Originally intended for the A Hard Day’s Night soundtrack, ‘I’ll Cry Instead’ was replaced with ‘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 VHS reissue.
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.
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’.
Lennon’s 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
The Beatles taped ‘I’ll Cry Instead’ in two parts, Section A and Section B, which were mixed and edited together on 4 June. The first part took six takes to record; the second just two.
Capitol Records released the album Something New in July 1964 in mono and stereo. The mono version contained a longer version of ‘I’ll Cry Instead’ which had a third verse – with identical lyrics to the first – extending the time from 1:48 to 2:09.
The precise reason is unclear. Capitol were using mixes received from EMI in London. When George Martin mixed and edited the song on 4 June, it seems likely that he set aside a version with the third verse to be sent to the US, possibly before he had decided to make the cut. By the time the song was mixed in stereo, on 22 June 1964, the decision to shorten the song had already been made.