When was it recorded? May 10, 1965
When was it first released, and on which album? Aug. 6, 1965 on “Help!”
Who wrote it? Larry Williams
Have I heard this song before? Maybe
What my research dug up:
I promised on “Day 20: Bad Boy” that you hadn’t heard the last of Larry Williams, and here we are. Williams wrote “Dizzy, Miss Lizzy” and released his version of the song as a single in Mar. 1958.
I neglected to mention in the bio I provided on Day 20 that Williams was a lifelong friend of American musician Little Richard. I mention it now because “Dizzy, Miss Lizzy” bears a striking resemblance to Richard’s hit “Good Golly Miss Molly,” released the same year. I’ll be honest – I’m posting “Miss Molly” primarily because I like it and think you should hear it if you haven’t already. It doesn’t have that much bearing on the Beatles.
Back to “Lizzy” – The online Beatles Bible notes the song was one of the myriad covers the boys performed in their early, pre-record deal days.
According to Wikipedia, “The recording was initially intended for the 1965 American album ‘Beatles VI,’ along with the Larry Williams cover, ‘Bad Boy,’ recorded by the group on the same day.” My sources are hazy on how exactly it was decided, but “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” was deemed good enough to appear on “Help!” as well, where it appears as the last track. Music critic Ian McDonald called it “’an unpreposessing shambles of ersatz hysteria and jumbled double-tracking,’ saying it was ‘little better’ than Williams’ ‘drab twelve-bar boogie” original’” (Wikipedia). OUCH all around. Let’s see if it’s really that bad.
Not bad at all — I actually love it. I think I might even dare to say I like the Beatles’ cover better than the original. There’s much more verve and liveliness; when John sings “Come on and love me before I grow too old,” there’s a desperation — a sense that he really doesn’t have that much time — that’s tangible and exciting.