Although released on their second album With The Beatles, ‘Hold Me Tight’ was originally attempted by The Beatles during the mammoth 11 February 1963 session that yielded the bulk of songs for Please Please Me.

That was Paul’s. Maybe I stuck some bits in there – I don’t remember. It was a pretty poor song and I was never really interested in it either way.
John Lennon, 1980
All We Are Saying, David Sheff

‘Hold Me Tight’ was an early Lennon-McCartney original, written at the latter’s home in Forthlin Road, Liverpool, and featured in The Beatles’ live set from 1961 to 1963.

When we first started it was all singles and we were always trying to write singles, That’s why you get lots of these two minute 30 second songs; they all came out the same length. ‘Hold Me Tight’ was a failed attempt at a single which then became an acceptable album filler.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

In the studio

The Beatles recorded 13 takes of ‘Hold Me Tight’ on 11 February 1963, but when it was deemed surplus to requirements the tape was destroyed.

Seven months later they resurrected it for With The Beatles, completing it in nine attempts on 12 September 1963.

The nine takes were numbered 20-29. The album version was an edit of takes 26 and 29; the edit was made by George Martin on 30 September.

I can’t remember much about that one. Certain songs were just ‘work’ songs, you haven’t got much memory of them. That’s one of them.
Paul McCartney
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for Hold Me Tight

The Beatles evidently didn’t rate ‘Hold Me Tight’ too highly, and the fluffed lyrics, lack of bass in the mix and Paul McCartney’s often out-of-tune vocals suggest they didn’t take the recording too seriously either.

That was unfortunate, because the recording – which was varispeeded to raise the key from E to F, adding drive and energy – is generally held to be a solid example of an early ’60s Beatles rocker, with some clever songwriting features thrown in.

The release

‘Hold Me Tight’ was first released on 22 November 1963, as the ninth song on the band’s second UK album With The Beatles.

Its US release followed two months later, on 20 January 1964, where it was the tenth song on the Meet The Beatles! album.

Previous song: ‘Roll Over Beethoven’
Next song: ‘You Really Got A Hold On Me’
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