I’ll Cry Instead

A Hard Day's Night album artworkWritten by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 1 June 1964
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Released: 10 July 1964 (UK), 26 June 1964 (US)

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

Available on:
A Hard Day’s Night

Originally intended for the A Hard Day’s Night soundtrack, I’ll Cry Instead was replaced by Can’t By Me Love at the request of director Richard Lester. It was restored for an opening collage sequence during the film’s 1986 reissue.

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I wrote that for A Hard Day’s Night, but Dick Lester didn’t even want it. He resurrected Can’t Buy Me Love for that sequence instead. I like the middle eight to that song, though – that’s about all I can say about it.
John Lennon
All We Are Saying, David Sheff

Written by John Lennon, the lyrics for I’ll Cry Instead hint at the misogyny which Lennon would more explicitly reveal in Run For Your Life. His confessions of insecurity, meanwhile, would later be explored in the likes of Help! and You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away.

His wife Cynthia later described such songs as reflecting “the frustration he felt at that time. He was the idol of millions, but the freedom and fun of the early days had gone.”

The music, meanwhile, was influenced by country and western, a genre The Beatles, and in particular Ringo Starr, were fans of.

In the studio

I’ll Cry Instead was recorded on 1 June 1964. During the same afternoon session The Beatles also recorded Matchbox and Slow Down.

The Beatles attempted I’ll Cry Instead in two parts, Section A and Section B, which were edited together on 4 June. The first part took six takes, the second just two.

11 Responses to “I’ll Cry Instead”

    • Joe

      They were edited together on that day, yes. The longer version (normally heard on the US Capitol releases) is still a combination of parts A and B, but with an extra verse left in that wasn’t included in the UK version.

      • Daniel

        I think an extra verse on I’ll Cry Instead is from one of the takes the Beatles recorded. Right, Joe?

  1. Philipp

    Sounds like a precursor of “Run for Your Life” to me. :) I just love how John sings minor thirds (although not just quite! more something like blue notes) over the major chords in the verses.

  2. Daniel

    I wish the early longer version of I’ll Cry Instead which is 2:04 was released in worldwide, especially the United Kingdom.

  3. terr0rgasm

    Ive heard at least 3 versions of I’ll Cry Instead:

    -The short version
    -The long version with no noticable edits. The repeat of the first verse is slightly different than the first time around, therefore not a splice.
    -A long version, but its strikingly obvious they just copied the first verse and tacked it on as a third verse. The splice at 1:15 is obvious.

    Anyone else notice this?

    • Daniel Celano

      I think the original long version was spliced for the film. In fact, only two mixes exist, the original mono long version released in the U.S. and the stereo short version.

  4. clint king

    Lennon sounds great..Harrison’s guitar licks are superb.this album was the best album they made..not sgt pepper


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