The Paul McCartney Project

Chains

Written by Gerry GoffinCarole King

Album This song officially appears on the Please Please Me (Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1963
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Other songs written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Chains” is a song composed by the Brill Building husband-and-wife songwriting team Gerry Goffin and Carole King and originally recorded (but not released by) The Everly Brothers. In 1962 it was a hit for Little Eva’s backing singers, The Cookies (#17 U.S. Pop, #7 R&B), and later covered by English rock group The Beatles.

The Beatles’ version

The single by the Cookies was a popular cover song for Liverpool bands after its release in November 1962, and was included briefly in the Beatles’ live sets. They recorded it on February 11, 1963 in four takes (first has been proved to be the best) for inclusion on their British debut, Please Please Me. Lennon played the introduction on harmonica. Music critic Ian MacDonald criticized the Beatles’ performance, writing that it was “slightly out-of-tune” and “lacked spontaneity.” George Harrison sings the lead vocal on the Beatles’ version; and, as the fourth track from the group’s first album, it represents the first time many fans heard Harrison singing lead on a commercially released song.

They played the song live on a number of BBC radio shows, including Side by Side, Here We Go and Pop Go the Beatles (though none of these performances were included on the 1994 compilation Live at the BBC, it was eventually released on the 2013 compilation On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2).

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 25 Feb 1963.
    UK: Parlophone PMC 1202 Please Please Me 1963.
    US: Vee Jay VJLP 1062 Introducing 1963.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46435 2 Please Please Me 1987.
  • [b] stereo 25 Feb 1963.
    UK: Parlophone PCS 3042 Please Please Me 1963.
    US: Vee Jay VJSR 1062 Introducing 1963.
  • [b1] stereo remixed from [b] 1965, by Capitol.
    US: Capitol ST 2309 The Early 1965.
  • [b2] mono made from [b] 1965, by Capitol.
    UK: Capitol T 2309 The Early 1965.

Last updated on February 7, 2016

Lyrics

Chains, my baby's got me locked up in chains
And they ain't the kind that you can see
Whoa, oh, these chains of love got a hold on me, yeah

Chains, well I can't break away from these chains
Can't run around, 'cause I'm not free
Whoa, oh, these chains of love won't let me be, yeah

I wanna tell you, pretty baby
I think you're fine
I'd like to love you
But, darling, I'm imprisoned by these

Chains, my baby's got me locked up in chains
And they ain't the kind that you can see
Oh, oh, these chains of love got a hold on me

Please believe me when I tell you
Your lips are sweet
I'd like to kiss them
But I can't break away from all of these

Chains, my baby's got me locked up in chains
And they ain't the kind that you can see
Whoa, oh, these chains of love got a hold on me, yeah

Chains, chains of love...

Officially appears on


Please Please Me (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1963

2:23 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Harmonica, Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer
A.B. Lincoln:
Second engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 25, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


The Beatles (No. 1)

EP • Released in 1963

2:23 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Harmonica, Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer
A.B. Lincoln:
Second engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 25, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


Please Please Me (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1963

2:23 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Harmonica, Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer
A.B. Lincoln:
Second engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 25, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


The Early Beatles (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:27 • Studio versionB2 • Mono • Mono made from [B]

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Harmonica, Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer
A.B. Lincoln:
Second engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 25, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


The Early Beatles (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:27 • Studio versionB2 • Stereo remixed from [B]

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Harmonica, Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer
A.B. Lincoln:
Second engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 25, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


Bootleg Recordings 1963

Official album • Released in 2013

2:22 • LiveL4

Concert From "Pop Go The Beatles" in London, United Kingdom on Sep 17, 1963


Bootleg Recordings 1963

Official album • Released in 2013

2:23 • LiveL2

Concert From "Side By Side" in London, United Kingdom on May 13, 1963


On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2

Official live • Released in 2013

2:15 • Radio showL3 • The original by The Cookies - female backing singers on many other Gerry Goffin and Carole King hits on the Dimension label - was in the US Top 40 when The Beatles first tried "Chains" in a BBC studio in January 1963. George had bought The Cookies’ single at NEMS, the Liverpool record store run by the group’s manager Brian Epstein. This is The Beatles’ third BBC performance of a song included on their LP Please Please Me.

George Harrison:
Vocals
Terry Henebery:
Producer

Concert From "Pop Go The Beatles" in London, United Kingdom on Jun 25, 1963

Bootlegs


The BBC Archives Volume 1

Unofficial live

1:38 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 2

Unofficial album

2:26 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 3

Unofficial album

2:15 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 7

Unofficial album

2:24 • Radio show


The Beatles At The Beeb - Volume 1

Unofficial live • Released in 2003

1:40 • LiveL1

Concert From "Here We Go" in Manchester, United Kingdom on Jan 25, 1963


Live performances

“Chains” has been played in 6 concerts.

Latest concerts where “Chains” has been played


Pop Go The Beatles

Sep 17, 1963 • Part of BBC Sessions


Pop Go The Beatles

Jun 25, 1963 • Part of BBC Sessions


Side By Side

May 13, 1963 • Part of BBC Sessions



Here We Go

Jan 25, 1963 • Part of BBC Sessions



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