Can't Buy Me Love

Album: A Hard Day's Night (1964)
Charted: 1 1
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  • Paul McCartney wrote this song. Despite rumors to the contrary, he claimed it was not about a prostitute. Rather, the song makes a simple yet profound statement on what matters most in life. The word "Love" appeared in many Beatles lyrics, especially in their early songs.
  • This song was recorded on January 29, 1964 in Paris, although when The Beatles returned to Britain, George Harrison decided to overdub another lead guitar part in London. The original solo is still audible in the background. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mark - Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • This was one of the Beatles songs that held the top five positions on the US chart on April 4, 1964. The others were: "Twist and Shout," "She Loves You," "I Want To Hold Your Hand," "Please, Please Me." The week after it hit #1 in the US, The Beatles had 14 songs in the Billboard Hot 100. It's also the first song to hit #1 from outside the Top 20, something that didn't happen again until Billboard began using its "Soundscan" method of recording sales. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • This was one of the first pop songs to start with the chorus rather than a verse. That was producer George Martin's idea.
  • Paul McCartney sang the lead vocal. It was one of the first Beatles songs where only one member of the group sang.
  • "Can't Buy Me Love" was used as the title for a popcorn movie starring Patrick Dempsey in 1987. In the film, his character goes from "totally geek to totally chic" by paying a popular girl to pretend they are dating. Gerardo, who sang "Rico Suave," was also in the movie.
  • This was used in the first Beatles movie, A Hard Day's Night, which was re-released in 2000. It was used to replace "I'll Cry Instead," which the film's director Dick Lester thought was an inappropriate song to use when the Beatles were to break out and have some fun.
  • This replaced "Roll Over Beethoven"/"Please Mr. Postman" as the single to be released by Capitol Records USA in March 1964.
  • In the first two takes of this song, John and George sang back up harmonies. Take four is the one they used. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adrian - Wilmington, DE
  • The jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald recorded this shortly after The Beatles version came out. Her version reached #34 in the UK, making her the first artist to chart with a Beatles cover ("I Wanna Be Your Man" was a hit for The Rolling Stones in 1963, but theirs was released before The Beatles version).
  • Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel perform part of this song in the 2008 movie Yes Man.

