Besame Mucho

Anthology 1 album artworkWritten by: Consuelo Velázquez, Sunny Skylar
Recorded: 6 June 1962
Producers: Ron Richards, George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Released: 21 November 1995

Paul McCartney: vocals, bass
John Lennon: rhythm guitar
George Harrison: lead guitar
Pete Best: drums

Available on:
Anthology 1

The first song recorded at The Beatles’ EMI audition in June 1962, Besame Mucho was a part of the group’s live set during their Hamburg days.

Download on iTunes

The romantic ballad was written in 1940 by Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez, and first recorded by Emilio Tuero. The title translates as ‘kiss me a lot’.

The words were translated by American composer and singer Sunny Skylar. It reached audiences worldwide from 1944, and became an international hit following its appearance in the film Follow The Boys.

The cost of records was high for budding musicians in the 1950s and early 60s, and The Beatles plundered the music collections of friends, relatives and associates wherever they could. The Coasters’ 1960 version of Besame Mucho fell into the hands of Paul McCartney, and quickly became a favourite.

I had this very diverse little record collection from which I was culling material. I remember I had the Coasters’ Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart, which was on the b-side of Yakety Yak. I can look back on these records and see what it was I liked. With Besame Mucho by the Coasters, it’s a minor song and it changes to a major, and where it changes to a major is such a big moment musically. That major change attracted me so much.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

The song entered The Beatles’ repertoire in 1961, remaining in it for around a year. It was often hammed up by McCartney, who adopted a suitable Latino vocal style in a light-hearted display of his singing versatility.

The group first recorded Besame Mucho at their ill-fated Decca audition on 1 January 1962; a live version was taped 12 months later on New Year’s Eve at Hamburg’s Star-Club. It left their set shortly afterwards.

The Beatles recorded an unknown number of takes of Besame Mucho at their first EMI session on 6 June 1962, with Pete Best on drums. The recording was rediscovered in the 1980s, having previously been thought destroyed, and was released in 1995 on Anthology 1.

I think George Martin felt we were raw and rough but that we had some quality that was interesting. We did Love Me Do, PS I Love You, Ask Me Why, Besame Mucho and Your Feet’s Too Big, among others.
George Harrison
Anthology

The group recorded Besame Mucho once more in their career. On 29 January 1969 they swiftly ran through the song during the Get Back sessions, along with two Buddy Holly songs: Not Fade Away and Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues. Besame Mucho was included in the Let It Be film.

Lyrics

Cha-cha boom!

Besame, besame mucho
Each time I bring you a kiss
I hear music divine
So besame, besame mucho
I’ll love you for ever
Say that you’ll always be mine
Cha-cha boom!

Dearest one, if you should leave me
Then each little dream will take wings
And my life would be through
Oh besame, besame mucho
Ooh love me for ever
Make all my dreams come true.

Oh this joy is something new
My arms are holding you
I never knew this thrill before
Who ever thought I’d be
Holding you close to me
Whispering it’s you I adore

Yes, so dearest one, if you should leave me
Then each little dream will take wings
And my life would be through
Oh, so besame, besame mucho
Yeah I’ll love you for ever
Make all my dreams come true

Ooh, this joy is something new
My arms are holding you
Never knew this thrill before
Who ever thought I’d be
Holding you close to me
Whispering it’s you I adore

Oh, so dearest one, if you should leave me
Then each little dream will take wings
And my life would be through
Oh, so besame, besame mucho
And I’ll love you for ever
Make all my dreams come true
Ooh, love me for ever
Make all my dreams come true
Ooh, love me for ever
Make all my dreams come true

5 responses on “Besame Mucho

  1. Matt

    Actually, according to a discography I read once (can’t remember the title at the moment), the group recorded Besame Mucho a few times during their career, but never felt it was good enough for release.

    I wish they’d chosen a different recording to use on Anthology; I’ve heard the version from the Star Club and this one has none of the energy that made that one good.

    1. GeorgeTSimpson

      Well I don’t know the Star-Club recording but I’ve heard the Decca recording and I think the Decca version is much better because it features harmony vocals by Lennon and Harrison and that make it sound much fuller.

      1. Bill

        The Decca & Star Club versions are similar. The Star Club version has more balls to it. God, I wish that Star Club stuff was in better sound quality, there’s some really killer stuff on there…

Leave a reply