I Wanna Be Your Man (as made famous by The Beatles)

“I Wanna Be Your Man” is a Lennon–McCartney-penned song recorded and released as a single by the Rolling Stones, and then recorded by the Beatles. The song was primarily written by Paul McCartney, and finished by Lennon and McCartney in the corner of a room while Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were talking.[1]

The Beatles’ version was sung by Ringo Starr and appeared on the group’s second UK album, With the Beatles, released 22 November 1963 and on the US release Meet the Beatles!, released on 20 January 1964.[6] It was driven by a heavily tremoloed, open E-chord on a guitar played through a Vox AC30 amplifier. John Lennon was dismissive of the song in 1980, saying:[7]

It was a throwaway. The only two versions of the song were Ringo and the Rolling Stones. That shows how much importance we put on it: We weren’t going to give them anything great, right?

The Beatles also recorded two versions of the song for the BBC.[8] One version was for the Saturday Club, recorded on 7 January 1964 and first broadcast on 15 February. The second version was released on the Live at the BBC collection from the From Us to You show. It was recorded on 28 February and broadcast on 30 March. The Beatles also recorded a version for the Around The Beatles TV show, recorded on 19 April 1964. This version was released on the Anthology 1 collection in 1995.

Bob Dylan recorded a song for Blonde on Blonde (1966) called “I Wanna Be Your Lover” as a “tip of the hat” to the Lennon/McCartney song. It was left off the final album, but was eventually released on the compilation boxed set Biograph (1985).[9]

The song features a heavy Bo Diddley beat. Bo Diddley himself acknowledged this in the song “London Stomp” (album “Hey Good Lookin'”). He sings “Hey, Liverpool, we got the London Stomp” over a “I Wanna Be Your Man” background.

Ringo Starr – double-tracked lead vocals, drums, maracas, tambourine, handclaps
John Lennon – backing vocal, tremolo electric rhythm guitar, screaming, handclaps
Paul McCartney – backing vocal, bass, screaming, handclaps
George Harrison – electric lead guitar, handclaps
George Martin – Hammond organ