top five of the Hot 100 was by The Beatles, the next positions being filled by "Twist and Shout", "She Loves You", "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "Please Please Me" respectively. No other act has ever even held the top three spots simultaneously.
  4. During its second week at number one (April 11, 1964), The Beatles had fourteen songs on the Hot 100 at the same time.

Other releases of the song

  • The Chipmunks (1964)
  • The Eliminators (1964)
  • Ella Fitzgerald (1964)
  • Johnny Rivers (1964)
  • George Martin (1964)
  • The Supremes (1964)
  • Dave "Baby" Cortez (1965)
  • Henry Mancini (1965)
  • Peter Sellers (1965)
  • Chet Atkins (1966)
  • Count Basie and his Orchestra (1966)
  • Cathy Berberian (1967)
  • Phil Seaman (1968)
  • David Clayton-Thomas (1973)
  • Horst Jankowski und sein Rias-Tanzorchester (1977)
  • François Glorieux (1978)
  • Shirley Scott & Stanley Turrentine (1978)
  • Stanley Turrentine (1981)
  • The King's Singers (1988)
  • The Allen Toussaint Orchestra(1989)
  • Paolo Nonnis (1990)
  • Elena Duran, Stephane Grappelli & Laurie Holloway (1991)
  • John Bayless (1993)
  • Giovanni (1993)
  • Shenandoah (1995)
  • Blackstreet (1996)
  • Barbara Casini Quartet (1998)
  • Lisa Lauren (1998)
  • John Pizzarelli (1998)
  • Gary Smart (1998)
  • The Band of Irish Guards (1999)
  • Rod McGaha (1999)
  • Laurence Juber (June 13, 2000)
  • Jive Bunny & the Mastermixers (2001)
  • Betty Dylan (2002)
  • Michael Bublé (2005)


  • Bronson, Fred. The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. New York: Billboard Books, 2003. ISBN 0-8230-7677-6
  • Turner, Steve. A Hard Day's Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles' Song, Harper, New York: 1994, ISBN 0-06-095065-X

External links

  • Alan W. Pollack's analysis of "Can't Buy Me Love"
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