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"Slow Down" is a rock and roll song written and performed by Larry Williams. Recorded in 1957, AllMusic writer Stewart Mason describes it as "raucous enough to be punk rock nearly a full two decades before the concept was even in existence."[1] Specialty Records released it as a single in 1958, but only the second-side "Dizzy, Miss Lizzy" reached the record charts.[2] Both songs were later covered by the Beatles.

"Slow Down"
Single by Larry Williams
A-side"Dizzy, Miss Lizzy"
ReleasedMarch 1958
Format78 & 45 rpm record singles
RecordedSeptember 11, 1957
StudioMasters Records, Hollywood, California
GenreRock and roll
Length2:40
LabelSpecialty
Songwriter(s)Larry Williams
Larry Williams singles chronology
"Bony Moronie"
(1957)
"Slow Down"
(1958)
"Hootchy-Koo" / "The Dummy"
(1958)

RecordingEdit

Williams recorded the song at Master Recorders, Hollywood, California, on September 11, 1957.[3] Music journalist Gene Sculatti describes the instrumentation provided by the back-up musicians as "unstoppable, nongimmicky, almost careening out of control with its pounding piano and booting sax, 'Slow Down' is arguably Williams's hippest track".[3] The personnel includes:

The Beatles renditionEdit

"Slow Down"
 
US picture sleeve (reverse)
Single by the Beatles
from the EP Long Tall Sally
A-side"Matchbox"
Released
  • June 19, 1964 (1964-06-19) (UK EP)
  • August 24, 1964 (US single)
Format45 rpm record
RecordedJune 1, 1964
GenreRock and roll
Length2:54
Label
Songwriter(s)Larry Williams
Producer(s)George Martin
The Beatles US singles chronology
"I'll Cry Instead"
(1964)
"Slow Down"
(1964)
"I Feel Fine"
(1964)

"Slow Down" was performed by the Beatles during their early career. In 1964, they recorded a version and Parlophone released it on the Long Tall Sally EP in June in the UK. In July, the song was included on the American album Something New. Capitol Records released it as a single, with "Matchbox" (also from the Long Tall Sally EP) as the A-side.[4] "Slow Down" reached number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is also included on the 1988 Past Masters compilation. A performance specifically recorded for broadcast by the BBC is found on the album Live at the BBC (1994).

In Revolution in the Head, author Ian MacDonald criticized 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. According to MacDonald, the personnel includes:[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Mason, Stewart. "Here's Larry Williams – Album Review". AllMusic. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  2. ^ Billboard (April 28, 1958). "Top 100 Sides". Billboard. Vol. 70 no. 17. p. 32. ISSN 0006-2510.
  3. ^ a b Sculatti, Gene (1989). Larry Williams: Bad Boy (Album notes). Larry Williams. Specialty Records. pp. 2, 6. SPCD 7002.
  4. ^ Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions. New York City: Harmony Books. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-517-57066-1.
  5. ^ MacDonald, Ian (2007). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Third ed.). Chicago: Chicago Review Press. p. 118. ISBN 978-1-55652-733-3.