The Beatles recorded a retitled version of Larry Williams’ ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzie’ for their US record company Capitol, who released it on the 1965 compilation Beatles VI.
‘Dizzy Miss Lizzie’ had been a part of The Beatles’ live repertoire since their earliest days. It was originally released as a single by Williams in 1958, with ‘Slow Down’ on the b-side.
Although it wasn’t intended for the Help! LP, The Beatles evidently decided their version was good enough to be included. It appeared as the album’s final song, slightly retitled as ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’, as a rock ‘n’ roll finale to follow Paul McCartney’s ‘Yesterday’.
In addition to the Help! version, The Beatles recorded ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’ for the BBC radio show The Beatles (Invite You To Take A Ticket To Ride). It was their final BBC session, and took place at the corporation’s Piccadilly Studios in London on 26 May 1965. The recording can be heard on Live At The BBC.
John Lennon also sang the song at the first Plastic Ono Band concert, at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival on 13 September 1969.
In the studio
The Beatles recorded ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’ and ‘Bad Boy’ on 10 May 1965. Both songs were sung by John Lennon.
In an out-take I heard recently – recording ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’ – John is saying, ‘What’s wrong with that?’ and George Martin says, ‘Erm… it wasn’t exciting enough, John,’ and John mumbles, ‘Bloody hell,’ – that kind of thing was creeping in a bit – ‘It wasn’t exciting enough, eh? Well, you come here and sing it, then!’ I think that’s just the pressure of work. When you’ve been working hard for a long time, you really start to need a break.
The group recorded two takes of the song early in the session, which began at 8pm and ended at 11.30. They then turned their attention to ‘Bad Boy’, before recording a further five takes of ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’.
To the last of these Lennon overdubbed an organ part, and Harrison double-tracked his lead guitar. The songs were mixed in the same session and were released a month later in America.
Harrisons lead guitar is double-tracked and there’s no electric piano in this recording, it is actually a Hammond organ played by Lennon.
“The Beatles are increasingly drawn to the keyboard: in ‘Dizzy’, Lennon plays a Hammond organ, and in ‘Bad Boy’ McCartney overdubs the Pianet.” (Everett, S. 299)