Day 21: “Bad to Me”

When was it recorded?  May 31, 1963 (by the Beatles, anyway)

When was it first released, and on which album?  Jul. 26, 1963 as a Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas single

Who wrote it?  Lennon

Have I heard this song before?  Apparently so

What my research dug up:

“Bad to Me” was written by John Lennon, purportedly while he was on vacation in Spain.  The song was recorded and popularized Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas.  Kramer was another Beat and “British Invasion” singer who was managed by Brian Epstein (as were the Beatles, hence the connection).  His bands’ version of “Bad to Me” was recorded June 26, 1963, and released one month later.  It was a #1 hit in the UK and peaked at #9 on the American music charts.  The song also has the distinction of being the first Lennon-McCartney-credited song “to reach the US Top 40 for an artist other than the Beatles” (Wikipedia).

I originally thought this was another song I hadn’t heard before, but surprise, surprise, once it started I knew it.  I really do like this version.  It’s sweet.

A Beatles version of “Bad to Me” exists only as a demo bootleg.  It was recorded May 31, 1963 (slightly less than one month before the Dakotas version).  Quoth Wikipedia, “An acoustic demo from the same era was released on iTunes in December of 2013 on the album The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963.”  It sounds like John Lennon alone on the vocals and guitar.

I don’t think this song is comparable since it’s only a demo version.  It’s like comparing a blueprint to a finished building.  Still, I think it’s substantial enough to include on this blog.  Additionally, I’m quite interested in the Beatles as songwriters and not strictly musicians, so anything written by one of them during the Sixties is fair game.




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