Beatles For Sale album artworkWritten by: Perkins
Recorded: 18 October 1964
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Released: 4 December 1964 (UK), 15 December 1964 (US)

Available on:
Beatles For Sale
Anthology 2
Live At The BBC

Personnel

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

Sung by George Harrison as the final track on the Beatles For Sale album, ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’ was originally recorded by Carl Perkins in 1957.

The Beatles recorded two other Perkins songs for EMI – ‘Honey Don’t’ and ‘Matchbox’, both sung by Ringo Starr. They also played a number of his songs live: John Lennon sang ‘Tennessee’, ‘Bopping The Blues’, ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, and early versions of ‘Honey Don’t’; Paul McCartney performed ‘Sure To Fall (In Love With You)’ and duetted with Lennon on ‘Lend Me Your Comb’.

George Harrison, meanwhile, was arguably the group’s biggest Perkins fan. His early guitar solos deployed many of the same licks, and he had sung ‘Your True Love’ and ‘Glad All Over’, as well as ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’.

Additionally, during The Beatles’ first tour of Scotland in 1960, as the backing band for Johnny Gentle, they all decided to adopt pseudonyms. George became briefly known as Carl Harrison, after his idol.

‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’ returned to The Beatles’ live set in 1965, following the release of Beatles For Sale. A version recorded at Shea Stadium on 15 August was included on Anthology 2.

BBC recordings

The Beatles performed ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’ on five occasions for BBC radio. The first, for Pop Go The Beatles, was recorded on 24 May 1963 and broadcast on 4 June.

On the show They also played versions of ‘From Me To You’, ‘Do You Want To Know A Secret’, ‘Misery’, ‘You Really Got A Hold On Me’, and ‘The Hippy Hippy Shake’. The latter two songs were included on the 2013 digital collection Bootleg Recordings 1963.

The second BBC version of ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’ was for Saturday Club. It was recorded on 31 March 1964 and broadcast on 4 April.

In addition to the Carl Perkins song, The Beatles performed ‘I Call Your Name’, ‘I Got A Woman’, ‘You Can’t Do That’, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, ‘Sure To Fall (In Love With You)’, and ‘Long Tall Sally’. ‘I Got A Woman’ was released in 2013 on the album On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2.

The next time The Beatles recorded ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’ was on 17 November 1964 for Top Gear. The show was broadcast on 26 November.

During the show the band also played ‘I’m A Loser’, ‘Honey Don’t’, ‘She’s A Woman’, ‘I’ll Follow The Sun’, and ‘I Feel Fine’. ‘I Feel Fine’ was included on 1994’s Live At The BBC, while ‘Honey Don’t’, ‘I’ll Follow The Sun’, and an outtake version of ‘I Feel Fine’ were all released on On Air.

On 17 November they also recorded versions of ‘I’m A Loser’, ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’, ‘I Feel Fine’, and ‘She’s A Woman’. Although recorded for Top Gear, they were first broadcast on the 26 December edition of Saturday Club. This version of ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’ was included on Live At The BBC.

The Beatles’ fifth and final BBC recording of the song was made on 26 May 1965 for the show The Beatles (Invite You To Take A Ticket To Ride). It was first broadcast on 7 June.

They also recorded short and long versions of ‘Ticket To Ride’, plus ‘I’m A Loser’, ‘The Night Before’, ‘Honey Don’t’, ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’, and ‘She’s A Woman’. ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’ and the short version of ‘Ticket To Ride’ were released on Live At The BBC.

In the studio

The Beatles recorded ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’ in a single take on 18 October 1964.

For this album we rehearsed only the new ones. Songs like ‘Honey Don’t’ and ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’, we’d played live so often that we only had to get a sound on them and do them.
George Harrison
Anthology

The recording contained a large amount of echo on Harrison’s vocals, which were double tracked to make them sound even fuller. For this, EMI’s engineers used a technique called STEED: single tape echo and echo delay.

The Beatles inserted a short pause between the lines in the first verse, an arrangement borrowed from Perkins’ original recording of ‘Blue Suede Shoes’. The false ending, meanwhile, appears to have been the group’s own invention: a version recorded at Hamburg’s Star-Club in December 1962 features no fewer than four extra instrumental flourishes at the close.

Lyrics

Well they took some honey from a tree
Dressed it up and they called it me

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Woke up last night, at half past four
Fifty women knocking on my door

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Went out last night, I didn’t stay late
‘Fore I got home I had nineteen dates

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Went out last night, I didn’t stay late
‘Fore I got home I had nineteen dates

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Well they took some honey from a tree
Dressed it up and they called it me

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now