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The Beatles 40 best songs: at 26 “If I fell”


“That’s my first attempt at a ballad proper….It shows that I wrote sentimental love ballads way back when”
– John Lennon (1980)

“People forget that John wrote some nice ballads, people tend to think of him as an acerbic wit and aggressive and abrasive, but he did have a very warm side to him, really, which he didn’t like to show too much in case he got rejected.”
– Paul McCartney

If I Fell”  by The Beatles  first appeared in 1964 on the album A Hard Day’s Night in the United Kingdom and on the North American album Something New. It was mainly written by John Lennon, and credited to Lennon–McCartney. 

Musically, it was one of Lennon’s cleverest songs to date: The harmonic tricks of its strummy, offbeat opening were miles beyond what other bands were doing at the time, and it was “dripping with chords,” as McCartney said. It also showcased some of the Beatles’ finest singing. Lennon and McCartney shared a single microphone for their Everly Brothers-like close harmonies.

“[‘If I Fell’] was the precursor to ‘In My Life,'” Lennon pointed out later. “It has the same chord sequences: D and B minor and E minor, those kind of things. It shows that I wrote sentimental love ballads, silly love songs, way back when.”

– Rolling Stone Magazine

…by the way, Rolling Stone Magazine rate the song at 26 of the hundred best Beatles songs.

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