Songfacts®: You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.
A Philadelphia R&B group called The Top Notes originally recorded this in 1961. It was a hit for The Isley Brothers in 1962, which is the version The Beatles emulated. Engineer Norman Smith explained how The Beatles version came about: "Someone suggested they do 'Twist and Shout' with John taking the lead vocal. But by this time all their throats were sore; it was 12 hours since we had started working. John's, in particular, was almost completely gone so we really had to get it right the first time. The Beatles on the studio floor and us in the control room. John sucked a couple more Zubes (a brand of throat lozenges), had a bit of a gargle with milk and away we went."
The Beatles used this to end many of their early live performances. It was always a huge hit when they played it in concert, and was chosen as their opening song at their Shea Stadium performance on August 15, 1965 - the first Rock concert held in a stadium.
John Lennon admitted that he screamed the lyrics. The Beatles had to sing loud when they did countless live shows in their early years.
You can hear McCartney yell "hey" over the very last chord of this song, possibly because it was such a challenge doing the vocals with Lennon suffering from a cold (he was plagued with them his entire life). A lot of people think that the song was recorded once - a one time shot. They actually did two takes, and kept the first one. John was totally knackered, sick as a dog and had stripped off his shirt to let himself sweat it out, but he pulled it off. The next day - February 12, 1963 - The Beatles played two shows, one at the Azena Ballroom in Yorkshire and another at the Astoria Ballroom in Lancashire.
In 1986, this charted again (at #23) when it was used in the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
This was used in the Rodney Dangerfield movie Back To School.
This was the first hit song written by Bert Berns. He went on to write songs for The Drifters, Ben E. King, and Van Morrison. He died of a heart attack in 1967.