Comments: 47

  • Tomhartman from FlThis is the first song by them that used the newly acquired Rickenbacker 12 string, later used that same day on "You Can't Do That." After George replayed his solo done in Paris, he overdubbed the Rick 12 on just the chorus sections, which is the jangly sound we've heard forever on this track. He was excited to use it and this song was the first for him.
  • Jennifur Sun from Ramonazero go this song on google and you will probably find a place that says song chords ect,maybe that will help. also there are Beatle song books as well
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1964 {April 11th} the Beatles had fourteen records on the Billboard Hot Top 100 chart...
    #1. "Can't Buy Me Love"
    #2. "Twist and Shout"
    #4. "She Loves You"
    #7. "I Want To Hold Your Hand"
    #9. "Please Please Me"
    #14. "Do You Want To Know A Secret"
    #38. "I Saw Her Standing There"
    #48. "You Can't Do That"
    #50. "All My Loving"
    #52. "From Me to You"
    #61. "Thank You Girl"
    #74. "There's A Place"
    #78. "Roll Over Beethoven"
    #81. "Love Me Do."
    Plus at #39 was "We Love You, Beatles" by The Carefrees...
    And they were also at #1 and #2 on Billboard's Top LPs chart with "Meet the Beatles" and "Introducing the Beatles" respectfully.
  • Trebor from TexasIn spite of JOHAN's great disappointment in this song, Can't Buy Me Love became a number 1 hit!!!! Talk about revenge!
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaI liked the tune. Yes it was in contrast to the song Money (that's what I want) have a feeling (and weather or not they gave their ok to the stuff peddled to get their names out their and to help make they rich) have a feeling that by the time this was written, they had found out what a prison fame could be, and how hard it was to differentiate between someone loving you for YOU or for your FAME and MONEY.
  • Johan Cavalli from SwedenCan't Buy Me Love meant the first disappointment for me. After the singles 1963 Please Please Me, From Me to You, She Loves You and I Want to Hold Your Hand, with much Lennon music, they released this! The former songs has an i n c r e a s i n g or c o n t i n o u l y tension! The A-bit in McCartney's Can't Buy Me Love has n o t e n s i o n at all! But the refrain is good (even though the words don't fit the melody). McCartney is singing alone. A kind of revenge?
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 20th 1964, the Beatles performed "Can't Buy Me Love" on the British TV program 'Ready Steady Go!; it was the quartet's first appearance on the show...
    Two days later on March 22nd, 1964 the song would entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at #27, the following week it jumped all the way up to #1 {See 3rd post below}...
    And on the day it entered the Top 100 they held the top four positions* on the Top 100; #1. She Loves You", #2. I Want to Hold Your Hand, #3. Twist & Shout", and at #4. Please Please Me"...
    R.I.P. John & George...
    * The highest charting American act were the Four Seasons, their "Dawn (Go Away)" was at #5.
  • Zero from The Abyss, NjDoes anyone know what time signature this song is in? I'm pretty sure it's 8/8.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 23rd 1964, Ella Fitzgerald's covered version of "Can't Buy Me Love" entered the United Kingdom's charts, thus becoming the first American artist to make the UK chart with a covered version of a Beatle song...
    It eventually peaked at #34...
    And on this week in 1964 when Ella's version entered the UK chart, the Beatles' original version was at #23 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    R.I.P. John, George, and Ms. Fitzgerald (1917 - 1996).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny"Can't Buy Me Love" peaked at #1 on March 29th, 1964; the week before it was at position #27, and after five weeks at #1 it fell to #5...
    It had only spent 10 total weeks on the Top 100; and for 5 of those weeks was at #1.
  • Lada from Zelenograd , Russia FederationLove this song. The first Beatles song that I really liked. One of my favorites.
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjPossibly the first double-tracked guitar solo, a technique later popularized by Tony Iommi, among others.
  • Jim from West Palm Beach, FlThe fact that it was filmed in B/W gives it that avant garde Felini look. I sure hope they never do a colorized version.
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlGeez...I just hear the pickup notes and I'm singin' along! Absolutely love this song! It's sooo calming when you're stressed to the max!!!
  • George from Belleville, NjA great mainstream song with a high energy pop sound.A very popular song.Have many memories of listening to this song on the old phonograph record player in my childhood in the 60's.
  • Laurent from Manama, BahrainProbably one of the very few songs I enjoy from THe Beatles. Dutch jazz singer Rita Reyes recorded a fantastic version of this song.
  • Tara from Petoskey, MiAlthough I worship the Beatles, and they are in my top 3 of favorite bands, I just can't seem to ejnoy this song. I seem to skip it if it plays on my CD or on the radio.
  • K from Nowhere, OnThis song's ID is 1. You can see it on the address bar. I decided to look for the last song. #18071 is Gabriel's Message by Sting. Are you glad The Beatles were #1 and not Sting?
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxChloe and Leah: You have to remember that Marketing wasn't as Mass or Media based as it is today. During the 60s some DJs weren't even playing Beatles music at how else would you know about the Beatles? The lunchboxes, dolls and such were a brilliant plan to put the Beatles in the public eye amidst the social stiffling efforts such as record burnings in the Bible Belt...obviously it worked cause here now 40+ years later we still talke about them...
    So if the Beatles were going to stay around they had to be competative on the same level as their American counterparts who had their own dolls and luchboxes and for potential fans who had possibly never heard of the Beatles until they saw a lunchbox and thought - who are those guys?
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Moi agree with you leah, but that stuff wasnt neccessarily their idea. give them a little credit- i really dont think they got into the business for the money, myself. this song reminds me of my mom. im not sure why, but it does.
  • Shane from Columbus, OhI saw Paul perform this song at the Columbus stop during his Back in the U.S. Tour, and it was one of the many Beatles tunes I recognized.
