The Paul McCartney Project

Leave My Kitten Alone

Album This song officially appears on the Anthology 1 Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1995

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions


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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Leave My Kitten Alone” is a 1959 R&B hit, written by Little Willie John, James McDougal and Titus Turner, first recorded by Little Willie John, and covered in 1960 by Johnny Preston. The song is also the 22nd song on the second disc to the Beatles’ Anthology 1. The song follows the 24-bar blues format.

Little Willie John and Johnny Preston

The original version of the song, by Little Willie John, on King Records, reached # 13 on the Billboard R&B chart and # 60 on the pop chart on its first release in 1959. The cover version by Johnny Preston reached # 73 on the pop chart in early 1961, at which point the Little Willie John version was re-issued and again rose to the # 60 position. Neither version reached the UK Singles Chart.

Over the intervening decades, numerous covers have been recorded, in different musical genres, sometimes with altered lyrics, by artists including Solomon Burke, Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs, Roky Erickson, The Syndicats featuring Steve Howe, The Sonics, et al.

The Beatles

On August 14, 1964, during the recording sessions for Beatles for Sale, The Beatles recorded five takes of “Leave My Kitten Alone“, adding overdubs to the last take. The song was never mixed and was not included on Beatles for Sale. Take 5 was marked as the best take (only takes 4 and 5 exist, 4 being a false start).

The song was remixed in 1982 by the late John Barrett in preparation for The Beatles at Abbey Road, a video presentation shown as part of a public tour of the Abbey Road Studios the following year.(RM ’82). The song was again remixed in 1984 by Geoff Emerick in preparation for inclusion on the unreleased Sessions project (RM/RS ’84). In 1994 George Martin remixed the song yet again, this time for the Anthology project (RM/RS ’94); it finally saw official release on the project’s first volume the following year. […]

Paul McCartney, in “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions“, by Mark Lewisohn:

That was a Johnny Preston song that we’d rehearsed in Liverpool along with all our Cavern stuff and it was just in our repertoire. It wasn’t a big one that we used to do, we’d pull it out of the hat occasionally, and we also recorded it.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mock stereo Jul 1984 at AIR Studios, Montserrat.
    CD: Apple CDP 8 34445 2 Anthology 1 1995.

This unreleased song was on the list for a proposed album in 1981, proposed for a Christmas single in 1982, included in the Abbey Road Studio show in 1983, and mixed for the unreleased Sessions album in 1984.

The mix is mock stereo made from 4 track! The treble end of the rhythm track, essentially the tambourine sound, was enhanced and is heard thrown rapidly between far left and far right, while the rest of that track, and all of the other three, are heard mixed into the center.

Last updated on December 3, 2016

Lyrics

You better leave my kitten all alone
You better leave my kitten all alone
Well I told you, big fat bulldog
You’d better leave her alone

You better leave my kitten all alone
You better leave my kitten all alone
This dog is gonna get you
If you don’t leave her alone

Well Mr Dog I’m gonna hit you
On the top of your head
That child is gonna miss you
You gonna wish that you were dead
You better leave my kitten all alone
Well I told you, big fat bulldog
You’d better leave her alone

Well Mr Dog I’m gonna hit you
On the top of your head
That child is gonna miss you
You gonna wish that you was dead
If you don’t leave my kitten all alone, oh yeah
Well I told you, big fat bulldog
You’d better leave her alone

Hey hey
You better leave, you better leave
You better leave
Yeah, you better leave
You better leave, oh you got to leave
Hey hey
Well I told you big fat bulldog

Officially appears on


Anthology 1

Official album • Released in 1995

2:57 • OuttakeA • Take 5. It was at ten o'clock, when Abbey Road regulations stated that sessions were supposed to end, that the Beatles began Leave My Kitten Alone. This had been a 1959 R&B hit for Little Willie John, covered in 1960 by Johnny Preston, both versions entering the Billboard US Hot 100 in January 1961. The Beatles taped five takes of Leave My Kitten Alone before deciding that the last was the best and so adding overdubs ... but that's where they left it. The recording was never mixed down for release on Beatles For Sale and was destined to remain unissued for more than 30 years - until now.

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Piano
Ringo Starr :
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon :
Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Producer
Norman Smith :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Aug 14, 1964
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Bootlegs


Complete Controlroom Monitor Mixes - Volume 1

Unofficial album

3:08 • Studio version


Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 2 (1964-1965)

Unofficial album • Released in 1989

2:50 • Outtake • Take 5


Beatles For Sale - Studio Sessions - Back To Basics

Unofficial album • Released in 2011

0:05 • Alternate take • Mono • Take 4

Session Recording:
Aug 14, 1964
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Beatles For Sale - Studio Sessions - Back To Basics

Unofficial album • Released in 2011

2:50 • Alternate take • Mono • Take 5

Session Recording:
Aug 14, 1964
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Beatles For Sale - Studio Sessions - Back To Basics

Unofficial album • Released in 2011

2:58 • Alternate take • Stereo • RS from Take 5 version 1 - Fake Stereo


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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