Live At The BBC album artworkWritten by: Kesler-Feathers
Recorded: 1 May 1964
Producer: Terry Henebery

Released: 30 November 1994 (UK), 5 December 1994 (US)

Available on:
Live At The BBC

Personnel

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

The Beatles recorded a version of Elvis Presley’s ‘I Forgot To Remember To Forget’ for the BBC radio show From Us To You in 1964.

The song was written by Stan Kesler and Charlie Feathers. It was recorded by Presley in July 1955 at Sun Studio, Memphis, with Scotty Moore on guitar and Bill Black on bass. It was released as a single the following month, and helped establish Presley as a country music star.

The Beatles used many of their radio appearances to perform cover versions of songs from their pre-EMI live shows. This was, in part, due to the great number of radio shows recorded – John Lennon and Paul McCartney simply didn’t have enough original material, and risked repeating their hits to an unacceptable degree.

The BBC recordings also gave The Beatles ample opportunity to try out songs which could potentially become album tracks, although there was also a sense that they enjoyed playing golden oldies and personal favourites for their own amusement.

‘I Forgot To Remember To Forget’ marked the last time The Beatles performed a song for the BBC which wasn’t recorded for EMI. This made it noteworthy enough for inclusion on the Live At The BBC collection in 1994, even if the fidelity of the surviving recording was less than perfect.

Also of interest is the double-time rhythmic changes in the song’s bridges. The Beatles became more experimental in their arrangements in 1964, and on 1 March recorded ‘I Call Your Name’ at Abbey Road. That song was notable for its ska-influenced middle section, a trick repeated by the group two months later while recording ‘I Forgot To Remember To Forget’.

In the studio

The Beatles performed ‘I Forgot To Remember To Forget’ at the BBC Paris Studio, London on 1 May 1964, with George Harrison on lead vocals.

The song was recorded for the From Us To You radio show. The episode was first broadcast on 18 May.

Lyrics

I forgot to remember to forget her
I can’t seem to get her off my mind
I thought I’d never miss her
But I’ve found out somehow
I think about her almost all the time

Well the day she went away
I made myself a promise
That I’d soon forget we’d ever met
But something sure is wrong
’Cause I’m so blue and lonely
I forgot to remember to forget

Well the day she went away
I made myself a promise
That I’d soon forget we’d ever met
But something sure is wrong
’Cause I’m so blue and lonely
I forgot to remember to forget