Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Don't Bother Me"

"Don't Bother Me" is the first song written by George Harrison to appear on an album by The Beatles. It originally appeared on the group's With the Beatles album in the UK, released in 1963, and on their Meet the Beatles! album in the U.S., released in 1964.


Harrison wrote the song while sick in bed at a hotel room in Bournemouth, England (where The Beatles were playing some shows during the summer of 1963). Harrison never regarded it highly, stating on one occasion, "'It was a fairly crappy song. I forgot all about it completely once it was on the album." He considered it an exercise in whether he could write a song, later saying, "At least it showed me that all I needed to do was keep on writing and then maybe eventually I would write something good." Harrison receives a writing credit for two earlier songs, "In Spite of All the Danger" (Paul McCartney/Harrison) and "Cry for a Shadow" (Harrison/John Lennon). Both were recorded by The Beatles but neither was released officially by the band until 1995's Anthology 1 compilation (see 1995 in music). Because the former was largely a McCartney composition (Harrison received a credit simply for playing the guitar solo) and the latter was an instrumental pastiche of The Shadows, "Don't Bother Me" is considered Harrison's first song by most (including the author himself).

The sullen mood and desolate lyrics--"So go away, leave me alone, don't bother me"--were unusual for The Beatles at the time but would become characteristic for Harrison. The song mostly stays in a minor key and achieves a thick sound through its double-tracked vocal, reverbed guitars, and busy drumming. The elaborate percussion lends the song a Latin rhythm accentuated by its stop-time structure.

"Don't Bother Me" is one of several songs featured in A Hard's Day's Night, during a scene where The Beatles dance at a nightclub while Paul's grandfather gambles elsewhere. At the end of the film, it is noted as a Lennon/McCartney composition rather than a Harrison composition.


* George Harrison — lead guitar, vocal (double-tracked)
* John Lennon — rhythm guitar, tambourine
* Paul McCartney — bass, claves
* Ringo Starr — drums, bongos, loose skinned Arabian bongo

Album: With the Beatles
Released: 22 November 1963
Recorded: 11-12 September 1963
Genre: Rock and roll
Length: 2:29
Label: Parlophone
Writer: Harrison
Producer: George Martin


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