George Harrison Felt The Beatles’ ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ Wasn’t as Good as Its B-Side

George Harrison said The Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” wasn’t as interesting as its B-side, which was not a hit in the United States or the United Kingdom.

The Beatles‘ “Can’t Buy Me Love” is one of the Fab Four’s most famous hit songs. Despite this, George Harrison said The Beatles preferred the tune’s B-side. He was wrong to say the B-side was superior.

George Harrison said The Beatles’ ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ was commercial but not his favorite

The book The Beatles: Off the Record includes an interview from 1964. In it, George talked about “Can’t Buy Me Love” and its B-side. “I think the B-side is good, it’s more interesting to us, musically, to be honest,” he said. “But the impact of ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ is more instant than ‘You Can’t Do That.’ It’s the more commercial side. But then, I thought ‘This Boy’ should have been an A-side.”

George explained how “Can’t Buy Me Love” came together in the studio. “They did ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ in Paris, and the other side over in Miami Beach,” he recalled. “Ringo and I didn’t chip in with any of it, except at the recording session, where we always try to help. We suggest little things here and there.” George did not specify what George and Ringo contributed to the tunes.

The Beatles’ opinion of ‘You Can’t Do That’ was too high

It would be fun if George’s conclusion was correct. There’s nothing more fun than finding an underrated Beatles track. But no, “You Can’t Do That” isn’t a particularly notable entry in The Beatles’ early catalog. The melody is uninteresting. There’s an abrasive cowbell noise at the bottom of the track. It sounds terrible, and it only inspires thought of the famous “more cowbell” sketch from Saturday Night Live. Only the guitar lick in the middle of “You Can’t Do That” is laudable.

On the other hand. “Can’t Buy Me Love” aged wonderfully. It has all the energy of garage rock with a catchy melody reminiscent of Elvis Presley’s hits. The Beatles all cited the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll as a source of inspiration and that was never more apparent than on “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

How ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ and ‘You Can’t Do That’ performed on the charts

“Can’t Buy Me Love” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks, staying on the chart for 10 weeks total. It topped the chart for longer than most of the band’s other No. 1 hits. On the other had, “You Can’t Do That” never charted. Both songs appeared on the soundtrack for A Hard Day’s Night. That soundtrack was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for 14 weeks, lasting on the chart for 56 weeks in total.

Meanwhile, The Official Charts Company says “Can’t Buy Me Love” reached No. 1 in the United Kingdom for three of its initial 15 weeks on the chart. In the 1980s, the tune peaked at No. 53 and remained on the chart for two weeks. Meanwhile, “You Can’t Do That” was never a hit in the U.K. The soundtrack for A Hard Day’s Night peaked at No. 1 for 21 of its 39 weeks on the chart.

“You Can’t Do That” is fine but it’s no “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

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