Long Tall Sally EP artwork - United KingdomWritten by: Larry Williams
Recorded: 1, 4 June 1964
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Released: 19 June 1964 (UK), 20 July 1964 (US)

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

Available on:
Past Masters
Live At The BBC

First appearing on The Beatles' Long Tall Sally EP, Slow Down was a cover version of Larry Williams' 1958 song, and was originally the b-side to his hit single Dizzy Miss Lizzy.

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Slow Down had been a part of The Beatles' live repertoire between 1960 and 1962, and the group had stopped playing it by the time they revived it during the A Hard Day's Night sessions.

In the US, the song was released as a single in August 1964, with Matchbox as the b-side. It was also included on the Something New album.

A version of Slow Down, recorded on 16 July 1963 at the BBC Paris Theatre, London, was included on Live At The BBC. Taped for the Pop Go The Beatles programme, it was the group's only BBC recording of a Larry Williams song.

In the studio

The song was taped swiftly in six takes in the afternoon of 1 June 1964. The rhythm track of take three was the best, and onto this was overdubbed a double-tracked Lennon vocals.

Three days later George Martin added a piano part. None of the performers appear to have taken it too seriously, with vocal fluffs (most noticeably during the line "But now you've got a boyfriend down the street"), a somewhat workmanlike guitar solo and generally sloppy playing.

But that's the essence of rock 'n' roll, and Lennon's vocal has enough brio to make the result worth searching out by Beatles fans.

Lyrics

Well, come on pretty baby, won't you walk with me?
Come on, pretty baby, won't you talk with me?
Come on pretty baby, give me one more chance
Try to save our romance

Slow down
Baby, now you're moving way too fast
You gotta gimme little loving gimme little loving
Ow! If you want our love to last

Well, I used to walk you home, baby, after school
Carry your books home, too
But now you've got a boyfriend down the street
Baby what you trying to do?

You better slow down
Baby, now you're moving way too fast
You gotta gimme little loving, gimme little loving
Brrr! If you want our love to last

Well you know that I love you, tell the world I do
Come on, pretty baby, why can't you be true?
I need your loving baby, oh so bad
The best little woman I ever had

Slow down
Baby, now you're moving way too fast
You gotta gimme little loving, gimme little loving
Ow! If you want our love to last