I’ll Cry Instead

A Hard Day's Night album artworkWritten by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 1 June 1964
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Released: 10 July 1964 (UK), 26 June 1964 (US)

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

Available on:
A Hard Day's Night

Originally intended for the A Hard Day's Night soundtrack, I'll Cry Instead was replaced by 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.

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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.
John Lennon
All We Are Saying, David Sheff

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.

His 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

I'll Cry Instead was recorded on 1 June 1964. During the same afternoon session The Beatles also recorded Matchbox and Slow Down.

The Beatles attempted I'll Cry Instead in two parts, Section A and Section B, which were edited together on 4 June. The first part took six takes, the second just two.

17 responses on “I’ll Cry Instead

    1. Joe Post author

      They were edited together on that day, yes. The longer version (normally heard on the US Capitol releases) is still a combination of parts A and B, but with an extra verse left in that wasn’t included in the UK version.

  1. Philipp

    Sounds like a precursor of “Run for Your Life” to me. 🙂 I just love how John sings minor thirds (although not just quite! more something like blue notes) over the major chords in the verses.

  2. terr0rgasm

    Ive heard at least 3 versions of I’ll Cry Instead:

    -The short version
    -The long version with no noticable edits. The repeat of the first verse is slightly different than the first time around, therefore not a splice.
    -A long version, but its strikingly obvious they just copied the first verse and tacked it on as a third verse. The splice at 1:15 is obvious.

    Anyone else notice this?

    1. Daniel Celano

      I think the original long version was spliced for the film. In fact, only two mixes exist, the original mono long version released in the U.S. and the stereo short version.

  3. Baggio

    I think John should have given this song for Ringo to sing…
    He didn’t sing any song on AHDN and this suits well his style.
    There would be more variety as well given John sings the majority of songs on the album

  4. kenlacouture

    This is my guess on how the two different duration mono versions came to be:

    The authentic mono “long” definitely has a splice, but the repeat of the first verse comes from the “B section” recording. This explains why the repeated verse has a unique performance and why the sound of the mix/balance changes at that verse.

    Lewisohn reports only a single mono remix being created — that on June 4th. How, then, could the US release include the repeated verse, but the UK omits it?

    Lewisohn also reports two identical sets of tape copies of the mono remixes were made on June 9th, which were intended for the US (one copy to Capitol and the other to United Artists).

    My theory is…

    a) The mono remix was originally made with the repeated first verse, and that was the remix that was used for the tape copies sent to the US.

    b) At some point *after* the tape copies had been shipped to the US, the decision was made to delete the repeated verse. This edit was performed on the original mono remix, but could not be done to the tape copies.

    c) The decision to remove the verse was taken before any stereo remixes were created. Thus by the time a stereo remix (or tape copy) went to the US, it was identical to the UK stereo remix (created on June 22).

    What’da’yall think?

  5. Graham Paterson

    Outstanding John Lennon number. Unlike one of the other contributors, I am pleased Lennon sings this himself. The ” chip on my shoulder” etc line points towards themes that would reoccur in John Lennon’s songs on “Beatles For Sale”, “Help!” and “Rubber Soul”. As some one else said particularly “Run For Your Life” off the latter album. Most famously you can point to “Jealous Guy” off the”Imagine” album,( I am talking now about his solo records now), “Scared” a brilliant number off “Walls and Bridges” and one of the best off “Double Fantasy”, “I’m Losing You”. The insecurity theme would come up in particular in his dealings with women. His honesty in writing about this side of himself resulted in some of John Lennon’s best songs. “I’ll Cry Instead” may not have been used in the”A Hard Days Night” film but it helps in making up a batch of great songs for side two of the album.

  6. manteau

    Hello Joe, the “hard day’s night” movie with the “I’ll cry instead” collage at the beginning was re issued in 1982, not 1986, or perhaps you mean the VHS tape was released in 1986, I’ve still got it!

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