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxThe Beatles produced, I believe, 16 love songs as part of a contractual obligation to their recording lable when they first signed. When the contract ended they were free to create their own style of music - while love was often a theme - it was not the main theme since John loathed writing cheesy love songs and wanted to write more edgy rock 'n roll.
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, Cathis song has a"sandy" sound to it, partly because it may have been recorded elsewhere,but also beacause of the amplified acoustic guitars,
    and ringo's slush cymbal!
  • Olivia from Chicago, Ili love this song, especially the scene from Hard Day's Night
  • Chuck from La, Caokay....i was 13 when the beatles exploded on the scene. it was through WLS in chicago that we heard the beatles blast-off to the stars on their way to greatestness.. and there i was singing outloud CAN PUPPY LOOOOOOVE, CAN PUPPY LOOOOVE.......... YEAH......I LOVED THE BEATLES. (it wasn't till year's later that i lernt it was......can't buy me love)
  • Leah from Pittsfield, MaI like the beatles, and although i like their later stuff better than the pop stuff, i like both. This song though.....I can't enjoy because of the lyrics, knowing how exploited the beatles allowed themselves to get (lunchboxes and sneakers and commercials, please.) The lyrics say A)im not too fond of money B) implies they dont got much. It's so fake
  • Andrea from Sønderborg, DenmarkI don't know if anybody else have written this, but have come Paul says that you "can't buy him love", when he claims that "fun is the one thing that money can't buy" in She's Leaving Home? Great song, anyway.
  • Paul Bert Bilog from Los Angeles, Camy early favorite beatles song and still the fastest selling single of all time...
    so long the beatles........
  • Krissy from Boston, MaGood song. John does the scream before the guitar solo.
  • Michael from Oxford, EnglandGlad to see it's not just me. Talk about your non-sequiturs, WHAT IS A BLOOD CURDLING SHRIEK DOING IN THE MIDDLE OF A HAPPY SONG? (cf. "A Hard Day's Night")
  • Michael from Oxford, EnglandI hate the scream before the guitar solo it sounds like it's sped up. Who does that by the way?
  • Calum from Edinburgh, Scotland@ zach from philly - it was easy to write a cool part because there weren't that many riffs around? Some would say that might make it harder - you're working without much reference. With hindsight, it looks like it was easy to come up with those riffs. But I really don't think it is!
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaWow, Mike! I assume you either did or help create songfacts. This site rocks, it's probably the site I go on most (Besides for maybe YTMND). This is not about a prostitute.
  • Zach from Philly, Ksi guess,im mean he wasnt that great at guitar, back in the sixties there werent that many riffs that were already used so it was easy to write a cool part, but anyways this is one of the beatles best earlier songs
  • Sylvia from London, England I play electric guitar AND acoustic, and I can't read music either! All the riffs I know are Beatles riffs because I loove George so much, haha. We have a lot in common!!
  • Sylvia from London, England Yes! George WAS a guitar genious!!! There are some 'Greatest Guitarists of All Time' lists, like Rolling Stone's lists and whatnot, that totally underestimate him! One list said he was #21, and it said that Jack White of the White Stripes was #18 or so! I was so mad when I saw this. George is SO much cooler than any of those people!
  • Lee from Clearwater, FlCould George come up with some great guitar licks, or what? His contribution to this like some of the other songs,I saw her standing there, and Til there was you, is pure genious. And the man couldnt read music! It all just originated in his head. He just knew what would sound right. He heard it before he wrote it. Talk about a gift.
  • Kalissa from New York City, NyI love the part in the movie (A Hard Day's Night)
    when they break free and run down the fire escape. That well as the song is forever etched into my mind.
    Great song!
  • Mike from Mountlake Terrace, Wa. U.s.aThe beloved administrator:
    "Some of my friends loved the movie Can't Buy Me Love so much, they had a theme party where you were encouraged to dress up like your favorite character from the film. As we discussed the cultural significance of Patrick Dempsey over our favorite beverages, I kept spouting interesting tidbits about the song - like how it was one of the 5 Beatles songs to hold the top 5 chart positions at once, and how it was a rare song that started with the chorus. After enjoying more of my favorite beverages and ripping off my sleaves to complete the Patrick Dempsey look, I started thinking about putting this song information into some kind of database. So I put Filemaker on my Powerbook 2400 and started entering in song information. Of course, the first song had to be the one that gave me the idea in the first place.

    I was a disc jockey, and the database was a wonderful show prep device, allowing me to access song information without digging through magazines and reference guides. Listeners loved hearing about the songs, so I put the database on line so anyone could enjoy it and contribute. A lot of people did, and we have Patrick Dempsey to thank".

    Suffice to say, this song is the corner-stone of Songfacts.
  • Ben from Cheverly, MdThis one passes the test for a good song.
  • Barry from New York, NcSome sources credit Lennon as a co-author but this song is most likely a McCartney solo composition.
  • Ali from East Lansing, MiCheck out the URL: this is (from all probability) the first song the Songfacts team decided to tackle. I wonder if this holds any significance.
  • Laura from Santa Fe, NmA pretty big contrast to Money(that's what I want)lol. Awesome song!
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScYeah! I like the anthology version too!
  • Marina from Seattle, WaI personally prefer the version on the Anthology albums, with the harmonies. It's much, much better.
  • Elliott from Douglassville, PaThis is the only song (not counting the Lennon demos used for "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love" - they were recorded in New York City) The Beatles recorded outside of the United Kingdom. It was recorded at EMI's Pathe Marconi studios in Paris, France, while they were on tour.
  • Mike from Mountlake Terrace, Washington - UsaThe very first song entered into the Songfacts database.
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