John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s songwriting partnership produced hits for The Beatles. How good were they? One of their unreleased songs reached #1 when another band recorded it. So it’s no surprise that two Lennon McCartney songs spent 29 weeks on the chart for a different group.
The Fourmost spent 29 weeks on the charts with two songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Even before they became synonymous with chart-topping, Paul and John weren’t afraid to give away songs they’d written to other artists. They had the Rolling Stones cover “I Wanna Be Your Man” before the Beatles recorded it. John and Paul abandoned the song That Means a Lot, turned it over to American singer PJ Proby, and he turned it into a modest success.
The Fourmost achieved far more than mediocre success with the two recorded Lennon McCartney songs. Paul and John gave away two of The Fourmost’s most successful songs.
A breezy slice of Beatles-esque pop with drummer Dave Lovelady copying Ringo Starr with outlandish (for the time) fills, “Hello Little Girl” charted in the UK in September and peaked at number 9 at the end of October Songs by the Fab Four was born in 1995 anthology 1. There’s little difference between the two versions, except that one was a top 10 hit for the Fourmost and the other sat in the vault for more than 30 years.
“I’m in Love” wasn’t as successful, but it entered the charts on New Year’s Day 1964, peaking at number 17. The tune sounds like an early-era Beatles song, but it’s one they never seem to try have.
With The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein also handling The Fourmost’s affairs, the other Merseyside band had access to songs written by John and Paul. The recording of two of their songs proved to be a recipe for success.
“Hello Little Girl” spent 17 weeks on the charts and “I’m in Love” ran for 12 weeks, according to the Official Charts Company. The combined 29 weeks nearly equaled The Fourmost’s four other top-grossing singles, which spent a combined 35 weeks on the chart.
John and Paul proved a musician wrong when he covered one of their songs after he called them jerks
John and Paul wrote hits for other artists and the Beatles in their early songwriting days. They have proven their craftsmanship many times over the years. Still, Kenny Lynch, a musician who toured with them early in the Fab Four’s career, called them idiots as they struggled on “From Me to You.”
The budding songwriters proved Lynch wrong in the end. He set a record among musicians when he covered the John and Paul song “Misery” despite his negative opinion of the duo. His 1963 version of the song never charted. “Misery” ended on please please me, but the Beatles never released it as a single, although they recorded it for a BBC performance shortly before the debut album’s release. The record was the first of eight studio albums in a row to reach number 1 in England according to the Official Charts Company.
Interestingly, a decade later, Paul began working with Lynch. The actor/musician appeared on the cover of the Wings album band on the run. Lynch’s attempt at success with “Misery” failed, but two John Lennon and Paul McCartney songs gave The Fourmost 29 weeks of chart success in 1963 and 1964.
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