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Boys by The Beatles

Album: Please Please MeReleased: 1963
  • This was originally recorded by The Shirelles, a popular female vocal quartet who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. John Lennon was a big fan of the group.
  • Pete Best sang lead on this during live appearances, until he was fired and replaced by Ringo Starr. The song served Ringo well: he often performed it in his post-Beatles career, including on the CBS special The Beatles: The Night That Changed America, which aired on February 9, 2014 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the group's famous Ed Sullivan Show appearance.
  • Please Please Me was recorded in one day to take advantage of The Beatles UK success. They filled the album with the singles they had released along with cover songs that were often part of their live show, which is how this made the cut. The budget for the album was 400 pounds (about $800), with each Beatle receiving a union scale pay of 29 pounds. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • "Boys" was written by the songwriting team of Luther Dixon and Wes Farrell. Dixon was a member of the Brill Building club cranking out songs for "girl groups" at the height of their popularity, and also produced songs for Elvis, B. B. King, The Jackson 5, and other hit acts. Farrell had this song as an early break, but would go on to produce songs for the Partridge Family.
  • Although the lyrics talk specifically about boys kissing girls, not each other, the issue of gender-flipped confusion did come up. McCartney told Rolling Stone in 2005, "If you think about it, here's us doing a song and it was really a girls' song... Or it was a gay song. But we never even listened. It's just a great song. I think that's one of the things about youth - you just don't give a s--t. I love the innocence of those days."
  • In the The Rolling Stone Illustrated History Of Rock & Roll, it is noted: "The Boy is the central mythic figure in the lyrics of girl group rock. He is shadowy: the boy who'll love walking in the rain, the fine fine boy, the leader of the pack, the angel baby. He is irresistible - and almost never macho. He is sensitive. He must be pursued. How to reach him?" In short, just about every girl group of the '60s consistently failed the Bechdel Test, as they were songs by women targeted to women while talking of nothing but men.
  • At the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Ringo Starr and Green Day - who were each inducted at the event - took the stage to perform a rousing rendition of this song.
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Comments: 32

On October 7th 1964, the Beatles performed "Kansas City"/"Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey", "I'm A Loser", and "Boys" on the ABC-TV program 'Shindig!'...
The three songs were aired via video tape, the songs were recorded live at the Granville TV Studios in London, England on October 2nd and 3rd...
The original version of "Boys" was the B-side of the Shirelles' "Will You Love Me Tomorrow"; which peaked at #1 {for 2 weeks} on January 30th, 1961 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
R.I.P. to John and George.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
hey, hey,bop-shu-wop, bop-bop-shu-wop, hey, hey, bop-shu-wop, bop-bop-shu-wopJulia - Milton, Pa
Ringo had a great voice and a very good children songwriterNick - Muskegon, Mi
I love the Beatles. I love Ringo, but even he would say his voice is limited. However, he does a great version of this song with tons of energy and a pretty good scream.David - Youngstown, Oh
@Roy, artists usually cover songs because they like them, not because they can't write.K - Nowhere, On
The Beatles are the only band that i love ALL of their covers. They are just too incredible for words.Freddy - Miami, Fl
This song is all Ringo.Jim - Long Beach, Ca
I generally don't like cover versions of songs (even though the Beatles are my favorite band), simply because they usually show laziness on the writing front. However, a cover can be made great if the artist covering it adds something unique to the song to make it his/her own. This song has Ringo's excellent unique singing. Another example of such a great cover would be Jimi Hendrix's version All Along the Watchtower. His excellent guitar work is what makes it uniquely his own.Roy - Granbania, Ma
AwwW I Love this song! Ringo's voice just melts me! I wish He would sing this for me! haha i just Love him!Bianca Sanchez - Alburquerque, Nm
I love this song. Ringo did a great job sing.Krissy - Boston, Ma
God this song is outstanding. Definitely beats the other gushy songs on this album: Anna go to him, Please Please Me, Mr. Postman. Things like that.Tiffany - San Diego, Ca
I like Ringo's voice- especially on the Beatles For Sale album on the song "Honey Don't." For those of you who haven't heard it, check it out some time!Steven - West Carrollton, Oh
There are people who already think that The Beatles (actually it was mostly John and Paul) were at least bisexual. Have any of you heard the rumors that John and Brian Epstein were "together" at one point in time? Even if any of them were bisexual or gay...I wouldn't mind. It wouldn't take away from the fact that they were a wonderful group of musicians.Loony Moony Lupin - Virginia
I don't really understand why some people say Ringo has limited vocal ability. His voice is great!Ian - Lethbridge, Canada
Ringo sings this song pretty well!!!Jonathan - Johnstown, Pa
If you haven't heard the version on the Anthology 1 cd-set, it's definitely worth checking out! It's really cool!!Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Listen to Ringo on "Good Night", he has a superb voice.Mauricio - Hanford, Ca
People always say that Ringo has a bad voice and that he can't sing, but I think he has a pretty decent voice! He's not bad at all.Luna - London, England
Which version do you guys like better? The one on "Please Please Me" or the on the Beatles anthology. I like the one on the anthology better, but both bersions are cool.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
Yeah George, I like Ringo's voice.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
I know what you mean Lee. I wasn't saying that I thought that. I was just saying that if people only listened to some of the lyrics they could have assumed that.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
Ringo has a very good voice, don't you guys think?George - Itaberaba, Brazil
I never thought for a minute that the beatles were gay. It just seemed weird to be singing about boys. What keeps it from being gay are the lyrics like, My girl says when I kiss her lips. Even taking that in to consideration it just wasnt one of my favorite songs.Lee - Clearwater, Fl
On the cassette version of THE EARLY BEATLES, "Boys" was the opening tune, and for years and years and years, this was how I listened to the American counterpart of PLEASE PLEASE ME album. Since I got PLEASE PLEASE ME on CD (the only way you can get it as of August 2005)I had to start programming the player so "Boys" could still be the opening tune.Barry - New York, Nc
The Beatles sang songs that weren't theirs, like "Twist and Shout", that isn't theirs, but they sang it too...Mauricio - Hanford, Ca
this is a decent song. its ringo doing the lead vocals. Yes a lot of people call the beatles gay but they are just jelouse. anybody that says the beatles suck dont know a damn thing about rock and roll and the major difficulties that goes with it. the beatles did numerous cover tunes. they did berrys roll over beethoven, money, smokey robinsons you really got a hold on me, act naturally, baby its you, act naturally, i could go on and on, and they were excellent at it i should say. they could of done any song from the 50s and made it such a hit people would forget who actually wrote it.Paul - Flagstaff, Az
You know. if this song had been released today, people would be wondering of the Beatles or some of the beatles were gay or not. But it makes sense, since the song wasn't writtne by the Beatles originally, and was recorded by the Sherells originally.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
Yeah. The Beatles did do a lot of covers and they were good too.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
It's Ringo.Dustin - Akron, Oh
Who is singing lead on this Beatles track? Is it Ringo or John? I suspect it is Ringo but not sure.Richard - Louisville, Ky
What a snide remark. I think The Beatles had plenty of their own songs than to record "Soldier Boy." It's funny how The Beatles could make a hit of anyone's songs but when someone does their songs, it's almost laughable.Shirley - Ocean, Nj
The Beatles also recorded another Shirelle's song, Baby It's You. If they had stayed together another year, they no doubt would've gotten around to Soldier Boy.Alan - City, Mi
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