I Want to Hold Your Hand Introduction
The story of how "Beatlemania" took hold is almost as unlikely as the phenomenon itself. (Hint: a key role was played by an ordinary schoolgirl in suburban Washington, D.C. Seriously.) And the story of the Beatles conquest of America is the story of "I Want to Hold Your Hand," the Beatles' debut American single and the song that broke them from an obscure British quartet into becoming the biggest band ever, anywhere.
About the Song
|Artist||The Beatles||Musician(s)||John Lennon (vocals, rhythm guitar, handclaps), Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, handclaps), George Harrison (lead guitar, handclaps), Ringo Starr (drums, handclaps).|
|Album||"I Want to Hold Your Hand" (single)|
|Year||1963 (UK), 1964 (US)|
|Label||Parlophone (UK), Capitol Records (US)|
|Writer(s)||John Lennon and Paul McCartney|
Learn to play: Chords, Guitar Pro Tablature
Buy this song: iTunes
|Try Listen and Learn (BETA)|
That's a pretty good description of Beatlemania, one of the signal moments of the history of rock n' roll. It's also a pretty good description of the Columbian Exchange, one of the defining events in the entire history of the world. A disease like smallpox was a big deal in Europe, but when it arrived in America among people who'd never seen it before or built up any immunities to it, it erupted to an almost unimaginable scale, taking down entire populations. Kinda like Beatlemania… only way, way, way less fun to dance to. And a smallpox pandemic definitely didn't make you wanna hold anybody's hand.
On the ChartsThe single was #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 for 7 weeks in early 1964.
The single hit #1 in the UK as well; in Britain, it was The Beatles' fourth #1 hit in 1963.
"I Want To Hold Your Hand" had one million advance orders before it even got released as a single in the United States in late December 1963.
The RIAA, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Scholastic Press all dubbed the song one of the "Songs of the Century."
Mojo's "100 Records That Changed the World" ranks "I Want To Hold Your Hand" #2 on that list.