Devil In Her Heart

With The Beatles album artworkWritten by: Richard P Drapkin
Recorded: 18 July 1963
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Released: 22 November 1963 (UK), 10 April 1964 (US)

George Harrison: vocals, lead guitar
John Lennon: backing vocals, rhythm guitar
Paul McCartney: backing vocals, bass
Ringo Starr: drums, maracas

Available on:
With The Beatles
On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2

George Harrison took lead vocals on The Beatles’ version of The Donays’ little-known 1962 song – originally Devil In His Heart. It was one of a number of cover versions recorded for With The Beatles.

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The Beatles discovered the song through Brian Epstein‘s NEMS store.

Brian had a policy of buying at least one copy of every record that was released. If it sold, he’d order another one, or five or whatever. Consequently he had records that weren’t hits in Britain, weren’t even hits in America. Before going to a gig we’d meet in the record store, after it had shut, and we’d search the racks like ferrets to see what new ones were there… Devil In Her Heart and Barrett Strong’s Money were records that we’d picked up and played in the shop and thought were interesting.
George Harrison
Anthology

The group took six takes to get Devil In Her Heart right. It was taped on 18 July 1963 – the first session for With The Beatles – in which they also recorded You Really Got A Hold On Me, Money (That’s What I Want) and Till There Was You.

It isn’t hard to see the similarities between the song and Chains on Please Please Me, suggesting that in 1963 Harrison was being groomed for the role of the US teen pop and doo-wop singer, just as McCartney was happy being a balladeer of Broadway and mainstream standards (see A Taste Of Honey and Till There Was You). Both notions were short lived once Beatlemania broke out and the members’ own personalities came to the fore.

Devil In Her Heart was the final girl group song recorded by The Beatles. Their own songwriting matured soon after, and the A Hard Day’s Night album would contain only Lennon-McCartney originals. From then on, when The Beatles covered songs written by others, they tended to be rock ‘n’ roll favourites from their live shows.

Lyrics

She’s got the devil in her heart
But her eyes they tantalise
She’s gonna tear your heart apart
Oh her lips they really thrill me

I’ll take my chances
For romance is
So important to me
She’ll never hurt me
She won’t desert me
She’s an angel sent to me

She’s got the devil in her heart
No, no, this I can’t believe
She’s gonna tear your heart apart
No, no nay will she deceive

I can’t believe that she’ll ever ever go
Not when she hugs and says she loves me so
She’ll never hurt me
She won’t desert me
Listen can’t you see?

She’s got the devil in her heart
Oh, no, no, no, this I can’t believe
She’s gonna tear your heart apart
No no nay will she deceive

Don’t take chances if your romance is
So important to you
She’ll never hurt me
She won’t desert me
She’s an angel sent to me

She’s got the devil in her heart
No, no, no, no this I can’t believe
She’s gonna tear your heart apart
No, no nay will she deceive

She’s got the devil in her heart
No she’s an angel sent to me
She’s got the devil in her heart
No she’s an angel sent to me

9 Responses to “Devil In Her Heart”

  1. Steve

    i noticed something cool about this song…in every verse of this song (the beatles version at least) George Harrison adds a “no” to the line : “no this i cant believe”

    listen to it, its pretty cool and interesting…i think it starts with 2 “no’s” then ends up 4 “no’s” by the end….

    not important but cool i think.

    Reply
  2. carlos

    In the early days George already showed his fine and exquisite guitar playing style. I love how sweet and soft he plays on this song.

    Reply
  3. Schminking of gin

    George was only 20 when he recorded this, probably why his voice changed a bit. If you listen to Dylan songs off his first two albums and then listen to Blonde and Blonde and John Wesley Harding, you can hear his voice matured, notwithstanding stylistic differences.

    Reply
    • Joseph Brush

      George’s voice was changing naturally. Dylan’s voice may have changed between Blonde On Blonde and JWH because he broke his neck in that motorbike accident in 1966.

      Reply
  4. metzgermeister77

    The style of this almost reminds me of one of the ballads Paul liked to cover early on. Really pleasant early song.

    Listening to it while reading to this article, I noticed that George fluffs a bit at 2:04 — he comes in slightly early on his downward run of chords and quickly cuts himself off.

    Reply

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