The Paul McCartney Project

Three Cool Cats

Written by Jerry LeiberMike Stoller

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


The Decca Audition

Jan 01, 1962

Other Leiber & Stoller songs


Young Blood

Officially appears on Live At The BBC


Kansas City

Officially appears on Beatles For Sale (Mono)


Searchin'

Officially appears on Anthology 1


Some Other Guy

Officially appears on Live At The BBC

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.

Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Three Cool Cats” is a 1958 song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It was originally recorded by The Coasters and released as the B-side of their hit single, “Charlie Brown.

Three Cool Cats” was one of the fifteen songs recorded by The Beatles for their Decca Records audition on New Year’s Day in 1962 in London. The Beatles’ cover version featured George Harrison’s vocals and Pete Best on drums. The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, personally chose this and the fourteen other audition numbers from the band’s Merseyside dance hall and rock club repertoire. The recording was included on the Beatles’ Anthology 1. The group also performed this song several times during the Get Back/Let It Be Sessions of January 1969. None of these have ever been officially released by EMI. […]

From Something Else Reviews:

[…] By 1959, the future Beatles became obsessed with another single: “Three Cool Cats,” the B-side to the Coasters’ “Charlie Brown.” It became a staple of their early stage shows, thus they naturally selected the song for inclusion in their Decca audition. As it turned out, “Three Cool Cats” was one of the true highlights of the Decca tapes.

According to Mark Lewisohn’s Tune In, the period found Harrison, Lennon, and McCartney constantly practicing the three-part harmonies essential to the song’s success. Then known as the Quarrymen, they would perform the track at the Casbah along with then-drummer Pete Best. After enthusiastic audience response, they kept “Three Cool Cats” in their setlists through Hamburg and their eventual return to Liverpool, most famously at the Cavern Club. Fans cheered Harrison’s lead vocals as well as Lennon and McCartney’s backing harmonies, particularly when Lennon would utter the line “Hey man, save one chick for me” in funny voices.

The Beatles’ cover of the Coasters’ “Three Cool Cats” became an obvious choice for the Decca audition. After all, the track always performed well in the clubs, and it showcased their onstage charisma.

The Beatles’ lineup for this track included Harrison on vocals and lead guitar; McCartney on backing vocals and bass; Lennon on backing vocals and rhythm guitar; and Best on drums. Harrison performs a decent guitar solo, but his voice is the star. It suggests that he sang the track with a wink, appreciating the sly lyrics. He enunciates the words, stressing how these “three cool cats” are actually penniless. Still, they try to pick up “three cool chicks” who are amusingly “splitting up a bag of potato chips.

Next comes the dialogue, with John Lennon and Paul McCartney assuming the roles of the other two “cats.” “I want that little chick!” McCartney yells, as Lennon cries out the “save one chick for me” line in bizarre voices. The three Beatles harmonize on the title phrase as well as the “three cool chicks” lines, demonstrating that their endless rehearsals had resulted in tighter vocals. (This technique would reappear in such original Beatles tracks as “Yes It Is,” “I’m a Loser,” and “Baby’s in Black,” among many others.)

Lennon and McCartney may have also been inspired by the song’s “twist ending,” a method they would employ in the Beatles’ “Drive My Car.” The three main characters suffered from the delusion that they were cool; in actuality, George Harrison reveals, “three cool chicks made three fools out of three cool cats.

Unlike other Decca tracks, “Three Cool Cats” features a more confident performance and a glimpse into the Beatles’ early stage shows. They had learned to “mach schau” during their Hamburg days, and their spirited rendition of the Coasters B-side proved they had internalized this lesson. By 1962, the Beatles had learned how to engage audiences with humor and musicianship.

While the Beatles would eventually drop the song from their concert setlists, “Three Cool Cats” remains an early favorite among fans and one of the few standouts from the infamous Decca audition. Judging from the Get Back/Let It Be sessions, the Beatles never lost affection for the track; at one point they broke into a spontaneous slower version of “Three Cool Cats,” as if reminding themselves of their previous camaraderie.

Last updated on December 3, 2016

Lyrics

Three cool cats
Three cool cats
Are up on the corner in a beat up car
Splitting up a nickel candy bar
Talking all about how sharp they are
Those three cool cats

Three cool chicks
Are walking down the street
Swinging their hips
Splitting up a bag of potato chips
And three cool cats did three big flips for
Three cool chicks
Yeah, three cool chicks

Well up popped that first cool cat
He said: man look at that
Man, do you see what I see?
Well I want that middle chick
I want that little chick
Hey man save once chick for me

Well three cool chicks
Three cool chicks

Well they look like angels from up above
And three cool cats really fell in love
But three cool chicks made three fools out of
Those three cool cats
Three cool cats

Well up popped that first cool cat
He said: man look at that
Man, do you see what I see?
Well, now I want that middle chick
I want that little chick
Hey man save once chick for me, yeah

Three cool chicks
Three cool chicks

They look like angels from up above
And three cool cats really fell in love
And three cool chicks made three fools out of
These three cool cats
Three cool cats
Three cool cats
Three cool cats

Officially appears on


Anthology 1

Official album • Released in 1995

2:25 • Studio rehearsalA

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass
John Lennon :
Backing vocals, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison :
Lead guitar, Vocals
Pete Best :
Drums
Mike Smith :
Producer

Session Recording:
Jan 01, 1962
Studio :
Decca Studios

Bootlegs


Lumpy Trousers

Unofficial live

3:13 • Soundcheck


I Hope We Passed The Audition

Unofficial live

2:25 • Studio version


Oobu Joobu Part 9

Unofficial album • Released in 1995

4:04 • Radio show


The Soundcheck Songs Vol. 2

Unofficial album • Released in 1997

3:16 • Soundcheck


A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 3rd 1969 - 1 & 2

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

2:48 • Rehearsal • Jan.03 - D1-36 - Three Cool Cats 3.35

Session Recording:
Jan 03, 1969
Studio :
Twickenham Film Studios, London, UK


Live performances

“Three Cool Cats” has been played in 2 concerts.

Latest concerts where has been played


Pop Go The Beatles

Jul 16, 1963 • Part of BBC Sessions


Here We Go

Jan 25, 1963 • Part of BBC Sessions


Contribute!

Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.