The Paul McCartney Project

Slow Down

Written by Larry Williams

Album This song officially appears on the Long Tall Sally EP.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1964
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Other Larry Williams songs interpreted by McCartney

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Slow Down” is a 24-bar blues written and performed by Larry Williams. Released as a single in 1958, it was a rhythm and blues hit that influenced the growing Rock & Roll movement of the time. It was released as a 7″ single (45RPM). The A-Side was “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” and the B-Side was “Slow Down”, which were both covered by The Beatles in 1965 and 1964, respectively. […]

The Beatles version

The Beatles covered the song early in their career and eventually recorded a version and released it on their Long Tall Sally EP single in the UK. Not long after, the song was released in the U.S. on its own, as the B-side of 1964’s “Matchbox” single (also a 12-bar blues, from the Long Tall Sally EP), reaching #25 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also included in the 1988 Past Masters compilation. The song likewise appeared on the Capitol album “Something New“. A performance specifically recorded for broadcast by the BBC was released on the album Live at the BBC in 1994.

Ian MacDonald criticised the performance as “one of the Beatles’ least successful rock-and-roll covers“, lacking “bottom, drive and basic cohesion” and stated that “The guitar solo is embarrassing and the sound balance a shambles“. He also pointed out the edit at 1:14 whereupon the piano momentarily disappears and McCartney’s bass becomes inaudible. Starr can likewise be heard to lose time during the song. […]

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 4 Jun 1964.
    UK: Parlophone GEP 8920 (EP) Long Tall Sally 1964, Parlophone PSLP 261 and PCM 1001 Rarities 1978-79.
    US: Capitol 5255 single 1964, Capitol T 2018 Something New 1964.
    CD: EMI EP box set 1991.
  • [b] stereo 22 Jun 1964.
    US: Capitol ST 2018 Something New 1964, Capitol SKBO-11537 Rock and Roll Music 1976.
    UK: Parlophone PCSP 719 Rock and Roll Music 1976.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 90043 2 Past Masters 1 1988.

Stereo [b] has the vocal and piano much louder (or one might say the rest is softer), and a cry “ow” is heard only in [b] just before the guitar at the end.

The vocal has a doubletracking error at what should be “now you got a boyfriend down the street” in verse 2. This is heard less distinctly in mono [a], as if the bad track were mixed down at that point, but it is there, marking it as the same vocal and not different as reported elsewhere. The bad vocal track seems to have “girlfriend” for “boyfriend”– however, on the BBC radio version (11 months earlier than this EMI recording) John sings “now you don’t care a dime for me”, which is possibly what is here too.

Last updated on March 13, 2016

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

Officially appears on


Something New (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:55 • Studio versionA • Mono

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

Session Recording:
Jun 01, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 04, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Long Tall Sally

EP • Released in 1964

3:00 • Studio versionA • Mono

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

Session Recording:
Jun 01, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 04, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Something New (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:55 • Studio versionB • Stereo

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

Session Recording:
Jun 01, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 22, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


Past Masters

Official album • Released in 1988

2:57 • Studio versionB

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

Session Recording:
Jun 01, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 22, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


Live At The BBC

Official live • Released in 1994

2:36 • Radio showL1 • The only BBC recording of a Larry Williams B-side that was broadcast almost a year before its inclusion on the Beatles’ EP ‘Long Tall Sally’.

Concert From "Pop Go The Beatles" in London, United Kingdom on Aug 20, 1963

Bootlegs


The BBC Archives Volume 5

Unofficial album

2:40 • Radio show


The Beatles At The Beeb - Volume 5

Unofficial live • Released in 2003

2:40 • Live

Concert From "Pop Go The Beatles" in London, United Kingdom on Aug 20, 1963


A Hard Day's Night - Studio Sessions - Back To Basics

Unofficial album • Released in 2011

2:58 • Alternate take • - Us Rock N Roll Music Mix (Stereo)

Live performances

“Slow Down” has been played in 1 concerts.

Latest concerts where “Slow Down” has been played


Pop Go The Beatles

Aug 20, 1963 • Part of BBC Sessions


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