The Beatles Wiki


The Beatles Wiki
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The Beatles
Genre Rock and roll
Written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King
Released March 22, 1963
Album Please Please Me
Also featured on Introducing...The Beatles
Recorded February 11, 1963
Length 2:23
Label Parlophone
Producer George Martin
Please Please Me guide
Anna (Go to Him)
Introducing...The Beatles guide
Anna (Go to Him)

Chains is a song composed by the husband-and-wife songwriting team Gerry Goffin and Carole King and originally recorded (but not released by) The Everly Brothers. In 1962 it was a hit for Little Eva's backing singers, The Cookies (#17 U.S. Pop, #7 R&B), and later covered by The Beatles.

The Beatles' version[]

The single by the Cookies was a popular cover song for Liverpool bands after its release in November 1962, and was included briefly in the Beatles live sets. They recorded it on February 11, 1963 in four takes (first has been proved the best) for inclusion on their British debut, Please Please Me. Lennon played the introduction on the harmonica. Music critic Ian MacDonald criticized the Beatles' performance, writing that it was "slightly out-of-tune" and "lacked spontaneity". George Harrison sings the lead vocals on the Beatles' version; and, as the fourth track from the group's first album, it represents the first time many fans heard Harrison singing lead on a commercially released song.

They played the song live on a number of BBC radio shows, including Side by Side, Here We Go and Pop Go the Beatles (though none of these performances were included on the 1994 compilation Live at the BBC, it was eventually released on the 2013 compilation On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2).


Cookies' version[]

  • Earl-Jean McCrea: lead vocals
  • Margaret Ross: background vocals
  • Dorothy Jones: background vocals
  • Eva Boyd: background vocals

Beatles' version[]

Engineered by Norman Smith

Personnel per Ian MacDonald